Teachers' strike looms across all Scottish councils as notices issued

The EIS union warned all 32 local authorities face being hit by walk-outs if a better pay offer is not made.

EIS school teachers union in Scotland issue formal notice of strike ballot to all 32 councils iStock

Scotland’s biggest teaching union has issued formal notices of strike ballots to all 32 local authorities.

Members of the EIS previously voted by 91% to move for strike action over pay and conditions in a consultative ballot last month.

The latest move could see the closure of schools this autumn if an agreement between the union and COSLA, the governing body for local authorities, is not reached.

The union has now confirmed that a formal notice of a statutory strike ballot for teachers will open on Wednesday, October 12.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: “The issuing of the formal ballot notices, as required by law, marks a further serious warning to Scotland’s local authorities and the Scottish Government that they must improve their pay offer to teachers or face up to the reality of strike action closing schools across Scotland this autumn.”

She added: “Teachers do not consider the prospect of taking strike action lightly, but our members are deeply angry at the continuing dragging of feet and the series of sub-inflationary pay offers that have brought us to this point.

“Teachers are highly skilled professionals who perform a vital job which is crucial to the entire country, and they fully deserve to be paid appropriately for the essential work that they do. The message from EIS members could not be clearer – pay us properly, or we will strike in schools across the length and breadth of Scotland.”

The union say the previous result of 91% in favour of strike action, which came from a turnout of 78% of EIS members, would “obliterate the thresholds required as a mandate for strike action.”

Ms Bradley said the union remains confident that members will vote to take strike action in the next round of balloting.

She said: “The EIS listens to and represents the collective view of its members. As Scotland’s teaching professionals, our members have told us and will signal again in this ballot that they will not accept a deep real-terms pay cut, and are prepared to take strike action to achieve a fair settlement.”

“The EIS is confident that its members will again vote overwhelmingly for strike action in this statutory ballot. Time is now running out for an agreement to be reached. COSLA and the Scottish Government must come back with a better pay deal, which properly reflects the value of teachers, and which protects their salaries from further real-terms erosion amidst the soaring cost of living, in order to avert strike action on a scale that that will close schools across the country.”

STV News have contacted COSLA and the Scottish Government for comment.

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