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Created: 19 April 2016 | Last Updated: 19 April 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

EIS Challenges West Dunbartonshire Council Claims as Dispute Continues

18 April 2016

The EIS has written to all West Dunbartonshire councillors in a challenge to the Council over unfounded claims it has made in relation to strike action by secondary teachers.

The EIS has also submitted an emergency Motion to the Scottish Trades Union Congress, which starts Monday 18 April in Dundee, calling for the STUC to support the dispute by rejecting any imposed solution and calling on West Dunbartonshire Council to agree a negotiated settlement.

In a letter from General Secretary Larry Flanagan, sent to all Councillors in West Dunbartonshire, the EIS made clear that support for the strike remains strong. The letter also repeats the EIS offer for further discussions with the authority to attempt to reach a negotiated solution to the dispute.

In the letter, Mr Flanagan says, "Our members are dismayed at recent attempts by council spokespersons to undermine the legitimacy of this strike action.

"The Council’s suggestion that fewer than 50% of Secondary teachers support the strike action was factually untrue. It is shameful that the Council would seek to distort so blatantly the democratically expressed views of our members.

"This is from the same school of anti-union rhetoric that runs through the UK government’s Trade Union Bill.

"For the record, the last ballot which related to strike action achieved a 91% endorsement from our members on an 88% turnout – figures which even the Tory Government at Westminster couldn’t dispute.

"The danger of this approach suggests that rather than recognise the strength of feeling and determination of our members, the Council seems happy to delude itself that somehow this will all go away. It won’t.

"As things stand, this action has the possibility of stretching into the next school session – something we wish to avoid but something we are prepared for also.

"A negotiated settlement presents a much better option for West Dunbartonshire Council, our members and most importantly the pupils and parents of West Dunbartonshire. The EIS is willing to meet at any time to take this agenda forward.”