Rolling Teacher Strikes Reach Mid-Point, with no end to Dispute in Sight

Created on: 24 Jan 2023 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023

The ongoing rolling 16-day programme of teacher pay strikes will reach its mid-point tomorrow, with teachers in Edinburgh and South Ayrshire set to take strike action, followed by teachers in Midlothian and West Dunbartonshire on Thursday and in Falkirk and Renfrewshire on Friday.

Wednesday's events will include picket lines at Edinburgh and South Ayrshire schools, together with local rallies and demonstrations.

In Edinburgh, a rally will be held at the Mound from 11am with speakers including STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer and EIS President Andrene Bamford. In South Ayrshire, members will gather at Burns Cottage in Alloway from 10am to mark the Bard’s national day while also highlighting the need for a fair pay deal for Scotland’s teachers.

As the dispute rolls on, the EIS yesterday wrote to the National Education Union to offer solidarity to teachers in England and Wales who have recently voted to take strike action in pursuit of a fair pay award from the UK government.

In the letter, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley says, "It is testament to the strength of feeling of teachers about what is increasingly perceived as governments' real contempt for them, dressed up in warm words and sophistry, that in spite of the deliberately restrictive anti-trade union legislation that remains in force, that our respective unions were able to beat the ballot thresholds and achieve industrial action mandates."

Ms Bradley continued, "I hope that this will dissuade the governments in England and Wales from seeking to divide teachers and support staff on the issue of pay. Sadly, the Scottish Government for all its claims about its trade union-friendly credentials, is shamefully seeking to do this in Scotland."

Ms Bradley added, "Clearly, there continues to be miscalculation in Scotland of the strength of our members' resolve, as there does in England and Wales by the UK and Welsh governments; and misjudgement about the moral and financial unacceptability of another real-terms pay cut for education staff."

The EIS also, on Tuesday, released an online video correcting a number of inaccurate statements made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the teacher pay dispute in an interview with the BBC last weekend.