Schools in a quarter of Scotland’s council areas could be forced to shut in November after a union announced a series of strikes.
Support staff across eight local authorities will take industrial action after Unison rejected the latest pay offer by local government agency COSLA.
The union claimed the revised deal – which was accepted by Unite and GMB – amounts to a “real-terms pay cut”.
Unison Scotland’s head of local government Johanna Baxter urged COSLA and the Scottish Government to “get back round the table” to “avoid further disruption for parents and students”.
In September pupils lost three days of school after 21,000 Unison members staged a walkout.
That action closed around 75% of Scotland’s schools.
The latest strikes affect a quarter of Scotland’s 32 council areas but Unison has warned it could ballot more staff.
“Our existing strike mandate covers 75% of Scotland’s schools,” it told council leaders.
COSLA has said its latest offer is as far as local authorities can go.
Humza Yousaf told unions there would be no more funding from the Scottish Government to pay for an improved deal.
The action is separate from the previous teachers’ pay dispute which was resolved earlier this year.
The current dispute involves non-teaching staff including caterers, cleaners, pupil support workers, those in administration and janitorial workers.
Where and when are the school strikes happening?
- Glasgow City
- East Renfrewshire
A large proportion of schools in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire will be closed during the strikes next Wednesday.
In Glasgow all nurseries and primary schools, and additional support learning schools, will close on November 1, while secondary schools in Glasgow will only be open for S4–S6, except for Glasgow Gaelic Secondary School which will be closed to all pupils.
In East Renfrewshire all primary schools, nursery classes within schools and Isobel Mair School will be closed while secondary schools will be closed to all S1-S3 pupils, though open to S4-S6 pupils.
The position will be similar in Renfrewshire, while Inverclyde Council has yet to confirm its plans.
The position will be similar in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, with arrangements for S4-S6 pupils still being finalised in the latter.
- South Lanarkshire
- Dumfries and Galloway
Schools affected by the November 8 strikes are still assessing the impact the walkouts could have on services and parents should be made aware sometime before the date.
South Lanarkshire said it is aiming to give parents and carers at least one weeks’ notice.
Fife Council’s head of education and children’s services, Shelagh McLean, said the local authority will try to minimise the impact of the strike.
But she added: “We cannot rule out closures of school buildings to pupils during any industrial action and we will be in touch with parents and carers as soon as possible with more information.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council said it will take time to evaluate whether its schools and early learning centres will be able to stay open throughout the walkout.
A spokesperson said: “Taking into account lessons learnt from the last round of strikes, and as our schools return from holiday on Monday next week, our position will be determined and shared immediately afterwards with parents and carers of arrangements in relation to any potential closures or disruption.”
Edinburgh’s education, children and families convener, Joan Griffiths, said: “I, along with many parents and carers, feel extremely frustrated that pupils may miss yet more time in schools due to this latest round of strike action.
“There is still time to get this resolved if the Scottish Government and COSLA act now to avoid the planned action.
“Educating our children and young people is a priority for us and I’m sure everyone wants this to be resolved quickly to avoid any more lost learning.”
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