Monday, November 28, 2022

When teachers’ strikes are planned in Scotland and why they take place

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The action is expected to shut down the majority of schools across the country as thousands drop out

Teachers in Scotland will pull out on Thursday in the first national strike over pay in almost 40 years.

The action is expected to shut down most schools across the country as thousands drop out.

Here’s everything you need to know about why the strikes are happening and where they will be impacted.

The unions want a salary increase of 10 percent, but so far they have only been offered 5 percent by the umbrella organization Cosla.

A final offer made Tuesday to stave off a strike would result in the lowest-paid employees receiving a 6.85 percent raise, most of them 5 percent.

This would mean those earning less than £40,107 would receive an extra £1,926 a year – an increase of 6.86 per cent for those on the lowest paid.

Those in the higher pay brackets would get 5 percent.

That was turned down by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), and its general secretary Andrea Bradley branded it a “clumsy repetition” of that year’s offer.

The EIS union said 96 percent of its members supported a strike with a turnout of 71 percent, with the first day of action to be followed by more in the run-up to Christmas.

EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley previously said there had been “months of unwarranted tremors and delays” and warned teachers had “enough”.

“A strike is always the last resort, but our members are increasingly angry at their treatment by their employers and the Scottish Government,” she added.

“In the current context – with the cost of living exploding and the prices of food and fuel, housing and heating ever increasing – our members are neither willing nor able to accept a deep real cut in their salaries.

“Cosla and the Scottish Government really need to look out for Scotland’s teachers now and they need to come back with a much improved salary offer if strikes starting this month are to be avoided.”

Holyrood’s opposition parties criticized ministers for failing to reach an agreement with teachers’ unions, noting that students who had already missed class time due to the pandemic were now facing further disruption.

Scottish Conservative Education spokesman Stephen Kerr said pupils who had already been thrown back by Covid could now “fall further behind” if the strikes were not averted.

Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The Scottish Government and Local Government value teachers.

“We recognize the importance of finding a fair and affordable payment solution, both for the workforce experiencing a cost of living crisis and for the students and parents who rely on the vital services of our faculty.

“We are determined to work together to support a fair salary offer for teachers through the Scottish Bargaining Committee for Teachers and to avoid unnecessary strikes and the disruption that this will bring.

“Strikes in our schools are in nobody’s interest – least of all students, parents and carers who have already faced significant disruption over the last three years.”

The first strike will take place on Thursday 24th November and was organized by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and the Association of Head Teachers and Deputes Scotland (AHDS).

The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) is also planning a strike on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th December.

Another union, NASUWT, says it will also go on strike on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th December and will also have strike-free action from 9th December, meaning they will not cover absent colleagues or send more than One meeting outside of the students will attend sessions each week.

Strikes were also announced by the EIS on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 10th January 2023.

If you are unsure, check with your municipality. The strike on Thursday 24 November will reportedly affect the following schools:

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