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Teachers march in Glasgow over pay demand

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Teachers from across Scotland are holding a march in Glasgow in support of their calls for a 10% pay rise.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said it expected thousands of teachers to attend the national march and rally in George Square.

Employers have tabled a “final” offer of 3% for all but the most highly paid teachers, with some grades receiving bigger rises.

The EIS said teachers’ pay had fallen in value by a fifth in the past decade

EIS president Alison Thornton said: “All indications are that many thousands of teachers, together with other supporters of Scottish education, will be travelling from the length and breadth of Scotland in support of the campaign.

“Buses to the event from all parts of the country have been filling up as soon as they are available, and we know that many other marchers will make their own way to the demonstration via public transport.”

Pay grades

Education Secretary John Swinney said the Scottish government was contributing an extra £35m for teachers’ pay and described the offer as “generous and fair”.

He said: “Through a combination of a 3% increase for all staff earning up to £80,000, restructuring the main grade scale and annual progression, the majority of teachers receive a rise between 5% and 11%.

“There would be a flat rate increase of £1,600 for those earning more than £80,000 from 1 April 2018.”

But the union has described the offer as “divisive” and

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said “smoke and mirrors” were being used to pit unpromoted teachers against their promoted colleagues.

He added: “After a decade of deep pay cuts leading to a 24% reduction in take home pay, an offer based on a 3% cost of living increase falls far short of the expectations of our members.

“The conflation of incremental progression, which teachers would always have received anyway, with this pay offer to make it appear more attractive is a shameful tactic drawn straight from the book of bad management.”

Teachers’ pay is negotiated by a committee which includes the unions, councils and the Scottish government.

Councils employ teachers but pay and conditions are set nationally and councils receive much of their funding from the government.

Employers’ letter

A spokesman for local government body Cosla said: “Following a vote, council leaders took the decision to jointly, with the Scottish government, write to teachers spelling out the value and merits of the pay offer currently on the table.

“This joint letter will be written with input and advice from the appropriate professional associations within councils.”

Marchers will assemble at Kelvingrove Park at 11:00 BST before heading into the city centre.

As well as EIS leaders, the speakers are due to include STUC president Lynn Henderson, NUS president Liam McCabe, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer, SNP MP Chris Stephens and Carole Ford for the Scottish Lib Dems.

The union said the route was agreed in advance and would not clash with filming for a Hollywood film, part of the Fast and Furious franchise, which is taking place in the city centre.

has recommended its members reject it in a ballot which opens next week.

 

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