Scottish teachers begin 16-day wave of rolling strikes

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Teachers are launching a fresh wave of rolling strikes across Scotland as a union leader warned there was no end in sight to the current pay dispute.

Beginning on Monday with Glasgow and East Lothian, the action will impact two local authorities each day for the next 16 days.

Last Monday, it was declared by the Educational Institute of Scotland that 22 additional days of strikes would follow.

A requested 10% salary increase has been deemed unaffordable by ministers and councils.

The lowest-paid employees are eligible for increases of up to 6.85% under the current 5% offer.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, the secretary of education, stated on Friday that she was still dedicated to a “fair and sustainable wage arrangement.”

All 32 council leaders would need to agree to any new proposal, but they aren’t scheduled to convene until the end of the next week.

The majority of Scotland’s elementary schools were closed on Tuesday, while all secondary schools were closed on Wednesday due to strikes.

Preliminary exams due to take place also had to be rescheduled for some pupils.

The strikes also saw all four unions representing teachers and headteachers walk out together for the first time.

Members of the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union, the NASUWT, Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) and the Association of Headteachers and Deputes (AHDS) unions were involved.

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Ahead of the latest phase of strike action, EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said there was a willingness to break the deadlock.

But she told BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show: “In terms of an an end in sight, I think we are still quite a bit away from that because there aren’t figures on the table as yet that we can meaningfully work with to see a way through this dispute.

“There’s a bit more work to be done on behalf of Cosla and the Scottish government to get us there.”

Ms Bradley told the programme the offer that was made in November was “practically the same” as the previous one in August.

She added: “It has been badged as ‘fair and affordable’ by the Scottish government, in terms of what is fair and affordable to them, but we have been absolutely clear throughout this process so far that that 5% offer is neither fair nor affordable for our members.”

Asked if she thought that more effort was being put into ending the nurses’ dispute, the EIS general secretary said: “We are not really in the business of comparing ourselves to other groups of workers.

“We wish every group of workers who is in pursuit of fair play all the very best and we stand in solidarity with them.

“What we would say is that with the resource that the Scottish government has they should be able to attend to the needs of both sets of workers.”


EIS members have already taken three days of national strike action – one in November and two in January.

On Friday the union announced a 22-day programme of additional strike action.

It will include two days of national strike action in all schools on 28 February and 1 March, followed by a rolling programme of strikes for 20 days between 13 March and 21 April.

Over the second rolling strike period, each local authority area will be impacted by three consecutive days of action, with one day of strike action in all schools bookended by one-day strikes in primary and secondary schools.