All Scottish Borders secondary schools to close this week as part of strike action

Every secondary school in the Scottish Borders will be closed as a result of the strikes. Credit: ITV News

Every secondary school in the Scottish Borders will close on Thursday as part of strike action over pay.

The SSTA and the NASUWT will strike for two days across Scotland, which will also cause disruption to secondary classes in Dumfries and Galloway on Wednesday.

A statement from the SSTA said: "The SSTA National Executive Committee urges all members to take part in the strike this week to send a hard message to the employer and Scottish Government that teachers demand to be respected and receive a professional salary that will act to retain teachers in Scottish schools.

"The rejected offer was deliberately divisive and inadequate so that has forced the SSTA to take the strongest form of action.

"For many SSTA members this will be the first strike they will have taken part in and this action will have caused a great deal of anxiety not only for themselves but the pupils they teach."

The SSTA states the Scottish Government, as well as employers (COSLA), have failed to make contact with them since 22 November.

The NASUWT are calling for a 12% increase to teacher's salaries for 2022/23.

A statement from Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said: "This is first time members in Scotland have taken national strike action in over a decade.

"The fact it has come to this is a reflection of the depth of anger and frustration they feel at being continually told by ministers and COSLA that there is no more money to increase their pay, while their workloads spiral and the expectations on them mount.

"They are sick of warm words telling them how much they are valued, while their pay dwindles each year in real terms.

"Talk is cheap but actions matter and they are tired of being taken for granted and expected to work harder and harder for less and less money.

"The cost of living crisis has brought this situation to a head and unless ministers and employers act to offer teachers a fair and decent pay award we cannot rule out further strike action in the months to come.” 

Mike Corbett, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said: "Our members would rather be in school working with their pupils, but have had no option but to take this action in order to stand up for their right to a salary which reflects the skilled and difficult work they do and which enables them to weather the cost of living crisis.

"98% of our members in Scotland are worried about their financial situation, 74% have had to cut back on food costs and 68% are struggling to pay their energy bills."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...