Councils Criticised Over Teacher Pay Rise Delay

24 December 2015, 06:00

Slow responses from some councils mean many teachers did not receive their backdated pay rise before Christmas, the country's largest teaching union has said.

Unions and local authorities agreed a national 1.5% pay increase for 2015/16 in October following negotiations.

The pay settlement applies from the start of April, meaning teachers are entitled to backdated pay from that month.

Some councils have implemented the pay award and made the backdated payments while others have pledged to do so by the start of 2015.

But the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said some local authorities have been slow in arranging for the new settlement to be applied to salaries.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said, ''Teachers' pay settlements apply from the start of April, so Scotland's teachers and associated professionals are now due some nine months of backdated pay increase.

''Sadly, the slow response from some local authorities means that many teachers will not have received this payment before Christmas.

''While some authorities have been quick to make the backdated payments, and others have pledged to do so in December or at least in time for January's credit card bills, the indications are that some local authorities will be dragging the process on for months to come.

''The most extreme case the EIS has heard so far is that at least one authority will not be making these payments until March 2016 - for a pay award that applies from April 2015 and which was formally agreed in October this year. This is simply unacceptable.''

A spokesman for local government body Cosla said no teacher would lose out on pay owed.

''One or two councils are changing their payroll systems, so there are a couple of local delays in implementing the pay award, however everyone will still get their backdated pay, so no-one is missing out.''

He called on the EIS to get behind calls for a reversal of recently-announced cuts to local authority budgets next year.

''Perhaps the EIS is less concerned about this as they feel they control government's policy on teacher numbers and that their members will be protected from the inevitable cuts to come,'' he said.

''Cosla does not subscribe to this protectionist viewpoint. A united local government is a strong local government, so this Christmas we call on the EIS to come out and lend their weight to calls for a reversal of the cuts to local government.''