TEACHERS are planning to take strike action within months as they move to a war footing in their battle for a 10 per cent pay rise.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) will discuss the move at the union’s annual general meeting in Dundee next week.

A motion from the union’s ruling council calls for an escalation of the intensity of the current pay campaign “building towards a state of strike readiness”.

The campaign would culminate in a strike ballot during the next school session, which starts after the summer holidays.

Read more: Teachers demand 10 per cent pay hike

Similar calls for strike action in support of the pay claim have been made by the union branches in Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire.

The move comes after teachers branded an offer of a three per cent wage increase “unacceptable” earlier this year and said they would be prepared to walk out of the classroom if it wasn’t improved.

The EIS argues teachers’ pay has been seriously eroded over the past decade making the profession less attractive to graduates and leading to difficulties recruiting staff.

Scroll down to see what EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan has to say

However, Cosla, the umbrella body for local authorities, said teachers should be offered a three per cent rise in line with other council workers - describing the offer as “best and final”.

Local authorities say offering a higher sum to teachers would break the traditional practice or offering all council workers the same amount.

Cosla has now written to the Scottish Government suggesting that if they want teachers to be given a larger increase they should offer the same to other workers and fund the deal accordingly.

The EIS has recently launched a £20,000 billboard campaign to win public support for its pay campaign.

Read more: Teachers in strike threat over pay

Larry Flanagan, the union’s general secretary, said: “Following more than a decade of austerity and real-terms pay cuts totalling more the 20 per cent teachers have simply had enough and are not prepared to accept it any more.

“The message to local authorities and the Scottish Government is clear – if you truly value education, you also need to value teachers by paying them a professional salary.

“The delivery of a 10 per cent pay increase for all teachers this year is an essential first step to restoring teachers’ pay to an appropriate level, and starting to address the teacher recruitment and retention problems facing schools across Scotland.”

The EIS also intends to hold a demonstration on the issue at its AGM, sparking calls from opposition politicians for a root and branch review of teacher pay.

Tavish Scott, education spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “Teachers want a fair financial settlement and a recognition of their workload. Schools have teaching vacancies across Scotland and this is why.

“The Scottish Government need to immediately launch a new McCrone review, to properly assess teachers’ terms and conditions. Teaching must be a valued, professional carer that people want to follow.”

Read more: Salaries of Scottish teachers 'falling behind'

A spokesman for local authority umbrella body Cosla added: “We have made an offer to all of the local government workforce in line with the public sector pay policy.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We value teachers highly and are providing £112 million this year to fund councils to maintain teacher numbers, including the recent teacher pay award.

"We urge everyone around the table to take a constructive approach. It should be noted this government was the first in the UK to commit to lift the one per cent public sector pay cap.”

The row comes after more than a decade of pay erosion for the teaching profession as a result of wider public sector pay restraint following the financial crash of 2007/08. The EIS estimates the decline at some 13 per cent.

A major report on education systems around the developed world last year found the value of pay for secondary staff in Scotland was ranked 19th out of 37 countries compared to eighth in 2007.

The survey report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concluded: “In contrast to the general trend across OECD countries, teachers’ statutory salaries in ... Scotland were worth less in real terms than they were in 2005.”