Teachers on strike across Scottish Borders amid pay dispute
Teachers in schools across the Scottish Borders are striking today, Monday 30 January.
The strike action comes amid a further week of teacher strikes in local authority areas across Scotland, as the pay dispute between teachers and the Scottish Government continues.
Unions accuse the Scottish Government and local councils of having “little to no interest” in finding the funding required to resolve the matter.
The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) is Scotland’s largest teaching union, and members began a rolling 16-day programme of strikes from Monday 16 January.
The walk-out in the Scottish Borders takes place in the third week of continued industrial action, with schools set to shut in Aberdeenshire, the Highlands, West Lothian and South Lanarkshire among other areas across Scotland.
Unions have already rejected a pay offer which would see most teachers receive a sub-inflationary 5% wage rise, with the lowest earners getting an increase of almost 7%. They are arguing for a 10% uplift, which the Scottish Government says is unaffordable.
Scottish Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP said: “The union demands for a 10% increase for all teachers – even the highest paid – is not affordable within the Scottish Government’s fixed budget and a more pragmatic approach is needed before we can reach a compromise.
“The Scottish Government values the hard work that our teaching workforce put in for our learners and we remain absolutely committed to ensuring they receive a fair pay deal.
“We remain in talks with unions and hope that these will continue to progress towards a compromise to ensure a sustainable deal for all involved.”
Ms Somerville has called for industrial action to be reconsidered while talks continue, but unions say the Scottish Government has failed to bring a better offer to the table for thelast five months.
Four offers have been made to teaching unions in Scotland, but these have all been rejected.
The EIS has already planned further strike action in all schools on 28 February 28 and 1 March, followed by a rolling programme of strikes for 20 days between 13 March and 21 April.
EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said: “After a year of dither, delay and disingenuity from the Scottish Government, Scotland’s teachers have simply had enough.
“Our members are resolute and determined to secure a fair pay settlement, which both properly reflects their value and also takes account of the soaring cost of living.”
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