Union bosses have threatened to rip up a deal that averted mass strikes as anger grows over moves aimed at improving teacher pay. 

Leaders at Unison Scotland revealed they had written to Cosla, the body that represents local authorities, to say any boost should apply equally to all council workers. They also warned that breaching this principle could lead to their union reopening talks on staff remuneration.

It comes as senior figures at the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) prepare to discuss a revised pay offer for teachers. As reported in TES, this would include a 1 per cent rise backdated to April 2021, a further 1% from January 2022, and a one-off payment of £100. There is a cap of £800 for anyone earning over £80,000. 

The previous offer, which was rejected, would have delivered a 1.22% increase backdated to January 2021. 

It is thought the improved proposal was made possible after ministers offered councils an additional £25 million a year. However, EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan has already described the improvement as “disappointingly marginal”.

READ MORE: Scotland spends most money per pupil in UK

Last month it was announced Unison members had voted to accept a backdated offer that will provide a pay rise of between 3.4% and 4.7% to the majority of council workers. Those earning below £25,000 per annum will benefit from a flat rate increase of approximately £1,062.

The offer and subsequent vote meant planned strikes across Scotland were called off. Industrial action would have crippled operations in areas such as school cleaning and catering, waste, recycling, and fleet maintenance. 

However, union bosses have stressed the dispute could still be reopened if it is felt employees are not receiving equal treatment.

HeraldScotland: Johanna Baxter has said there must be parity across the local government workforce. Johanna Baxter has said there must be parity across the local government workforce.

Johanna Baxter, Unison Scotland head of local government, said: “We have written to Cosla leaders to remind them that if they are considering an improved offer for teachers then we expect it to be applied equally across all council workers. 

“Our most recent pay agreement was based on the principle of parity across the local government workforce and Unison will seek to reopen pay discussions if this principle is broken. This is not a technical issue. It’s a point of principle. 

"Education and broader local government services are provided by a team – teachers, administrators, cleaners, janitorial staff, pupil support workers, social workers, support staff for parents and more. 

“They all need recognised in the same way, and Unison will seek urgent talks with Cosla if this pay increase for one set of workers goes ahead.”

READ MORE: EIS Scotland survey shows third of teachers concerned about Covid risk

Commenting on the latest proposition, Mr Flanagan said: "This is a disappointingly marginal improvement on previously rejected pay offers, but the EIS Salaries Committee will consider it in full when it meets on Thursday.”

The NASUWT union warned revised remuneration proposals were likely to infuriate members. Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary, said: "Teachers are angry and frustrated by the failure of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) to recognise the extraordinary pressures they are currently working under.

“Teachers are working to maintain education provision and recover pupils’ learning against a backdrop of high Covid rates in schools which is impacting on their own health and safety, as well as their workloads, wellbeing and morale.”

HeraldScotland: EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan.EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan.

A Cosla spokesman said: “We remain in constructive discussions around this issue of an affordable pay deal for teachers. 

"Negotiations cannot be conducted in public, but we remain clear that Scottish local government has no more money to bring to the table. 

“It is also worth pointing out that these are two separate negotiating groups, one - the SNCT for teachers - is tripartite and includes Scottish Government.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “Pay settlements for council workers, excluding teachers, are a matter for Cosla and are determined through negotiations at the Scottish Joint Committee (SJC). The Scottish Government is not a member of the SJC.”