School strikes Scotland: Staff to strike in four council areas, including Glasgow, on November 1

​School staff in four Scottish council areas have announced plans to strike on Wednesday, November 1.

Unison members this week rejected a pay deal that was accepted by other unions and will walk out in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

The union announced nearly 90 per cent of those balloted voted to reject the most recent pay deal, which Unite and the GMB both accepted. The strike is part of a "rolling programme of action", the union said, with further dates in other councils to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Johanna Baxter, the head of local government at the union, said: "The strength of feeling amongst Unison school staff, who voted overwhelmingly to reject Cosla's latest pay offer, is clear for all to see. Both in terms of ballot votes and the number of people on picket lines across Scotland.

Staff will strike in schools in four council areas, including Glasgow, on November 1. Picture: John DevlinStaff will strike in schools in four council areas, including Glasgow, on November 1. Picture: John Devlin
Staff will strike in schools in four council areas, including Glasgow, on November 1. Picture: John Devlin

"We've also seen a surge in Unison membership. That's a testament to the strength of local government workers' resolve to continue their fight for fair pay.

"The union is committed to resolving this dispute as soon as possible.

"Cosla and the Scottish Government are urged to get back round the negotiating table to explore every avenue to reach a settlement and avoid further disruption for parents and students."

Mark Ferguson, the chair of Unison Scotland, said: "No one takes the decision to strike lightly.

"I'm a parent myself, so I understand the disruption strikes cause. But if wages don't rise, school staff will leave for other jobs beyond education that pay significantly more. That would be a disaster and would help no one.

"The current offer amounts to a real-terms pay cut and adds further stress to a dedicated workforce already suffering from the cost-of-living crisis.

"Cosla and the Scottish government need to give school staff a decent wage rise, fund any increase properly and commit to implementing a pay rate of £15 per hour for all local government workers."

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It is not yet clear how many schools will be impacted by the strike, or if they will have to close.

The revised offer represents a minimum increase of £2,006 for workers on the Scottish local government living wage, and a minimum of £1,929 for those above the rate.

The pay rise will be introduced on April 1 next year based on a 37-hour working week.

The living wage of £10.85 will rise to £11.89 per hour - equivalent to a 9.6% increase.

The offer also means council leaders will establish an advisory group to achieve a minimum of £15 per hour in local government.

Katie Hagmann, Cosla's resources spokesperson, said: "This ballot result is very disappointing given the strength of the offer. Scotland's council leaders value their workforce.

"We have listened to trade unions, met all their asks and worked with the Scottish Government to put an incredibly strong half a billion pound pay package on the table.

"Offering almost 10% or a £2,006 pay increase for lowest paid workers, which the unions asked for, and £1,929 or at least 5.5% for everyone else, is as far as local government can go without impacting service and jobs."

Glasgow City Council, Renfrewshire Council, East Renfrewshire Council and Inverclyde Council have been contacted for comment.



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