Schools to be disrupted next month as staff set to strike over pay

Catering, cleaning, pupil support, administration and janitorial staff at schools will walk out in September.

Schools to be disrupted in September as staff set to strike amid pay dispute, GMB Scotland confirms GMB Scotland

School and early years staff across Scotland will strike for two days next month, the GMB union has confirmed.

The industrial action will affect almost a third of councils across Scotland and comes after local authority workers overwhelmingly rejected a 5.5% pay offer from council umbrella body COSLA in April, branding it unacceptable amid surging inflation and the cost of living crisis.

Staff in schools and early years working across catering, cleaning, pupil support, administration and janitorial services will walk out on September 13 and September 14 in Aberdeen, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Orkney, Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire.

GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services, Keir Greenaway warned talks next Friday will be the final opportunity for COSLA to avert disruptive strikes.

He said: “The latest figures show that, despite rising wages, pay is still being outstripped by inflation.

“The pay offer to council workers does not come close to matching the surging cost of living and one that is worth less with every month that passes.

“Scotland stands on the shoulders of our local authority workers and the value of their work must be reflected in their salaries.

“COSLA has refused to seriously engage with our members during what has been a protracted, frustrating process. If they had, parents and pupils would not now be facing disruption.

“COSLA and Scottish ministers need to engage now or risk turning a crisis into a calamity.”

A COSLA spokesperson said: “The reality of the situation is that as employers, council leaders have made a strong offer to the workforce.  A strong offer which clearly illustrates the value Councils place on their workforce, and it compares well to other sectors. It recognises the cost-of-living pressures on our workforce and critically, it seeks to protect jobs and services.

“While the offer value in year is 5.5%, the average uplift on salaries going into the next financial year is 7%.  Those on the Scottish Local Government Living Wage would get 9.12% and those at higher grades, where Councils are experiencing severe recruitment challenges, would see 6.05%.

“It is an offer which recognises both the vital role of the people who deliver our essential services across Councils every day and the value that we, as employers, place on them.  Crucially, it also raises the Scottish Local Government Living Wage by 99p to £11.84 per hour and sets out a commitment to work with our Trade Unions to develop a road map to £15 per hour in a way that protects our workforce and services we deliver.”

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