A North Ayrshire union chief says persistent pressure from members helped them secure an historic pay deal for teachers on Friday.

Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) members nationally voted overwhelmingly for a new pay deal of a cumulative 14.6 per cent in an online ballot, with 90 per cent supporting the offer.

The Scottish Schoolteachers Association (SSTA) also backed the deal.

Jacqui Mackenzie, the North Ayrshire EIS association secretary said: “The salaries committee felt this was the best deal that could have been achieved in the current climate without us taking any further strike action.

“We had a huge turnout of 82 per cent and our members stayed strong and they stuck together despite the Scottish Government and Cosla trying to test the resolve of the teachers.

“All members lost five days of pay and others who did targeted strikes in ministers’ constituencies lost a further three days.

“The seven per cent offer of 22/23 was only tabled as EIS members held out.

“We also secured five per cent from April to December 2023 and a further uplift of two per cent from January to August 2024.”

North Ayrshire Council depute leader Shaun Macaulay said: “This has been a very difficult negotiation in such exceptional financial circumstances.

“Teachers are some of our most important public servants and I am delighted that this pay award reflects this. It is also great news for pupils and families throughout North Ayrshire who can get back into the classroom.

“And to teachers as well who, I know, did not want to be out of the classroom but who can now get back to their passion of teaching children to reach their full potential.”

Scottish Government education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “I am very pleased that EIS and SSTA members have voted overwhelmingly to accept this historic offer.

“It is the most generous offer to teachers in more than 20 years and one that is fair, affordable and sustainable for everyone involved.

“Teachers in Scotland are already the best paid in the UK and this deal will mean a salary rise of £5,200 in April for most teachers, and a cumulative rise of 33 per cent since January 2018.

“A resolution to this dispute and an end to the threat of further strike disruption in our schools will be a huge relief for children, young people, parents, carers, and teachers, too.”