Staff strikes in eight council areas across Scotland have been confirmed, posing a significant threat to the functioning of schools in the affected regions. Unison, a trade union representing workers, has notified local authorities in Edinburgh, Fife, South Lanarkshire, and Dumfries and Galloway that their members will engage in industrial action starting on Wednesday, November 8. This action is part of an ongoing dispute over pay.
In addition to the confirmed strikes, Unison has indicated that there will be further strike dates announced for other councils in due course. The union has already informed Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, and Inverclyde councils that school staff and early years establishment workers linked to schools will be participating in a strike on November 1. This decision came after Unison members voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest pay offer proposed by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).
The previous round of strikes in September saw over 21,000 workers represented by Unison take part in a three-day strike, resulting in the closure of 75% of Scotland’s schools. Despite repeated calls from Unison for COSLA and the Scottish government to engage in meaningful discussions, no invitations for negotiations have been extended.
Johanna Baxter, Unison Scotland’s head of local government, emphasized the union’s commitment to resolving the dispute promptly. However, the lack of progress in reaching a negotiated settlement leaves the possibility of further disruptions for parents and students. The determination of Unison’s 91,000 local government members, who overwhelmingly rejected COSLA’s latest pay offer, is a clear indication that they will continue fighting for an improved compensation package.
1. What is the reason for the staff strikes in Scottish schools?
The strikes are a result of an ongoing dispute over pay between the workers represented by Unison and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).
2. Which council areas will be impacted by the strikes?
The strikes have been confirmed in eight council areas across Scotland, including Edinburgh, Fife, South Lanarkshire, and Dumfries and Galloway.
3. How many schools were closed during the last round of strikes?
During the previous strikes in September, 75% of Scotland’s schools were closed as a result of the industrial action taken by Unison members.
4. Is there a possibility of further disruptions for parents and students?
Yes, there is a possibility of further disruptions if a negotiated settlement is not reached between Unison, COSLA, and the Scottish government.