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SCOTTISH teachers should be cautious in celebrating their 10 per cent pay rise, the NASUWT conference heard this weekend.
Last month the Educational Institute of Scotland, the biggest teachers’ union north of the border, voted to accept a rise of 10 per cent by April and another 3 per cent next year.
The offer followed preparations for strike action after an extensive campaign for a raise to reflect years of pay restraint.
But the NASUWT, which also organises in Scottish schools, is pressing ahead with a strike ballot.
The union has argued that “the package put forward by the Scottish government and the employers fails to tackle all of the concerns of NASUWT members, which include excessive workload and pupil indiscipline.”
At the conference this weekend Michael Corbett, who represents Scottish members on the union’s executive, raised concerns over the funding of the pay rise.
“That additional money is coming out of the education budget,” he said, warning that funds for classroom resources such as books could suffer as a result.
The union also warned that it could take strike action over pupil indiscipline and violence in Scottish schools.
NASUWT national official for Scotland Jane Peckham said: “Employers have a duty of care to keep staff safe at work, but too many are not putting in place even the basic statutory steps such as risk assessments and recording incidents of violence.
“The NASUWT will not hesitate to take action in those schools that are putting our members and other pupils at risk from violence and abuse.”
Last autumn 11 teachers at Kaimes School in Edinburgh were sent home without pay for refusing to teach unruly kids.
The NASUWT said staff at the school had faced “violent physical assaults, a constant stream of verbal abuse and threats and malicious allegations.”
The union’s general secretary Chris Keates said: “No-one should go to work with the expectation of being physically or verbally abused, and yet for too many teachers across Scotland this is now their day-to-day reality.
“It’s about time the government and employers exercised their legal duty of care for their staff.”
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