Birthday of Scotland's Bard Marked by Continuing Teacher Strikes Across Scotland

Created on: 25 Jan 2023 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023

Teachers in Edinburgh and South Ayrshire marked the birthday of Scotland's national Bard, Rabbie Burns, as a programme of rolling national strike action over pay continued today.

Well-supported picket lines were in operation outside schools in Edinburgh and South Ayrshire this morning, before teachers gathered at the Mound in Edinburgh and at Burns' Cottage in Alloway to make the case for an improved pay deal for Scotland's teachers. Strikes will continue tomorrow, in Midlothian and West Dunbartonshire.

Commenting this afternoon, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "As we mark the birthday of Scotland’s world-famous national Bard, Rabbie Burns, the teachers who will educate the country's next generation of poets and authors, doctors and nurses, lawyers and judges – and a great many more besides – are continuing their programme of strike action in pursuit of a fair pay settlement.

"The EIS is now half-way through a rolling programme of strike action that we hoped would never be necessary. Yet, despite these unwanted strikes and the impact on the education of our young people, the Scottish Government and COSLA are still refusing to budge on their inferior, sub-inflation pay offer that has been so overwhelmingly rejected by teachers."

Ms Bradley added, "As Burns wrote, O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us – well, Scotland’s teachers know how the public, parents and pupils of Scotland see us.

"They see us as vital public sector workers who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and beyond to support young people. The support for teachers from parents, carers, pupils and the wider community continues to shine through on the picket lines, at rallies, on social media and in news coverage of our ongoing dispute.

"Sadly, it seems only to be the councils who employ teachers and the Scottish Government who hold the purse strings that fail to appreciate the value of Scotland's teachers."

Ms Bradley added, "We are now approaching a year since trade unions submitted their pay claim on behalf of Scotland’s teachers.

"As we mark the Birthday of Rabbie Burns – and look ahead to the first birthday of the submission of the teachers' pay claim – we are again urging the Scottish Government and COSLA to Pay Attention and to return to the negotiating table with an improved and fair pay offer for Scotland's teachers."

Ms Bradley will attend Midlothian picket lines at Burnbrae Primary School and Lasswade High School on Thursday before addressing a campaign rally at Midlothian House, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith from 1130am. In West Dunbartonshire, following school picket lines, a rally will be held from 10.30am at Clydebank Town Hall.