Ellie Ames 18 August 2023

School staff at 10 Scottish councils to strike

School staff at 10 Scottish councils to strike  image
Image: Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock.com.

Local authority employees in schools and early years provisions across Scotland will strike for two days next month, GMB Scotland has announced.

The union served notice on 10 councils, informing them that staff working across catering, cleaning, pupil support, administration and janitorial services would strike on 13 and 14 September.

In April, 94% of GMB Scotland’s members rejected a 5.5% pay rise offered by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

The union said its members voted for industrial action after COSLA refused to revise the offer or ask the Scottish government for support.

GMB Scotland’s senior organiser for public services Keir Greenaway said the pay offer did not ‘come close to matching the surging cost of living’.

Mr Greenaway said: ‘Scotland stands on the shoulders of our local authority workers and the value of their work must be reflected in their salaries.

‘COSLA has refused to seriously engage with our members during what has been a protracted, frustrating process. If they had, parents and pupils would not now be facing disruption.

‘COSLA and Scottish ministers need to engage now or risk turning a crisis into a calamity.’

Mr Greenaway warned that a meeting next Friday (25 August) would be the last opportunity for COSLA to avert the strikes.

A COSLA spokesperson said: ‘The reality of the situation is that as employers, council leaders have made a strong offer to the workforce – a strong offer which clearly illustrates the value Councils place on their workforce, and it compares well to other sectors.

‘It recognises the cost-of-living pressures on our workforce and critically, it seeks to protect jobs and services.

‘While the offer value in year is 5.5%, the average uplift on salaries going into the next financial year is 7%.’

Earlier this month, members of Unite who work across education and early years services in Scotland also voted to strike.

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