Scottish teachers will go on strike if pay talks do not lead to an acceptable agreement, a senior union member has insisted.

The warning from the outgoing president of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) comes after a proposed 2 per cent remuneration hike was “instantly” rejected. Union bosses are seeking a 10% rise.

Delivering her address to the EIS Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Dundee Caird Hall, president Heather Hughes said: “How quickly the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Scottish Government have forgotten the selflessness of teachers; teachers who worked all hours of the day and night, totally adapting their teaching, often learning new skills to move to online forums; and volunteering in their droves to staff HUBS and teach the most vulnerable children and young people and children of other essential workers so that they could keep our vital services running in the midst of the crisis.”

She continued: “Colleagues, you went above and beyond doing your utmost trying to keep schools open for the young people you teach.

"As always you had their welfare at the centre of these selfless actions. What was our reward for all these selfless interventions? A paltry pay rise for 2021/22 and an insulting offer of 2% after we launched our 10% pay claim for 2022/23. A pay rise which should have been settled by April the 1st this year.”

Ms Hughes added: “We are in the worst cost of living crisis for 40 years. RPI Inflation is sitting at 11% and forecast to go even higher. Record high fuel prices, energy costs up 54% and food prices escalating with every shop. A 10% rise in our pay barely covers inflation now and is nowhere near the restorative pay rise our members need and deserve.

“We must and will win this campaign for a cost-of-living pay rise. Our employers and the Scottish Government have been given notice that the teachers of Scotland led by the EIS will campaign, will organise, will march, and if necessary, will ballot our members for industrial action.

"Make no mistake - if no reasonable offer is made, we will vacate our classrooms. We demand this pay rise for ourselves, for our families and for the future of education in Scotland.”