Nicola Sturgeon joins striking school workers on picket line

The former first minister joined the picket line on Thursday as strikes enter a third day.

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon joins striking school workers on picket line in Edinburgh Unison Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon joined striking school workers on the picket line in Edinburgh on Thursday.

Members of Unison trade union have entered their third day of strike action in an ongoing dispute over pay with COSLA and the Scottish Government.

The union shared an image of the former first minister standing with workers outside Royal Mile Primary School.

Unison Scotland tweeted: “Solidarity from former First Minister @NicolaSturgeon to @unisonedin members on their day three picket line. But where is @HumzaYousaf ? Wind, rain or shine, we stand together for fair pay.”

The strikes have led to school closures across the country in 24 local authority areas.

Unison’s Scottish secretary Lilian Macer dubbed the current pay offer “too little, too late and too vague” on Tuesday.

She said: “The offer we’re looking for is significantly above what has been offered. We are seeking the Scottish Government to come round the table with COSLA, with Unison, to negotiate a fair pay settlement for local government workers in Scotland.”

GMB Scotland and Unite have suspended strikes while they consider the latest offer from council umbrella body COSLA.

A spokesperson for COSLA, the governing body for local authorities, said: “This is a very strong offer that equates to 10% or £2,006 for the lowest paid at the request of the trade unions.

“Throughout these negotiations we have met every request of our trade union colleagues.”

Scotland’s deputy first minister, Shona Robison, said pay negotiations were a matter for local government employers and unions and that the Scottish Government would “encourage” those involved to continue negotiations in the hope that a resolution could be found.

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