SO, teachers in Scotland seem to think they have a rough deal as far as salaries go, do they? Well, If you search “Teachers’ salary scale/Scotland” you will find that in Scotland a teacher, after probation, starts at £27,400, going up to £36,400 after six years. A principal teacher in Scotland starts at £45,000, going up to £88,000 after 19 years.

“Teachers’ salary scale/England”, shows that in England teachers’ salaries start at £25,500 after probation, going up to £35,000 after six years. Principal teachers start at £39,000, going up to £62,000 after 19 years.

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Admittedly there is a supplement over and above those rates for schools within London. Nevertheless, teachers in Scotland apparently receive 8.23% more than teachers in England at the moment; and principal teachers receive almost double that percentage extra compared to those in England.

So, why is the offer from the Scottish Government so unfair? If they are receiving so much more than teachers in England already, why do they need even more? Teachers in England have not gone on strike, so why should Scottish teachers want to do so? Can’t they just accept that we are trying to create a fairer, more equal Scotland? Their strike won’t help that.

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Fairer and more equal means a fair wage for a fair day’s work – which they seem to be getting already – plus a smaller wage differential between the richest and the poorest. The offer from the Scottish Government will provide a further, slightly larger rise for those at the bottom of the salary scale and a further but slightly smaller rise for those at the top of the scale. They will therefore be receiving even more than is paid in England, plus helping to reduce the wage differential within their own profession.

They will still be above the average wage, and well above the poverty level.

Maybe I’m wrong but a refusal of this offer seems to be more politically motivated than related to need, or even fairness. On the one side you have the SNP Scottish Government being opposed by a Labour-supporting trade union. Their action is surely entirely based on trying to disrupt the SNP and its moves towards an independent Scotland and has nothing to do with getting a fair deal for their members.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, until we can move away from the idea of percentage increases and adopt a fairer method of “set amount” rises, then we will never stop the continually increasing gap in pay differential that we have suffered since decimalisation was introduced last century. I would have thought that teachers were sufficiently intelligent and educated to realise that – apparently not.

I’ve previously told you and your readers that I am a pensioner and as such I am condemned by the Wastemonster government to live below the poverty level. To lift my pension above the poverty level, I would need a 9% increase. I’ve just received notification of the increase to the Pension Credit part of my pension that will come into force in April. It will be 3.8%. I have no choice. I will be pushed even further into poverty. Please excuse me therefore if I have no sympathy whatsoever for the teachers’ cause.

Charlie Kerr

HANNAH Bardell stands up in Parliament and says: “As a gay woman...” Really, who cares? Did she say it because it would make her more credible? Does she feel it gives her a higher status? Her sexuality is a matter for her.

Why can’t we see the person, the MP, and what she achieves rather than her trumpeting her sexuality that doesn’t affect us?

Jim Taylor