Teacher strikes to 'escalate' as Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney and SNP ministers to be personally targeted

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Teachers are set to target the constituencies of senior SNP ministers, including the First Minister, as they escalate their strike action over pay.

The EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union, announced the escalation of industrial action on Tuesday. marking the one-year anniversary of when the union submitted its pay claim for 2022/23, which continues to be subject to negotiation.

Alongside previously announced action, the constituencies of Nicola Sturgeon, deputy first minister John Swinney, education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cosla resources spokesperson Katie Hagmann, and Scottish Green education spokesperson Ross Greer will all be specifically targeted by strike action.

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This will see four of those five areas, comprising of parts of Glasgow, Perth, Dunfermline, and Dumfries and Galloway, hit by strikes between Wednesday, February 22 and Friday, February 24. All five areas, with details of exactly which schools yet to be released, will see a further three days of action from Tuesday, March 7.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: “It is deeply regrettable that the continuing inaction, obfuscation and spin from the Scottish Government and Cosla on teachers’ pay has led to an escalation of our programme of strike action.

"It has now been a year since our pay claim was submitted, and teachers should have had their pay rise in their pay packet last April. Instead, the Scottish Government and Cosla initially offered a pathetic 2 per cent pay settlement – at a time when inflation was nearly four times that amount.

"Since then, the Scottish Government and Cosla have dithered, delayed and dragged their feet while the cost of living has continued to soar.”

Ms Bradley added: “The latest offer, for a well-below inflation 5 per cent, has now been kicking around for six months and has been rejected by Scotland’s teachers twice. Our members have already taken part in three days of national strike action, and a further 16 days of rolling action across the country.

Teachers are set to strike in specific areas, targeting SNP ministers and a Green MSP.Teachers are set to strike in specific areas, targeting SNP ministers and a Green MSP.
Teachers are set to strike in specific areas, targeting SNP ministers and a Green MSP.

"The response from the Scottish Government and Cosla has been, essentially, nil – and this now has forced an escalation in our action. The offer of a 9 per cent real-terms pay cut, which is what is on the table, will never be acceptable.”

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville told MSPs in Holyrood that the government remains “in talks” with unions.

She said: “Recent dialogue has explicitly focused on potential areas of compromise with the view to reaching an agreement which is acceptable to all sides.

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"Only COSLA, as the employer, can make a formal offer to the teaching unions.”

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