TEACHERS have responded to the latest pay offer with further threats of strike action.

At the weekend, proposals emerged for a wider shake-up of pay - with more money for teachers at the top and bottom end of the scale.

The changes, which would cost the Scottish Government an extra £25 million, come on top of a new offer of three per cent for staff earning up to £80,000 a year.

However, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union is campaigning for a ten per cent increase for all staff, arguing pay has been eroded significantly over the past decade.

In an update to members, the EIS said the union had already said three per cent "falls well short" of its 10 per cent claim and was therefore "unlikely to be acceptable to members".

It adds: "We have been clear, also, that the 10 per cent is for all members at all grades.

"Whilst the EIS may be willing to consider amendments to the main-grade scale, there must be improvements of equal value for members on all salary scales for progress to be possible."

The EIS said it would continue to negotiate with council umbrella body Cosla and the Scottish Government, but added: "We must be preparing, also, for the likelihood of a ballot during this session and the possibility of industrial action.

"It is essential, therefore, that we continue to increase pressure through our campaign and that we build for a significant show of strength at the October march and rally."

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 - although this is disputed by unions.

A recent paper on the proposals by Cosla said the new plan would not “guarantee a settlement” with the unions, but said it would "force a decision by the EIS to gamble or settle".

The paper said: "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.”