School staff strike over pay dispute in Scotland

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Why are school staff striking?

  • School staff in Scotland are members of¬†Unison, a trade union that represents public service workers.
  • Unison members rejected a pay deal from¬†Cosla, the council body that negotiates with local government workers, that was accepted by other unions.
  • Unison says the pay deal amounts to a¬†real-terms pay cut¬†and does not reflect the value and contribution of school staff.
  • Unison wants a¬†decent wage rise¬†and a minimum rate of pay of¬†¬£15 per hour¬†for all local government workers.

How is the strike affecting schools and nurseries?

  • The strike on Wednesday is part of a¬†rolling programme of action, Unison says, with fresh action also taking place on Wednesday November 8 across four more regions.
  • The strike affects¬†non-teaching staff¬†at dozens of schools and nurseries, such as classroom assistants, janitors, catering staff, and technicians.
  • The strike causes¬†disruption¬†for parents and students, as some schools and nurseries have to close or reduce their services.
  • The strike also puts¬†pressure¬†on teachers and headteachers, who have to cope with the absence of support staff.

school staff strike scotland

What is the response from Cosla and the Scottish Government?

  • Cosla says it has secured additional funding from the Scottish Government of¬†¬£94m¬†in order to make an¬†extremely strong¬†revised pay offer.
  • Cosla says the new offer represents a minimum wage increase of¬†¬£2,006¬†for those on the Scottish Government‚Äôs living wage and a minimum increase of¬†¬£1,929¬†for workers who are earning above the living wage.
  • Cosla says it is¬†disappointed¬†that Unison members have rejected the offer and decided to strike, as it believes the offer is fair and reasonable.
  • The Scottish Government says it has provided¬†record levels¬†of funding to local authorities and expects them to deliver fair pay deals for their workers.

What are the demands and expectations of Unison?

  • Unison says it is¬†committed¬†to reaching a resolution to the dispute as soon as possible and urges Cosla and the Scottish Government to get back to the negotiating table.
  • Unison says it wants to see a pay offer that reflects the¬†cost-of-living crisis¬†and the¬†dedication¬†of school staff, who have worked hard during the pandemic.
  • Unison says it also wants to see a commitment to implementing a minimum underpinning rate of pay of ¬£15 per hour for all local government workers, as part of a wider campaign for fair pay across the public sector.
  • Unison says it has the¬†support¬†of its 91,000 local government members, who voted overwhelmingly to reject Cosla‚Äôs latest pay offer.

What will happen next?

  • The strike on Wednesday is likely to be followed by more strikes on November 8 and possibly beyond, unless a breakthrough is reached between Unison, Cosla, and the Scottish Government.
  • The strike will continue to affect schools and nurseries across Scotland, causing inconvenience and uncertainty for parents and students.
  • The strike will also highlight the plight and importance of school staff, who play a vital role in supporting education and learning.
  • The strike will test the resolve and willingness of both sides to find a compromise and end the dispute.

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