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Pay in Scotland

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Latest Pay Update - September 2015

On 11 September 2015, the NASUWT, the fastest growing teachers’ union in Scotland, rejected the 2015-17 pay and conditions offer for teachers from local authority employers.

The NASUWT has rejected the offer as inadequate and unacceptable to address the shortfall in teachers’ pay and working conditions since 2011.

The key elements of the 2015-17 offer were as follows:

  1. A two-year pay deal providing a 1.5% uplift for 2015/16 and a further 1% uplift for 2016/17 on all scales and spinal points.
  2. To agree that an evaluation and review of the impact of the recommendations of the Supply Teachers' Working Group will be concluded by January 2016 with a view to addressing any ongoing issues in the delivery of supply teaching.
  3. To agree a statement and principles for managing teacher workload.

On canvassing members’ opinion on the offer there was overwhelming support for a rejection. The offer:

  • does not make any progress towards restoring teachers’ pay to pre-2011 levels, despite the fact that teachers are thousands of pounds worse off as a result of the year-on-year real-terms cuts to their salaries;
  • fails to address the full restoration of supply teachers’ pay and conditions, with the Employer instead opting for a delaying tactic rather than recognising that the main solution to improving availability of supply cover is to fully restore supply teachers’ pay and conditions immediately.
  • seeks to link the development and implementation of strategies to address and manage teacher workload with accepting the pay offer. Excessive workload remains the chief concern of members and schools and employers should already be putting in place effective strategies to tackle this issue as a result of recommendations agreed by the Scottish Government’s Tackling Bureaucracy Working Group. Strategies to address and manage teacher workload should not, therefore, be dependent on accepting pay offers which will worsen teachers’ pay and conditions of service.
  • will not address the deeply worrying trend of teacher shortages, to which pay and workload are contributing factors.

A more detailed summary of the offer and the NASUWT position is available in the following:

The NASUWT has been undertaking a continuing campaign of industrial action since 2011 over pay and conditions of service, including workload and job loss, in furtherance of its national trade dispute with the Scottish Government. This action will continue in order to seek to protect teachers against attacks on their conditions of service. Further information is also available in support of the NASUWT industrial action.

There is clear anger and frustration at the refusal by Employers and the Scottish Government to act to reverse the attacks on their pay and conditions which are driving up stress levels and contributing to a record low in teacher morale.


Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT)

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (new window) (SNCT) is a negotiating framework for teachers’ pay and conditions of service. It is a tripartite body comprising members from teaching organisations, Local Authorities, and the Scottish Government (new window).


Pay Scales

The NASUWT Salary Card is available at Teachers and Leadership Group Salary Scales (Scotland) and the current and previous SNCT Salary Tables are available on the SNCT website, including:

The Distant Island Allowance information is available in the Circulars and Letters section of the SNCT Handbook (new window).


Teacher’s Pay

The number of scales, their points and the salary for each point are determined by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT). The generation of a management structure on the basis of these scales lies completely with the local authorities. Principal Teacher posts have now been introduced in the primary sector also. 


The General Teaching Council for Scotland (new window) (GTCS) Code of Competency is in Appendix 2.12 of Part 2 of the SNCT Handbook (new window). This code provides the definition of competence which is used for the Standard for Full Registration and also sets out the process for dealing with short lived under performance and long running under performance. This code is not intended as a stick to beat fully qualified teachers with, rather it is intended to provide a base line which can be used for professional review and development.


Family Friendly Rights

The main source of maternity information for local authority teachers is Section 7 of Part 2 of the SNCT Handbook (new window), including length of service qualifications and maternity pay. 

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) provides minimum rights and individual employers are at liberty to give more should they wish. An employee should check their contract and the staff handbook in their school to see whether the school provide greater than the statutory minimum.

Advice on the legal requirements is assessing risks in relation to new and expectant mothers’ job activities is set out in the Health and Safety Executive booklet New and Expectant Mothers at Work (new window).

The NASUWT produces guidance for members with children on the provisions for Maternity, paternity and parental leave and pay. The guidance also contains information on rights to time off for family and domestic reasons.

Members have the right to apply to work flexibly where they have:

  • children aged under 17;
  • disabled children aged under 18; or
  • carer responsibilities. 

The NASUWT has produced guidance on requesting Flexible working

Each Local Authority will have a job share policy agreed with the local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT) that regulates the application process, as well as what happens when one job sharer leaves or wants to become full time.

Any Salary Sacrifice arrangements or other family friendly policies will be contained within a local agreement. Details of how a LNCT committee should operate are contained in the SNCT Handbook (new window).


Temporary workers and supply teachers

The Code of Practice on the Use of Temporary Contracts is set out in Appendix 2.8 of Part 2 of the SNCT Handbook (new window).

Transfer of temporary teachers to permanent staff has, under the new SNCT Handbook, been devolved to local level. The national position as it used to be is set out in Part 4 of the new handbook section 8.5 (new window).

Most Local Authorities will have their own policy agreed via the local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT), for example one authority allows temporary staff to apply after two years and provided their school reports are satisfactory they will be given a 0.7 permanent contract.

If there is no local agreement then an employee will nevertheless after one year have gained unfair dismissal rights. If they remain on an annually renewable temporary contract for 4 years this automatically becomes a permanent contract under law.

The NASUWT provides advice on the rights of Supply Teachers, Teachers who work on a temporary basis or fixed-term contracts and Teachers working for employment agencies.

Any teacher taking on a temporary or ‘fixed-term’ contract should contact the Scotland National Centre.


Tax

The NASUWT provides a brief outline of the various tax allowances which teachers are eligible to claim under UK legislation in the NASUWT's brief guide to tax for teachers and Supply Teachers: You and Your Tax.


Further Education Colleges

Further Education Colleges do not have nationally agreed pay or terms and conditions of employment. Each establishment agrees their own.


Further information or assistance

Members needing further information or assistance should contact the Scotland National Centre.