Schools could close in Scotland as further strike action planned

Schools have spoken of the struggle to recruit and retain teachers as the job gets more and more difficult. Credit: Press Association
The strike action is being organised by UNISON. Credit: PA

Schools in Dumfries and Galloway could close following an announcement of further strike action by UNISON.

The ongoing dispute over local government pay will see a walkout in schools also in South Lanarkshire, Edinburgh and Fife.

Staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools, within the four local authorities will walk out on Wednesday 8 November. 

UNISON members had previously rejected an offer made by Cosla, with 21,000 workers represented by the union taking three days of strike action in September.

UNISON Scotland’s head of local government Johanna Baxter said: “Despite our repeated calls for Cosla and the Scottish government to get back round the table for meaningful discussions we have had no invitations to even exploratory talks. 

“The union is committed to reaching a resolution to this dispute as soon as possible.  And there is still time for Cosla and the Scottish Government to get back round the negotiating table to explore every avenue to reaching a negotiated settlement and avoid further disruption for parents and students.”

"The strength of feeling amongst UNISON’s 91,000 local government members, who voted overwhelmingly to reject Cosla’s latest pay offer, is clear. They are determined to continue to fight to get an improved pay offer.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Local government pay negotiations are a matter for local authorities as employers and unions. We would encourage those involved to continue discussions in the hope that a resolution can be found.

“Despite UK Government cuts, the Scottish Government had already committed to providing £235 million in 2023-24 to support a meaningful pay rise for local government workers and provided assurances over funding in 2024-25. This deal has already been accepted by members of the GMB and Unite unions.

“The Scottish Government and COSLA will continue to work together to minimise disruption in the event of further industrial action. Affected local authorities will ensure that schools and learning establishments remain open as far as is practical, taking into consideration staffing levels and individual establishment risk assessments.”

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