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Industrial Scottish teachers to strike unless pay is ‘restored to pre-austerity levels’

TEACHERS in Scotland are ready to strike for the first time since the 1980s unless pay is “restored to pre-austerity levels,” the country’s largest teaching union warned yesterday.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said a below-inflation pay rise would be “unacceptable,” ahead of negotiations with the Scottish government and councils on the 2018-19 settlement.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has committed to lifting the 1 per cent public-sector pay cap and giving a 3 per cent rise to NHS staff, police, teachers, and others earning up to £30,000, with 2 per cent for those earning more.

The union, representing more than 80 per cent of Scotland's teachers, said the 2 per cent offer was “not acceptable" and that, if recruitment problems were to be addressed, pay had to improve.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “The era of real-terms pay cuts must end. For far too long, teachers have been paying the price of austerity-driven cuts prompted by a financial situation that was not of their making.”

Scottish Labour education spokesman Iain Gray said that 10 years of SNP government had left Scottish teachers £6,000 worse off. He accused Nicola Sturgeon’s administration of “incompetence in education and neglect of teachers.”

Mr Gray called for “a significant improvement in pay, career structure and workload, properly funded by government to re-establish the Scottish profession as world-leading.”

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