A TEACHING union has announced two further strike dates amid a pay dispute with the Scottish Government.

Members of NASUWT, the TUC-affiliated teaching union, said they will be taking industrial action on February 28 and March 1.

The EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union, has already declared strike action on those dates, with both primary and secondary schools across the country to be affected by the nationwide walkout.

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The NASUWT meanwhile, said there was still a “window of opportunity to avert further strike action” – but added that “the ball is very much in the court of ministers and employers”.

The comments came amid talks between unions, the Scottish Government and Cosla in a bid to resolve the ongoing dispute.

The pay offer on the table would see most teachers receive a 5% wage rise, though some lower paid teachers would get a 6.85% increase.

The group have demanded a fully funded 12% pay award for 2022/23, while the EIS are campaigning for 10%. 

Overall, they claim teachers in Scotland have been left almost £50,000 worse off as a result of their pay failing to keep pace with inflation.

NASUWT members are also continuing other industrial action short of a strike, by refusing to cover for absent colleagues and are attending no more than one meeting per week outside pupil sessions.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: “There can be no doubt that it is the resolve of members to solidly support our action which has brought ministers and employers back to the table over recent weeks to discuss pay.

“We have continued and will continue to talk with ministers and employers in a bid to resolve this dispute, but the reality is that for all of the discussions over recent weeks an improved offer has yet to be made.

“If ministers hope that teachers will give up the fight for a better deal on their pay they should think again.

“Teachers know they are worth more than yet another real-terms pay cut and it is beyond time that ministers and COSLA recognised that too.”

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Mike Corbett, NASUWT national official Scotland, added: “We have been clear to Scottish Government and COSLA that with CPI inflation still at 10.5% - more than double the 5% pay award which most of Scotland’s teachers were offered - a substantially improved pay offer which is fully funded by the Scottish Government must be tabled without delay.

“There is a window of opportunity to avert further strike action, but the ball is very much in the court of ministers and employers.”

Friday’s meeting of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), which brings together the Scottish Government, local authority leaders in Cosla and trades unions, comes after Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs there is a “gap” between the unions’ demands and “what is affordable”.

The First Minister stressed “further compromise” would be needed to bring an end to the dispute.

The National: The FM said there must be 'compromise' for the dispute to come to and endThe FM said there must be 'compromise' for the dispute to come to and end

However, the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union, has insisted its action will continue until a “substantially improved” pay offer is received.

The union is mounting a rolling programme of strikes, with teachers in Angus and East Dunbartonshire taking part in the protest on Friday.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: “The reality is that our members are not prepared to accept the sub-inflation 5% that has repeatedly been offered, and only a substantially improved offer from the Scottish Government and Cosla can end this dispute.

“Strike action will continue until that improved offer is on the table for our members.”

The Scottish Government have been contacted for comment.