Scottish teachers' pay claim 2018/19: update

SNCT Teachers’ Side Pay Claim 2018/2019

25 April 2019

Teachers’ pay update

At the full meeting of the SNCT today, the 2018 pay deal was formally signed off.

The Teachers’ Side had voted to accept the offer 14 to 2.

The unions expressed the hope that the back pay would be in the end of May pay-packets.  COSLA indicated that councils would do what they could to achieve that.

An SNCT circular (pdf) and Handbook entries with revised pay scales and allowances have now been issued.



27 March 2019


EIS members have voted to accept the offer.

Commenting on the result of the EIS consultative ballot to accept the teachers’ pay proposal, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“This is a positive outcome and reflects the partnership approach we want to take with local government and the professional associations, providing certainty on pay, a shared agenda on addressing workload, additional support for learning and empowering schools.

“Only COSLA as employers can make a formal pay offer and Leaders will decide this on Friday. The Scottish Government will support a revised offer which takes industrial action on pay off the table and sets our shared agenda for the next two years.”

08 March 2019


EIS has agreed in principle to recommend acceptance of a  revised offer proposed by the Scottish Government. It will suspend a planned statutory ballot for strike action and instead open a consultative ballot of its members with a recommendation to accept.

Letter from Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirming the details of the proposed offer. (pdf)

Provisional pay tables under the proposed new offer. (pdf)

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“I welcome the EIS decision to suspend the ballot on industrial action.

“The Scottish Government and COSLA made a strong offer to teachers which, by a narrow margin, was rejected. Given the importance we place on valuing teachers and improving the attractiveness of the profession, I have looked again at the investment the Scottish Government is making.

“I am prepared to increase the funding for restructuring pay grades from 3% in January 2019 to 4% from April 2019. That would mean teachers will see a minimum 10% pay increase between January 2018 and next month, and a further 3% rise from April 2020, before any salary progression is taken into account. The additional cost of going further than the previous offer – £32 million over a 3 year period to 2020/21 with only £3 million falling in 2018/19 and 2019/20 - will be found from within the existing Education and Skills Budget.

“What is particularly welcome is the wider agreement we have reached with the EIS. Reform is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s plan to improve Scottish education and the significant package of measures we have agreed on issues like workload and teacher empowerment, will help deliver the reform needed to tackle them.

“These reforms can best be addressed by all parts of education working together. This landmark agreement brings together a partnership with local authorities and professional associations to tackle critical issues, in tandem with a settlement on pay. It is an agreement that removes the threat of industrial action, will provide the stability we need to make the reform Scotland’s education system needs and deliver the best possible outcomes for our young people.”  

Voice Scotland will keep members informed of further developments.


25 February 2019

Teachers’ pay update

At the meeting of the SNCT Teachers’ Side on 25 February 2019, it was announced that EIS had balloted its members and, with an 81% turnout, 57% voted to reject the latest pay offer and 43% to accept. AHDS and SSTA had also balloted their memberships, which had both voted to accept the offer.

All the feedback we are getting from Voice teaching members is that they are incredulous that the unions are not prepared to accept what is to them a generous offer and one that provides quite significant pay rises.  Voice Scotland, however, is bound by the democratic and collective decision-making of the Teachers’ Side structure, although this does not prevent us expressing our views.

Under Teachers’ Side standing orders, the collective view of the teaching unions prevails, so two votes were taken by a show of hands. The first vote was whether to accept or reject the latest offer. Voice Scotland, AHDS, SLS and SSTA (which have 4 votes in total) voted to accept the offer, but EIS and NASUWT (with 14 votes between them) voted to reject the offer, so the offer was rejected by the Teachers' Side.

A second vote was taken on whether to seek further negotiations with the employers and Scottish Government. Voice Scotland abstained, but the other 17 votes were to seek further negotiation.

EIS proposes moving to a statutory ballot for industrial action with the proviso that, if successful, any action does not take place during the SQA exam period. They will open the ballot on 11 March and it will run until 4 April, with the first day of industrial action planned for 24 April.  NASUWT confirmed that it would ballot for industrial action on the same timeline.

Voice's advice to members on industrial action by other unions.

29 January 2019 / updated 21 February 2019


Voice met with the other teaching unions as part of the Teachers' Panel on Tuesday 29 January to discuss an improved offer from COSLA (pdf).  

Voice indicated at that meeting that, in the present economic conditions, it considered that the offer was reasonable, with the one qualification being that the provision for a review on teacher workload could be strengthened.

However, Voice cannot unilaterally accept the pay offer. Both SSTA and EIS took the view that the offer still fell short of their expectations and proposed to ballot their members, with a recommendation from EIS to reject the latest offer. Those ballots are now open and close on 21 February. AHDS proposed to ballot their members with a recommendation to accept the offer.

In the event that other unions' members reject the offer, that may mean moving to a statutory ballot for strike action if no improved offer is forthcoming. In the event that this happens, Voice will provide advice to its members on their position.

No date for any further meeting with Scottish Government and COSLA has been set at this time. However, the Teachers' Panel will meet on 22 February to review their position.

We will update members as soon as there are any developments to report.

Update: 21 February 2019: Members of the EIS have rejected the revised offer, despite members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association voting to accept it

8 January 2019


Voice met with the other teaching unions on Tuesday 8 January and rejected the latest COSLA offer on teachers' pay. The Teachers' Side also decided to formally record a “failure to agree”. 

In the absence of any improved offer from COSLA, the unions will consider their next steps. Clearly not for Voice, but for some unions, that may mean moving to a statutory ballot for strike action. In the event that this happens, Voice will provide advice to its members on their position.

We still hope to agree a settlement and avoid the inevitable disruption industrial action would cause.  The unions have proposed modest options which would materially improve the offer, but we do not yet know if Scottish Government and/or COSLA will agree to them.

The unions have offered to meet with COSLA and Scottish Government again. No date for any further meeting has been set, however.

We will update members as soon as there are any developments to report.


17 December 2018


A meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs took place earlier today. COSLA and Scottish Government tabled a revised offer, which addressed the need for a universal offer for all teachers to be made, but which still fell short of the Teachers' Side pay claim. As anticipated, Scottish Government was seeking agreement around a multi-year deal.

The Teachers' Side made a number of suggestions, seeking to improve the value of the offer and both Scottish Government and COSLA have taken these away for consideration.

A further meeting of Extended Joint Chairs has been set for Thursday afternoon (20 December).

A meeting of the Teachers' Side is scheduled for 8 January 2019.

November/December 2018


Blog post: Voice Scotland and teachers' pay: an update

4 October 2018

Pay claim negotiations update: talks stall

Negotiations around the teachers’ pay claim have "shuddered to a halt after the Scottish Government and COSLA today refused to consider improvements to their previous offer".

See the Teachers' Side statement for further details.

Voice Scotland will keep members informed.

18 September 2018

Pay claim negotiations update

At the SNCT meeting on 18 September,  the Teachers' Side rejected a 3% pay increase.

Negotiations are set to continue, with another meeting scheduled for 4 October.

BBC News report of the meeting.

12 September 2018

Pay claim negotiations update

Negotiations are ongoing.  The teachers’ side of the SNCT will consider and respond to the latest offer at the negotiating meeting scheduled for 18 September 2018.

Voice Scotland will update members after the discussions on 18 September.


16 May 2018

Pay claim negotiations update

The latest meeting (16 May 2018) of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) to discuss the Teachers’ Side Pay Claim for 2018/2019 was more positive than previous discussions.

Negotiations are ongoing and we will keep Voice Scotland  members updated.

Next meeting: Thursday 31 May 2018 at 2:00pm


27 March 2018

Media release: issued on behalf of the Teachers’ Side negotiators of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT)

Teachers reject COSLA pay offer but remain committed to negotiated agreement

The Teachers’ Side negotiators of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) have today (Tuesday 27 March 2018) rejected a pay offer of 2% / 3% from local authorities to Scotland’s teachers. The offer was presented by the Employers’ Side of the SNCT at a meeting of the SNCT Extended Joint Chairs group. The Teachers’ Side had submitted a pay claim of 10% for teachers at all grades.

Commenting, a spokesperson for the Teachers’ Side of the SNCT said:

“The Teachers’ Side negotiators have rejected this offer of 2% / 3% for Scotland’s teachers, as it falls far short of the 10% pay claim that was submitted via the SNCT this year. The Teachers’ Side also rejected any notion of a differentiated deal that would award lower pay increases to teachers at some grades compared to colleagues at other grades. The offer that has been proposed by employers fails to deliver on the need to value education and value teachers by delivering appropriate salaries for Scotland’s teaching professionals.

“There is a growing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention across Scotland, and declining rates of pay is one of the key factors contributing to this problem. Scotland wants and expects the best teaching professionals but, increasingly, is unwilling to pay appropriate professional salaries to the teachers working in our schools. Pay for Scotland’s teachers is continuing to decline in comparison to other graduate professions and to teacher salaries in other European countries. This simply must be rectified.

“The Teachers’ Side remains committed to negotiations via the SNCT in the hope of agreeing a fair deal for Scotland’s teachers. Further talks are planned, via the SNCT, following the Spring holiday period. There is a clear expectation, on the part of the Teachers’ Side, that the Scottish Government, a party to the negotiations, will be required to take a view on the ongoing discussions and to play an active role in reaching a settlement.”

9 February 2018:

SNCT meeting of 8 February 2018

At the meeting of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) on Thursday 8 February 2018, the teachers’ side lodged a pay claim to Scottish Government and COSLA for a 10% uplift in the salaries of all teachers and associated professionals covered by the SNCT Handbook.

Further information

SNCT Teachers’ Side Pay Claim 2018/2019 (pdf)



Voice Scotland
Tel: 0131 220 8241


Voice Scotland

0131 220 8241