Friday is D-Day for teachers across North Ayrshire and across the country when they learn the results of the ballot on a sizeable new pay offer.

The offer, which amounts to 14.6 per cent cumulatively over a 28-month period, has been recommended by the EIS union following long-running negotiations with the Scottish Government and COSLA.

And North Ayrshire EIS association secretary Jacqui Mackenzie feels keeping up the pressure has helped members secure a new deal.

She said: “We recently held a rally at the Lauriston Hotel in Ardrossan, which was successful. This has been a long sustained campaign for the last year. 

“While it is not the 10 per cent I had hoped for, it’s a big increase on the two per cent we were offered last year. 

“The EIS executive agreed to put the offer out to members for recommendation to accept and to call off planned strikes and a pay rally. Now we wait for the result.

“There are mixed views among members . They feel they were treated as an essential service during covid and supposed to be valued and throughout  this process, it feels like they’ve not been valued. 

“It’s not just about the pay element, it’s the workload, which is totally out of control now. 

“If we accept the offer, then we will start thinking about our next pay claim.”

Scottish Government education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Teachers make an invaluable contribution to the lives of our children and young people. 

“This historic offer, if accepted by unions, would see teacher pay increase by 33 per cent from January 2018 to January 2024. 

“We have looked for compromise and we have arrived at a deal that is fair, affordable, and sustainable for everyone involved. 

“The Scottish Government is supporting this deal with total funding of over £320 million across this year and next.”

COSLA’s resources spokesperson, Councillor Katie Hagmann, added: “We have reached a position whereby we sincerely hope our trade union partners can take this revised offer to their membership for a vote.

“Scotland’s council leaders fully value all of their workforce and recognise the invaluable contribution teachers make to the lives of our children and young people.”