Tens of thousands of teachers demonstrate in Glasgow for better pay
29 October 2018
Tens of thousands of teachers marched in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday to demand higher pay and reject a derisory “final” pay offer of 3 percent from employers for the year 2018-2019.
Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) are demanding a pay rise of at least 10 percent in response to their remuneration falling by nearly a quarter over the past decade of austerity measures imposed by the Scottish National Party (SNP) administration in Scotland. For the past seven years, teachers in the United Kingdom have been subjected to a 1 percent maximum pay rise cap fixed by the government—with the cap only being scrapped this year in Scotland.
The demonstration was far larger than the EIS anticipated, showing the desire of teachers internationally to fight back against decades of pay cuts. The march won the support of not only teachers but also that of parents and their families. Protesters marched from the city’s Kelvingrove Park to George Square. So large was the march that as the first marchers arrived in George Square, others were still waiting to set off from Kelvingrove, over two miles away.
The march took place despite the systematic suppression of the teachers’ fight by the unions.
In March, EIS members voted to throw out the 3 percent pay offer and gave the union leaders a mandate to call industrial action. This took place as thousands of teachers in unions across the UK and internationally simultaneously voted to strike over pay and pensions. In the UK, teachers at conferences of the National Education Union (NEU) and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) voted during this time to walk out. In the seven months…