School strikes suspended ahead of new pay offer

GMB industrial action next week has been called off, but walk outs by Unison members are still set to go ahead.

School strikes suspended ahead of new pay offer, GMB union confirms

Strikes that would have closed schools across ten Scottish councils next week have been suspended – but widespread action is still likely later this month.

Members of the GMB union, including janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff, were due to go on strike on Wednesday and Thursday in several council areas.

Around 30,000 local authority workers across a range of departments were balloted on the action earlier this month.

It was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that industrial action had been temporarily suspended by the union as talks over a pay deal continue – with a new deal expected to be tabled next week.

However, schools across Scotland still face disruption with Unison strikes set to go ahead late this month.

If the new pay offer is rejected, then GMB will coordinate industrial action with the other unions.

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland’s senior organiser in public services, said: “We wanted to give parents, children and local authorities as much clarity around our plans as possible.

“We had served notice for two days of strike action this month but as our sister unions cannot join us on these dates these have been withdrawn and we are actively discussing joint action with our sister unions for later in the month.

“COSLA has an opportunity to avert that action if they can offer our members a fair pay rise and we can only urge them to take that opportunity.”

Unison confirmed a total of 1,868 schools around the country will close when over 21,000 members walk out with dates due to be confirmed tomorrow, STV News understands.

GMB, Unison and Unite most recently rejected an average pay increase of 5.5%.

The ten councils due to be affected next week were Aberdeen, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Orkney, Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire.

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