Scottish teachers threaten strike over pay and workload

The possibility of a strike stems from concerns over pay and workload for Scottish teachers. The EIS has demanded a pay increase of five per cent, but the employers side offered only 2.5 per cent over two years instead, which the EIS has rejected.

The concerns regarding workload specifically relate to the increased workload associated with new Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) qualifications. A recent EIS survey has shown that a teachers average working week is 46.5 hours, over 11 hours more than their contract. A motion put forward by the East Ayrshire local association has called for the EIS ruling council to “instruct the EIS to ballot for a boycott of all SQA related work unless SQA assessment can be managed within the 35 hour working week”.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "Despite the fine words of politicians on the need to support schools and teachers, the evidence from both the recent EIS workload survey - which highlighted an average teacher working week of 46.5 hours - and the range of motions to this year's AGM indicate that excessive workload remains a huge issue for teachers and, therefore, for our schools and our pupils."

He added: ”The message to the Scottish government, to local authorities and national education bodies could not be clearer - you must take action, now, to lighten the load on our schools and our teachers."

In response to the situation, a Scottish government spokesperson has said: "We are committed to making sure councils have the right number and highest quality of teachers in our schools which is why we have offered councils £51m including an additional £10m over and above last year's settlements to support teacher numbers.”

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