A new pay deal offer has been made to the school support staff who went on strike in Scotland over a pay dispute. The strike action has been suspended while the union members consider the deal.
What is the pay dispute about?
The pay dispute involves the school support staff, such as classroom assistants, janitors, and catering workers, who are represented by the union Unison. They rejected a pay deal from the local council body COSLA that was accepted by other unions, such as Unite and GMB, last month. The deal offered a 3% pay rise for workers earning up to £80,000 and a flat rate of £800 for those earning more. Unison argued that the deal was unfair and did not reflect the value of their work.
How did the strike action affect the schools?
The strike action started on Wednesday, affecting schools in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, and Inverclyde. The union said that more than 8,000 workers took part in the strike, which disrupted the normal functioning of the schools. Some schools had to close or reduce their hours, while others had to cancel or postpone activities and events. The union also planned to extend the strike action to other areas, such as South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh, and Fife, next week.
What is the new deal offer and how did it come about?
The new deal offer was made by COSLA on Friday, after a meeting with the union representatives. COSLA said that additional funding has been found to meet the “extra demands” of Unison and urged the union bosses to put the deal to its members. The details of the new offer have not been disclosed, but the union said that it was “significantly improved” from the previous one. The union also said that it was suspending the strike action while it consults its members on the new offer.
How have the parties involved reacted to the new offer?
The union said that it was pleased that COSLA had listened to its concerns and made a new offer. It also said that it would recommend the offer to its members, but the final decision would be made by a ballot. The union said that it hoped that the new offer would resolve the pay dispute and end the need for further industrial action.
COSLA said that it was delighted that the union had agreed to suspend the strike action and consider the new offer. It also said that it valued the work of the school support staff and wanted to reach a fair and sustainable settlement. It said that it hoped that the new offer would be accepted by the union members and end the dispute.
The Scottish government said that it welcomed the progress made by COSLA and Unison and hoped that the new offer would be accepted by the union members. It also said that it was committed to supporting the local government pay policy and ensuring that the school support staff receive a fair and competitive pay.
What will happen next?
The union said that it would consult its members on the new offer over the next few weeks and announce the result of the ballot by the end of November. If the offer is accepted, the strike action will be called off and the pay dispute will be resolved. If the offer is rejected, the strike action will resume and the dispute will continue.
The new offer has raised hopes of ending the pay dispute and restoring normalcy in the schools. However, the final outcome will depend on the vote of the union members, who will have to weigh the pros and cons of the new offer. Will they accept the new deal and end the strike? Or will they reject it and continue the fight? The answer will be revealed soon.