SCOTTISH teachers have moved a step closer to strike action over the failure of the Scottish Government to bring forward fresh proposals on pension changes.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) union is to hold a consultative ballot of its members on pensions industrial action.

Last year, teachers took their first strike action in a quarter of a century in protest at government attacks on their pensions.

Loading article content

The latest move will be implemented if current negotiations with the Scottish Government fail to reach agreement.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, said: "The decision to hold a consultative ballot on further industrial action is a clear indication that teachers and lecturers are increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress towards a fair negotiated agreement on pensions.

"We have held back from further industrial action in order to negotiate in good faith with the Scottish Government towards a Scottish solution on pension provision."

Teachers pay contributions of 6.4% of their salary to pensions but, under the proposals, staff on more than £15,000 a year would pay more.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We have been engaged in discussions with teachers' and employers' representatives on pension reform since April 2012 and remain strongly committed to that process.

"The Scottish Government is opposed to the increases to public sector employees' pension contributions.

"We are required by the UK Government to implement them in order to avoid a reduction to the Scottish budget equivalent to the amount they are expected to raise."