A PAY dispute involving Scottish teachers has come a step closer to being resolved after councils gave ground over controversial changes to working conditions.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union has recommended its members back a new offer which will see school staff get a 1% pay increase both this year and next year.

In October, Cosla, the umbrella body for councils, withdrew the offer after members of the EIS voted against moves to give local authorities more control over the amount of time teachers spend teaching.

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They also rejected plans to water down a list of set tasks they are protected from doing, such as photocopying and patrolling the playground at break times.

Cosla had wanted the changes to give councils more flexibility over how teachers spend their time, with financial cuts reducing other school staff.

However, after talks a compromise has been reached which gives greater safeguards for teachers.

A new professional statement stresses teachers should not be asked to do tasks normally carried out by administrative support staff. There are also stricter controls over how schools can utilise greater flexibility over teachers' working week.

The pay deal will also see an improvement in the pay of short-term supply staff to combat shortages. Supply staff will be paid at a controversial lower rate for the first two days of their cover instead of the previous arrangement of five days.

The EIS, which has described the offer as a "significant improvement", will ballot its members on the revised pay and conditions offer with a recommendation that it should be accepted.