HC Deb 18 March 1970 vol 798 cc374-5
16. Mr. MacArthur

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on teachers' salaries.

55. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the progress of salary negotiations with the teachers.

Mr. Millan

I would refer the hon. Members to the replies given on 10th March to Questions by the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Brewis) and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Provan (Mr. Hugh D. Brown).—[Vol. 797, c. 278 and 283.]

Mr. MacArthur

Is the hon. Member aware that the financial gap separating the two sides is now small? Does he accept the need to encourage a situation in which negotiations may be resumed and damaging strikes called off?

Mr. Millan

There is another meeting of the Scottish Teachers' Salary Committee on Friday of this week.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

The hon. Member described the last offer from the employers as very fair. Is he aware that if it were to go through it would involve some assistant technical masters in secondary schools being paid more than the heads of their departments? Does he think that that is either fair or sensible? How does he justify a 10 per cent. increase to many teachers who happen not to be in short supply?

Mr. Millan

The increases to technical and other practical and aesthetic teachers are well above the average of 15 per cent. involved in the management side's offer. If there were any particular anomaly, that would be a matter to be discussed, but I am not aware of the anomaly which the hon. Member has mentioned.

Mr. Lawson

Is my hon. Friend aware that in its weekly journal the Educational Institute is talking of the virtues of coercing the Government? Will my hon. Friend and his right hon. Friend ensure that it is negotiation on a reasonable basis and that there is no giving way to coercion?

Mr. Millan

I can give my hon. Friend a full assurance about that.