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EDITIONS
Monday, 12 February, 2001, 20:54 GMT
Teachers back pay deal
Teachers' pay graphic
Teachers were balloted on the proposal
Members of Scotland's two largest teaching unions have voted overwhelmingly to accept a 21.5% pay rise.

More than three quarters of the members of the unions approved the deal in a ballot.

The deadlock on the lengthy pay talks had been broken when the salaries committee of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) - which has 80% of Scotland's teachers on its books - voted to accept the three-year deal last month.

The 800m funding package was then agreed at a meeting of the McCrone Implementation Group, which includes teaching unions, the Scottish Executive and council employers.


Our agreement will bring stability and quality to the classroom

Education Minister Jack McConnell
However, the unions still had to put the deal before members in a ballot.

The results were announced on Monday afternoon, when it emerged that 80% of EIS members backed the package, along with 77% of Scottish Secondary Teacher's Association members.

Education Minister Jack McConnell said: "This is a turning point for Scottish education.

"The result is excellent news for pupils and parents across Scotland.

"Our agreement will bring stability and quality to the classroom, rewarding teachers for their professionalism and placing them at the heart of schooling.

'Good offer'

"It will also put children at the centre of education. Teachers have voted for positive and constructive change in which they will be active partners."

Every EIS member was sent a 50-page document outlining the proposals, which the union described as a good offer.

Welcoming the result, general secretary Ronnie Smith said: "Teachers can now look forward towards achieving a professional level of salary.

"It means also that there is an opportunity for better ways of working in schools than in the past, together with real opportunities for professional development for all teachers."

Teacher in class
More teachers will be recruited
The package offers teachers 21.5% over three years, 10% of which will be in the first year. New teachers will start on 18,000 per annum.

There will also be 4000 new teachers, and additional support staff to help reduce the burden of paper work.

More money will be available for new chartered teachers, who will have to get extra qualifications but will remain in the classroom.

A new winding-down scheme will also be introduced for those approaching retirement, while the probationary period for new teachers will be reduced to one year.

However, the deal led to envious glances from unions south of the border.

They warned it could compound recruitment problems by leading to a "brain drain" from England.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's James Cook reports
"The vote has been welcomed as a turning point by the education minister"
See also:

12 Jan 01 | Scotland
12 Jan 01 | Scotland
09 Jan 01 | Scotland
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