Glasgow schools will open after strike action called off following talks

Two days of strike action were scheduled to take place across Glasgow on March 29 and 30.

Glasgow schools will open after council workers call off strike following ‘assurances’ from Susan Aitken iStock

Strike action planned by council workers across Glasgow has been cancelled following assurances that payments owed will be paid by October.

Council workers were set to go on a two-day strike on March 29 and 30 over the equal pay dispute, meaning all primary, nursery, and ASL schools in Glasgow were to close.

The strike was planned due to claims that Glasgow City Council had failed to resolve outstanding equal pay settlements or replace its grading system, after agreeing a settlement of more than £500m with nearly 16,000 current and former employees in 2019.

Following “assurances” from Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken that the original 2019 deal will be maintained, and that interim payments will be delivered by October, the strike action has been suspended.

Glasgow City Council confirmed that all primary, nursery and ASL schools across the city will not be forced to close, following the resolution.

Strikes are still planned for April 20 and 21, with union members wanting an offer and settlement plan to be set out before then.

GMB Scotland organiser Sean Baillie said: “Our members have suspended their strike action scheduled for this Tuesday and Wednesday, following assurances from the council leader that the 2019 deal will be maintained for negotiations over interim payments, and that those payments will be delivered by October. 

“This is not a decision taken lightly.

“There is a deep mistrust of the council among our members, and particularly toward the unelected officials who have consistently hindered progress to tackle the pay discrimination which they imposed. 

“The strike actions for April 20 and 21 remain scheduled.

“We expect the council leader’s participation in talks over the coming days and weeks, and that an offer and plan for the settlement and payment of interim and new claims is set-out in advance of April 20.”

Councillor Allan Casey, city convener for workforce said: “We are pleased that the planned strike action for next week has been called off and thank the unions for their constructive discussions this week.   

“Councillor Aitken and I are happy to meet the claimant representatives to progress discussions on a final equal pay settlement.

“We remain committed to righting this historic injustice.”

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “The council is committed to delivering pay equality and firmly believes that negotiation is the way to settle these cases.

“Earlier this month, committee gave officials authority to make offers to thousands of claimants – and we are pleased that unions have chosen to call off next week’s industrial action.

“We’ve agreed to meet at an early opportunity.

“Families and citizens who have been contacted this week about school and nursery closures and service disruption will now be relieved that normal service will be resumed.”

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