Three secondary schools in East Dunbartonshire will be hit by strike action next week in the run up to exams, in a dispute over teachers’ workloads.
Around 80 members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union and Women Teachers (NASUWT) at Kirkintilloch High school, Lenzie Academy and Bearsden Academy will take action next Tuesday with the threat of action spreading.
The union says East Dunbartonshire Council has failed to tackle management practices - such as overloading teachers with admin and bureaucracy - which have had an adverse impact on the workload and working conditions of teachers.
Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said the union was frustrated by “endless discussions” with the council.
“Whilst the Government must take responsibility for the year-on-year deterioration in teachers’ pay and conditions, there are actions that employers have the power to take locally to address some of the concerns raised by teachers and alleviate some of the pressures on them.
“It is disappointing that we have been forced to take action in East Dunbartonshire, but having attempted to engage in constructive discussions to work together on these issues, regrettably the council changed its position and instead of confirming it would work with us on the issues we had raised, would only commit to them informing local discussions.
“By the council’s own admission, these discussions have been going on for years.
“Endless meetings that fail to produce outcomes which make a tangible difference to teachers’ working lives to enable them to do their best for pupils are pointless. “
Jacqui MacDonald, the council’s chief education officer, said: “East Dunbartonshire Council regrets the decision of the NASUWT to take strike action in three of our secondary schools.
“The council has made positive steps through collegiate working with the teacher trades unions to address issues in relation to workload and tackling bureaucracy. We do not accept that we have refused to work with the NASUWT or any teacher trades union to address issues or concerns within our schools.
“The council is seeking legal advice and we will keep parents and carers updated.
“Meanwhile headteachers are working to assess the impact of the industrial action and will inform parents as soon as that is complete.”