TEACHERS have been told they can secure a pay rise of more than 10 per cent if they “close every school in Scotland” as part of a campaign of strike action.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union is demanding the 10 per cent rise after a decade of salary erosion.

Members have repeatedly threatened strike action and the union intends to intensify the campaign following the summer holidays.

Helen Connor, convener of the EIS salaries committee, told the union’s annual general meeting in Dundee that concerted action across Scotland could see members securing an even higher pay-out.

But she also warned members they may have to consider an offer that was lower than 10 per cent.

She said: “We need to be realistic. I am absolutely committed to the 10 per cent pay claim, but this is a negotiation and sometimes negotiations take you down a different road in terms of numbers.

“If you are offered eight per cent what are you going to do? We have a responsibility that if we are offered something we have to consult with members.

“If we can close every school in Scotland in October or November of this year then we would get well beyond ten per cent, but we need to make sure we engage the membership in whatever deal we are offered.”

Desmond Kenny, from the EIS ruling council, said: “We deserve at least 20 per cent to 24 per cent. The money has been stolen from us over the past ten years.”

Michael Dolan, a member of the EIS salaries committee, said the union would continue to negotiate in good faith, but a ballot on industrial action was “almost inevitable”.

He said: “It is strike action that keeps management awake at night and focuses their mind on a solution and it is strike action that will win this campaign.

“It is our experience that a day of action causes discomfort, but they get over that and for that reason we must embark on a well designed plan of action beyond one day.”

Earlier, Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, used his address to the AGM to call on members to back strikes if needed saying they were “in it to win it”.

Earlier this year, teachers rejected an offer of up to three per cent, which is in line with the Scottish Government’s public pay policy.

Mr Flanagan said 10 per cent was needed to address teacher recruitment and retention.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We welcome the commitment from EIS to playing its part in discussions.”