TEACHERS have been advised to reject the latest pay offer from Cosla – sparking fears of strike action at schools.

Following a meeting on Friday, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) council announced it had voted narrowly to recommend a rejection of the revised offer.

That deal would have seen teachers get a nine per cent pay hike for the period from April 2018 to April 2019, with a further three per cent next year.

Teaching unions have been campaigning for a 10 per cent one-year deal.

A consultative ballot of EIS members will now be held on the offer, with a recommendation that it should be rejected.

The EIS council also agreed the ballot communication will reflect the range of opinions expressed, including arguments both for and against the offer, to support members in making an informed decision.

Larry Flanagan, EIS general secretary, said: “It will now be for our members to decide on whether to accept or reject this revised offer.”

Council leaders had already agreed to support a Scottish Government policy intervention that led to the revised offer.

Councillor Gail Macgregor, of local government umbrella organisation Cosla, said: “I am pleased that council leaders agreed to present a revised proposal incorporating the additional monies made available by the Scottish Government to the teaching unions.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney insists the offer represents a “fair pay rise” for teachers.

He said: “It is extremely disappointing that EIS council have voted to recommend rejection of the enhanced offer agreed by Cosla – and by such a narrow margin.

“I am pleased this offer will be put to teachers for their consideration, despite the narrow EIS leadership recommendation to reject it. Industrial action is not in anyone’s interests.”