Teachers in Scotland are joining forces to fight for a fair deal for public education in the country, which has an education service which is devolved from the UK government. Leaders of the main teaching union, the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) said yesterday that the employers' offer in their contract talks had been rejected although they are open to more talks over the summer.

The EIS General Secretary that the offer 'fails to address our major concerns on excessive teacher workload, safeguarding teacher numbers, and restoring short-term supply teachers’ pay and conditions, while also falling short on a fair pay settlement for all teachers.' If no agreement is reached union leaders say they will move to a ballot, and industrial action next term is a possibility.

The failure to employ enough teachers, to restore teachers' pay and to protect the conditions of contract teachers is typical of the way so-called austerity policies are having an impact on education. The new government in the UK is planning to carry on with massive cuts in public services which will affect the school system in Scotland as well.

In a related devlopment in the Scottish county of , the EIS is joining together with the smaller Secondary Scottish Teachers Association to fight planned cuts there, which would see workload increasing and many senior and middle management teachers losing their posts. Teachers have made clear that the cuts would have a detrimental impact on some of the lowest income children and are planning to involve parents and communities in their campaign.