Schools across Scotland closed as teachers strike over pay

Almost all schools in Scotland have closed their doors to pupils as teachers took part in their first national strike for nearly 40 years after the latest dismissal. payment proposal as a “disgrace”.

Only a few primary schools in Orkney and Shetland opened as normal on Thursday, while children elsewhere stayed at home as thousands of members of the Education Institute Scotland (EIS) participated in the one-day strike.

The EIS represents 80% of Scotland’s teachers and Thursday’s industrial action has affected almost all primary, secondary and schools in need of extra support, as well as many nurseries and early years learning centres.

The union said there were picket lines across Scotland with regional pay campaign rallies planned in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Elgin during the afternoon.

Teachers voted overwhelmingly for strike action after rejecting a 5% pay offer in a ballot more than three months ago. Meanwhile, EIS described a last minute offer Touted as “cynical” by employers this week, the average value of an offer has been raised from 5% to just 5.07%.

The general secretary of the EIS, Andrea Bradley, said “their much-touted ‘liberal and progressive’ proposal is actually an average of 71 pence extra per week for Scottish teachers than the previously rejected proposal.”

“We really did not want to be in this position, and have been engaged constructively in talks for many months, but have been forced into this strike by the inaction of the Scottish Government and Cosala (Conference of Scottish Local Authorities) who have refused Give any correction in the salary offer completely rejected by the teachers three months ago.

The education secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said the latest proposal – the fourth that has gone to the unions – would mean a 21.8% cumulative increase in teacher pay from 2018 and a starting salary for a fully qualified teacher of £35,600 – £7,650. than counterparts in England.

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Somerville said, “It is absolutely impossible to make a 10% increase in the fixed budget the Scottish Government is working with.”

“I recognize the strength felt within the unions but they also need to recognize that the Scottish Government has a fixed budget and is already committed. Any new money for teacher salaries will have to come from elsewhere in the education sector. Will happen.

Under Cosla’s latest rejected pay proposal, some teachers earning less than £40,107 will receive an extra £1,926 a year, equivalent to a 6.86% increase for the lowest paid, while teachers in the top two bands will receive a 5.5% increase % increase is being offered. ,

Teachers told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland program about their anger over the latest pay cuts, and how difficult it was to take strike action. Andrew, a teacher who works in Angus, said: “Our main job is to look after and educate young people. We would love to do that but we also want that we get paid at par with inflation.”

The EIS is planning further strike action in the new year as the disruption continues in Scotland, while the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Union and the NASUWT union are planning to strike 7th and 8th DecemberThis led to the closure of some schools and disrupted timetables in others.

In EnglandMembers of the two largest teaching unions, the National Education Union and NASUWT, are voting to strike after the government failed to improve its 5% pay offer, which could lead to the closure of schools and colleges this winter has increased.

The Association of School and College Leaders has also opened its first consultative ballot, asking members whether they support a formal ballot on strike action.

Read full story at the guardian.com

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