For anyone who spent their school years getting on the wrong side of teachers, the sight of dozens of them crowded into a Glasgow conference room is enough to send a shiver down the spine.

Fortunately for errant school weans today it's COSLA and the Scottish Government who have earned a dressing down from this assembly of educators.

Tuesday saw primary school teachers with the Educational Institute of Scotland union walk out in protest over pay, with their secondary colleagues to follow on Wednesday.

With around 80 per cent of the nation's educators members of the EIS it means closures across the country - with more to come if their conditions aren't met.

What they're asking for is a 10 per cent pay rise. It's below inflation - which stands at 13.5% year-on-year - but significantly more than the average 5% which has been put on the table so far.

That demand is being made in a climate where, as one teacher tells the assembled crowd, the people teaching our children are being forced to take second jobs as delivery drivers just to make ends meet.


Michael Hopgood of Glasgow's Mount Vernon primary tells the Herald: "Teachers have been taking a hit for a long time now, in real terms we're many percentage points down on where we should be.

"We've been offered 5%, it simply isn't going to cut the mustard.

"As we heard today, there are many, many teachers who are struggling and having to take second jobs because pay just simply isn't keeping up with the cost of living."

After talks on monday education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said a 10% increase was "simply unaffordable", but that doesn't wash with many at the Royal Concert Hall.

Read More: Primary schools shut as teachers strike in pay dispute

One teacher takes the floor to declare he's been an independence supporter all his life, but that doesn't mean he'll accept Holyrood placing the blame on Westminster.

Others use their time at the mic to urge the Scottish Government to use its tax powers to secure a fair deal, though there's plenty of opprobrium for Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss & co too.

Susan Quinn, Glasgow EIS secretary, said: "The Scottish Government and COSLA haven't found the money and have made the same 5% offer they made in August.

HeraldScotland: Glasgow Primary teachers gather for a rally at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall tuesday on the first day of a two day stoppage by EIS over payGlasgow Primary teachers gather for a rally at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall tuesday on the first day of a two day stoppage by EIS over pay (Image: Gordon Terris)

"We're committed to action until we get a rise that's acceptable to our members."

Ellen Morton of the Glendale Gaelic primary agreed: "They say there's no money left but we're one of the richest countries in the world.

"There's plenty of money, it's about the will to get it or not."

That proved to be a common sentiment among the striking teachers, who underlined the support they've had for parents and the general public for their position and made clear they don't relish taking action.

Asked if he had a message for COSLA and the Scottish Government,Mr Hopgood said: "Find the money. Just find the money.

"There are ways the Scottish Government can do it, it has tax-raising powers, it could find the money in a number of ways."