A PAY rise for hundreds of teachers in Inverclyde will cost nearly £4m - with around £1.5m coming from cash-strapped Inverclyde Council.

Earlier this year, teachers across Scotland overwhelmingly accepted a 13.5 per cent pay hike after a protracted dispute with their employers led to fears that a strike would be called.

Members of the country’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), voted to accept the Scottish Government’s deal staggered over three years.

It offers a three per cent rise backdated to April 2018, seven per cent from April this year, and a further three per cent from April 2020 – a total increase of 13.5 per cent.

The Telegraph can now reveal that the cost of the wage increase for teachers in Inverclyde will come to £3.7m.

Approximately £1.4m of that will be funded by Inverclyde Council, which currently faces a large black hole in its budget.

The Telegraph reported earlier this week that the local authority is battling a huge £19m shortfall.

We also revealed that local households face a 10 per cent rise in council tax to help combat the gap, on top of the 4.79 per cent hike in bills implemented earlier this year.

Jobs have also been cut by the local authority and there are fears more could go, with all departments asked to draw up savings packages.

A spokesperson for Inverclyde Council said: “Every year the council has to produce a balanced budget.

"That budget takes into account all the costs that the council faces and balances them against the income the council receives from central government grants and local council tax collection.

"Over recent years the council has had to find savings to make the budget balance and it’s likely that we will have to make more savings in the future.

"But this is due to a complex range of issues rather than any one budget item."

The spokesman said that for the increase up to 1 April 2019, 7.2 per cent has been funded by the Scottish Government and three per cent by Inverclyde Council.

The three per cent due in 2020 will also be funded by Inverclyde Council.