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Teachers are warning ministers that they will consider mobilising for industrial action, including potential strike action, if steps are not taken to restore Scottish teachers’ pay levels and address the years of real-terms erosion of their salaries.

Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union are demanding a restorative programme of teachers’ pay awards that addresses the real-terms pay cuts suffered by teachers in Scotland since 2010.

NASUWT Scotland members will set out their opposition to any further below-inflation pay awards at the Union’s Scotland Annual Conference, which will be held virtually tomorrow (Saturday).

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“With each week that passes, the impact of the years of real-terms cuts to their salaries hits teachers harder as prices for everyday essentials continue to climb.

“More and more teachers are reporting to us that they are coming under increasing financial strain as they find it increasingly difficult to meet the cost of basics such as gas, electricity, food and petrol. We have had reports of teachers having to take second jobs, relying increasingly on credit and even having to use foodbanks.

“Teachers are working hard to deliver an essential public service, but their wages do not reflect their level of skill, the workload associated with teaching, or the time they give to the job.

“Ministers have failed to value teachers and they will be responsible for any disruption caused if they continue to fail to deliver a programme of restorative pay awards for teachers.”

Mike Corbett, NASUWT Scotland National Official, said:

“The NASUWT rejected the pay award for 2021/22, which was imposed on our members despite it representing yet another real-terms cut.

“The imposition of this pay award has only heightened the feeling among teachers that they are being taken for granted by ministers, who seem to assume that teachers’ dedication to their pupils means they will be prepared to put up with pay and working conditions which are increasingly uncompetitive and unattractive. 

“If ministers think they can continue to be complacent, then the combination of soaring inflation, coupled with the impact of the pandemic on teachers’ morale, means they are in for a rude awakening.

“Our members are not prepared to continue to put up with being underpaid and overworked.”

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