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EDITIONS
Friday, 19 January, 2001, 17:43 GMT
EIS gives pay ballot thumbs up
EIS ballot
The union will ballot members later this month
Scotland's largest teaching union has given a ringing endorsement to a pay deal guaranteeing them increases of more than 21% over three years.

The Education Institute of Scotland (EIS), which represents about 80% of teachers and lecturers, agreed to recommend a "yes" vote in a ballot later this month

EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith said the deal represented the "way forward" for Scotland's teachers.

Education Minister Jack McConnell welcomed the union's backing saying it was "excellent news".

Ronnie Smith
Ronnie Smith: "Way forward"
The pay deal was the result of marathon talks between the McCrone Implementation Group, teaching unions and the executive.

Under its terms, teachers will get a pay rise of 21.5% over three years and a starting salary of around 18,000 a year.

Unions have calculated that the plans, which will cost the executive 800m to deliver, will boost salaries by 23.1% by August 2003.

A ballot on the recommendations is due to open on 26 January and close on 12 February.

Mr Smith said: "This agreement offers opportunities for new ways of working within our schools.

"The focus on professional development and on a collegiate approach to work will enhance the professional status of teachers.

"Enhanced professionalism also means professional levels of salary, and the agreement on a minimum pay increase of 23.1% by 2003 is an important step forward."

Working year unchanged

The package will also guarantee a 35-hour working week for teachers and see 4,000 additional teachers trained to help reduce the amount of time spent in the classroom.

The working year remains unchanged at 195 days.

Mr McConnell said: "This agreement will bring stability and progress to Scotland's classrooms and I hope that teachers across the country will give it their support."

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association had already said it would be recommending its members to vote "yes".

See also:

12 Jan 01 | Scotland
12 Jan 01 | Scotland
09 Jan 01 | Scotland
10 Jun 00 | Scotland
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