Schools across Scotland face closure after workers vote to strike

Scotand will see mass school closures in September amid an ongoing pay dispute between UNISON and COSLA.

Schools across Scotland could be forced to shut after workers voted overwhelmingly to strike amid a pay dispute.

Thousands of non-teaching staff will take part in the industrial action across the country in September amid an ongoing pay dispute between UNISON and COSLA over pay.

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

Staff were offered a 5% increase from April 2023, plus an additional increase that varied depending on an individual’s salary payable from January 2024.

But members voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer by 87%.

Nine in ten (90%) of those who rejected the offer also voted in favour of taking some form of strike action to try to secure an improved wage increase.

Lilian Macer, UNISON Scotland’s general secretary, said it was the “strongest possible mandate” the union could have achieved.

She added: “It shows the strength of feeling of our members, the resolve of our members to make sure that they get a fair and decent pay offer.”

Waste and recycling workers in Stirling and Perth and Kinross have already taken strike action earlier this month.

GMB previously announced its members would go on strike on September 13 and 14, also over an ongoing pay dispute.

The trade union said staff in schools across ten different councils will walk out after they were offered £700 below staff in England.

Those include workers in Aberdeen, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Orkney, Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire.

GMB represents more than 21,000 workers across Scotland’s 32 councils.

COSLA resources spokesperson, councillor Katie Hagmann, said she was confident an agreement could be reached.

She said the body remained in “dialogue” with the unions.

List of confirmed strike mandates in each council area

Aberdeen – GMB

Argyll & Bute – Unite

Clackmannanshire – GMB/Unite

Western Isles – GMB/Unite

Dundee – GMB/Unite

East Dunbartonshire – GMB/Unite

East Renfrewshire – Unite

Falkirk – GMB

Fife – Unite

Glasgow – GMB/Unite

Inverclyde – Unite

Orkney – GMB/Unite

Renfrewshire GMB

South Ayrshire – GMB

Perth and Kinross – Unison

Angus – Unison

Edinburgh – Unison

Aberdeenshire – Unison

West Dunbartonshire – Unison

Highland – Unison

South Lanarkshire – Unison

Shetland – Unison

North Ayrshire – Unison

Moray – Unison

Stirling – Unison

Dumfries – Unison

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