TEACHERS will decide within days whether to ballot members on strike action over pay.

Teaching unions are currently fighting for a ten per cent increase to rectify the impact of a decade of austerity.

However, councils and Scottish Government ministers argue a current improved offer is the best in the public sector.

A meeting yesterday was expected to signal the end of formal negotiations, but the door has been kept open for a further improved offer in the coming days.

However, the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union said it would not shift its timetable, which could see an industrial action ballot agreed by the end of the week.

The current offer involves a three year deal which would see a three per cent increase in 2018/19 for those earning up to £80,000, followed by three per cent increases in each of the following years.

The Scottish Government says additional contributions to restructure the pay scale will see all teachers receiving at least a five per cent hike increase this year.

John Swinney, the Education Secretary, said: “The Scottish Government and local authorities have made an improved pay offer which, including increases as a result of restructuring the pay scale, would see a minimum eight per cent increase between January 2018 and April, with a further three per cent in the third year of the proposed deal.”

He added: “This is a better deal than for any group of public sector workers in the UK and we urge the teaching unions to put this to their members for approval.

Council umbrella body Cosla said: “We are pleased to be continuing constructive discussions with the teaching trade unions.”