Third teaching union announces January strikes in bitter pay dispute

Members of the NASUWT union will join EIS and SSTA colleagues for strike action next month.

Third Scottish teaching union NASUWT announces January strikes amid bitter pay dispute iStock

A third Scottish teaching union has announced strike action in January in a long-running dispute over pay.

Members of NASUWT will join colleagues from the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) by walking out of classrooms amid a stalemate in talks with the Scottish Government and local authority body COSLA.

Primary teachers will strike on January 10, while their secondary school equivalents plan walkouts on January 11.

Unions unanimously rejected the latest tabled uplift – worth 6.85% to the lowest paid staff – and called for pay to be increased by 10%.

That was branded “unaffordable” by education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, leading to SSTA and NASUWT members striking earlier this month – weeks after an EIS members’ strike shut most of the schools across the country in late November.

All three will now strike in January, while the EIS action – which runs across 16 days in different areas – will run into February.

NASUWT general secretary, Dr Patrick Roach, said the union had “been left with no choice,” adding a “substantially improved” offer was required to avert further action.

“At a time when teachers are facing the biggest squeeze on their finances in a generation, offering what amounts to a further real-terms pay cut is simply not good enough,” he added.

“Our members are not prepared to stand by while their pay dwindles and their living costs rise.”

The SSTA and NASUWT represent a smaller pool than EIS, but closures will likely still affect certain areas.

It could mean schools shut across the country on various dates between January 10 and February 6 when the final EIS strikes in Inverclyde and Shetland are due to end.

NASUWT Scottish national official, Mike Corbett, said: “Teaching is a critical job and one that is uniquely and increasingly challenging. Teachers just want pay levels that reflect the years of training they have undertaken, the high level of workload involved and the skill involved in meeting the needs of all pupils.

“They want salaries that enable experienced teachers to remain in the profession long-term and which will incentivise new entrants to join teaching.

“They want pay levels that demonstrate they are respected and valued as the key workers they are.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

2023 teacher strike dates in full:

Tuesday, January 10: NASUWT members across Scotland (primary schools)

Wednesday, January 11: NASUWT members across Scotland (secondary schools) and SSTA members across Scotland.

Monday, January 16: EIS members in Glasgow and East Lothian.

Tuesday, January 17: EIS members in Perth and Kinross and North Ayrshire.

Wednesday, January 18: EIS members in Orkney and Fife

Thursday, January 19: EIS members in Moray and North Lanarkshire

Friday, January 20: EIS members in Angus and East Dunbartonshire

Monday, January 23: EIS members in East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

Tuesday, January 24: EIS members in Stirling and East Renfrewshire

Wednesday, January 25: EIS members in South Ayrshire and Edinburgh

Thursday, January 26: EIS members in Midlothian and West Dunbartonshire

Friday, January 27: EIS members in Renfrewshire and Falkirk

Monday, January 30: EIS members in Aberdeenshire and Scottish Borders

Tuesday, January 31: EIS members in Highland and West Lothian

Wednesday, February 1: EIS members in Clackmannanshire and Aberdeen

Thursday, February 2: EIS members in Dundee and Argyll and Bute

Friday, February 3: EIS members in South Lanarkshire and Western Isles

Monday, February 6: EIS members in Inverclyde and Shetland

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