Another week of teacher strikes to close schools in ten council areas

Schools will close across the country amid ongoing pay dispute between unions, Cosla and Scottish Government.

Teachers in ten council areas will walk out this week as another six days of rolling strikes get under way.

Schools in two local authority areas will close each day until next Monday, with the pay dispute between teachers, Cosla and the Scottish Government becoming increasingly entrenched.

Unions are accusing the Scottish Government and councils of having “little to no interest” in finding the funding required to resolve the matter.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, began a rolling 16-day programme of strikes from January 16.

This is the third week in this phase of industrial action, with schools set to shut in Aberdeenshire, the Borders, the Highlands, West Lothian, Clackmannanshire, Aberdeen, Dundee, Argyll and Bute, South Lanarkshire and the Western Isles.

The final day of the strike programme will take place next Monday (February 6), when teachers will walk out in Inverclyde and Shetland.

Monday, January 16GlasgowEast Lothian
Tuesday 17Perth and KinrossNorth Ayrshire
Wednesday 18OrkneyFife
Thursday 19MorayNorth Lanarkshire
Friday 20AngusEast Dunbartonshire
Monday 23East AyrshireDumfries and Galloway
Tuesday 24StirlingEast Renfrewshire
Wednesday 25South AyrshireEdinburgh
Thursday 26MidlothianWest Dunbartonshire
Friday 27RenfrewshireFalkirk
Monday 30AberdeenshireBorders
Tuesday 31HighlandWest Lothian
Wednesday, February 1ClackmannanshireAberdeen
Thursday 2DundeeArgyll and Bute
Friday 3South LanarkshireWestern Isles
Monday 6InverclydeShetland

Unions have already rejected a pay offer which would see most teachers receive a sub-inflationary 5% wage rise, with the lowest earners getting an increase of almost 7%.

They are arguing for a 10% uplift, which the Scottish Government said was unaffordable.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The union demands for a 10% increase for all teachers – even the highest paid – is not affordable within the Scottish Government’s fixed budget and a more pragmatic approach is needed before we can reach a compromise.

“The Scottish Government values the hard work that our teaching workforce put in for our learners and we remain absolutely committed to ensuring they receive a fair pay deal.

“We remain in talks with unions and hope that these will continue to progress towards a compromise to ensure a sustainable deal for all involved.”

Somerville has called for industrial action to be reconsidered while talks continue, but unions say the Scottish Government has failed to bring a better offer than 5% and 6.85% for probationers to the table for the last five months.

Four offers have been made to teaching unions via the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) which brings the Scottish Government, unions and Cosla together – but these have all been rejected.

The EIS has already planned further strike action in all schools and sectors on February 28 and March 1, followed by a rolling programme of strikes for 20 days between March 13 and April 21.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: “After a year of dither, delay and disingenuity from the Scottish Government and Cosla, Scotland’s teachers have simply had enough.

“Our members are resolute and determined to secure a fair pay settlement, which both properly reflects their value and also takes account of the soaring cost of living.”

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