THOUSANDS of teachers could be in line for a pay boost of more than 10 per cent under a £35 million Scottish Government proposal.

The package would include a three per cent rise for teachers earning up to £80,000 a year and a separate £25m to overhaul the main grade scale for those in the profession.

However, details of the plan have angered a trade union for other local government staff who are not being offered an extra £25m.

Gary Smith, Scotland secretary of the GMB union, said: “If there is going to be a load more money for teachers, it’s going to be an explosive cocktail for public-sector pay talks.”

Teachers’ pay is determined by a tripartite body that includes the Scottish Government, representatives from councils – as the employer – and union negotiators.

However, the group has failed to reach an agreement after the teaching unions called for a 10 per cent pay rise.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), which represents most teachers north of the Border, has signalled that strike action could be taken unless their demand is met.

Leaked papers from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, which represents councils, provide a detailed summary of the revised proposal.

In March, Cosla made an initial offer to all bargaining groups, including teachers, of a three per cent rise for staff earning up to £36,500 and two per cent for those on higher salaries. The proposal was rejected.

Derek Mackay, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, then wrote to Cosla last month and agreed to an additional £10m which would extend the three per cent rise to teachers earning between £36,501 and £80,000.

He also backed another £25m for a wider “restructuring” of the main pay scale, aimed at improving recruitment and retention.

The paper noted: “The Scottish Government has proposed a better offer for teachers and is prepared to fund it. Collectively it represents an investment over its two elements of £35m.”

Cosla, which is responsible for making a formal pay offer, backed the plan this month and teacher representatives are now considering the detail.

A local authority source said the two elements, taken together, could result in a sizeable number of teachers getting a rise in excess of 10 per cent.

The Cosla paper cautioned that the new plan would not “guarantee a settlement” with the unions, but stated: “What it would do, however, is force a decision by the EIS to gamble or settle. Gambling on getting a mandate for industrial action in pursuit of an unachievable claim when three per cent is on the table and a desirable restructuring of the main grade on offer would be a bold move by a trade union not known for foolhardy decisions.”

The document also suggested that the Government had “expressed an eagerness” to “de-couple” that rise from the pay scale revamp, on the grounds that the second element is a “policy intervention” designed to correct a “failure” in the teacher market.

Smith’s GMB members, who include cleaners and care workers, have also been offered three per cent – which the union rejected – but not an additional £25m.

“We don’t grudge teachers anything, but our members are doing more work than ever. It will add fuel to the fire,” he said.

Councillor Gail MacGregor, Cosla resources spokesperson, said the Government’s £10m had been “matched pound for pound” by council leaders for the general workforce: “It should not be forgotten that Scottish local government is the employer and the one making the offer. We are also funding the vast majority of the offer to teachers within the limited resources we have at our disposal – so it would be wrong to solely focus on the £10m from Government.

“Secondly there is a separate discussion around the £25m for restructuring of the pay grade and a joint commitment to look at that – but that is nothing to do with the pay deal it is totally separate.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Teachers’ pay is a matter for the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) and negotiations for 2018-19 are now well under way and making progress.”

An EIS spokesperson said: “At this week’s SNCT Extended Joint Chairs meeting an amended pay offer was proposed. The teachers’ side of the SNCT will now consider the offer in detail. A further negotiating meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs is scheduled for the September 18, where the teachers’ side will respond formally to the offer.”