Labour have hit out at the SNP over a plan to write to teachers directly over a national pay offer.

North Ayrshire’s Labour administration have said they will not comply with the SNP’s plan to ‘interfere in the teaching unions ballot’.

However the SNP have said the offer is ‘fair and affordable’.

Last week a leaked COSLA email revealed that Education Secretary and SNP Deputy First Minister John Swinney had requested that he and COSLA send a joint letter directly to school teachers to explain why the teachers pay offer was “generous” and should be accepted.

The EIS are recommending their members reject the pay offer.

The Labour Group at last Friday’s COSLA Leaders meeting moved to reject John Swinney’s request saying it would undermine collective bargaining. SNP and Conservative council leaders voted to send the letter – and won 18 votes to 13.

However, neither the Scottish Government nor COSLA can write directly to teachers without the support of individual councils.

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “This is a direct attack on the teaching unions and the Labour administration that I lead will not be complicit in interfering and undermining collective bargaining.

“The Labour administration will not be sending letters direct to our workforce on behalf of the SNP Government and their council leaders.”

But Irvine SNP MSP Ruth Maguire said: “Scotland’s teachers should know that their hard work and dedication is hugely valued. That’s why the Scottish Government will be contributing an extra £35m for teachers’ pay, which will result in all teachers on the main grade scale receiving at least a five per cent increase, with some teachers receiving up to 11 per cent.

"We firmly believe this is a fair and affordable offer.”