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Scottish teachers are halfway through rolling program of strike

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Trekking teachers will gather outside the cottage where Robert Burns was born as a rolling program of regional action reaches its halfway mark.

As Scots mark the anniversary of Burns’ birth, members of the EIS will gather outside Burns Cottage at Elway in Ayrshire.

Teachers in both South Ayrshire and Edinburgh are taking strike action on Wednesday – as a 16-day program of strike action organized by the union reaches its halfway mark.

As well as gathering at the famous cottage, teachers will take part in a rally in the Scottish capital, which will be addressed by EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley.

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It comes amid a fast-growing dispute over pay, with unions claiming the Scottish Government and councils have “little or no interest” in finding the funds needed to settle the matter.

The current proposal on the table would see most teachers receive a 5% pay raise, although some lower-paid members of staff would receive a 6.85% raise.

Teachers have rejected it, EIS has demanded 10% hike. However, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that there is a “gap” between what teachers are demanding and “what is affordable”.

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Ms Bradley, however, said Scotland “continues to misjudge the strength of our members’ resolve” as well as “wrong about the moral and financial unacceptability of another real terms pay cut for education staff”. perception”.

After the EIS wrote to the National Education Union to express solidarity with teachers in England and Wales who have voted to take strike action, Ms Bradley said: “It is testament to the strength of the spirit of teachers, Real contempt for what is perceived as the government, dressed in warm words and sophistication, that despite deliberately restrictive anti-trade union legislation that remains in force, that our respective unions cross voting thresholds and resort to industrial action Was able to get the mandate.

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She advised politicians south of the border against “seeking to divide teachers and support staff” in schools over the issue of pay, as she said that “the Scottish Government, with all its claims about its trade union-friendly credentials”. for, shamefully demanding do it”.

Scottish Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Strikes in our schools are in nobody’s interests – for pupils, parents and carers who have already suffered significant disruption over the past three years.

“I urge the teaching unions to reconsider the current industrial action while negotiations are ongoing.”

He said four offers had been made to teachers through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) – which brings together local authority leaders in the Scottish Government, Cosala and trade unions – but these had been rejected.

However Ms Somerville said the latest proposal, if accepted, would “mark a 21.8% cumulative increase in teacher pay since 2018”.

She insisted: “The union’s demand for a 10% rise for all teachers – even the highest paid – is not affordable within the Scottish Government’s fixed budget and cannot be reached before we reach an agreement. , A more practical approach is needed.

“The Scottish Government values ​​the hard work of our teaching staff for our learners and we are fully committed to ensuring they receive a fair pay deal.

“We are in talks with the unions and hope to continue to make progress towards an agreement to ensure a sustainable deal for all involved.”

(tagsto be translated) Scottish

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