Glasgow teachers strike: Dates, what this mean for parents - and schools affected

Glasgow teachers in the SSTA union will strike on Thursday, 24 November Wednesday, December 7 and Thursday 8 December alongside colleagues in East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.
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Teachers in Glasgow will take two days of targeted strike action over the next month in a dispute over pay, their union has announced.

Members of Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, are due to take strike action on Thursday November 24, Wednesday, December 7 and Thursday 8 December.

Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) members were balloted for strike action after rejecting a 5% pay offer, and 90% voted for strike action on a turnout of 62%. The SSTA said that members in some local authority areas will strike on Wednesday, December 7 while others will walk out on Thursday, December 8.

Catherine Nicol, SSTA president said, “The executive committee felt it had no option but to move to strike action due to the failure of the employers (Cosla) and the Scottish Government to make an improved pay offer.

“The last pay offer was made on August 19th and was quickly rejected by the teacher unions. Despite a series of engagements, not even one more penny has been put on the table.

“Teachers have had enough of fine words and are being forced to take strike action to achieve an improved pay award, I hope the Scottish government will step up and help to avoid teacher strikes that nobody wants.”

Seamus Searson, SSTA general secretary, said the strike action is intended to send a clear message that teachers are serious about a fair pay deal saying, “This common practice of waiting to the last minute to reach a pay agreement shows a complete lack of respect for teachers as this pay award should have been paid in April.

“Teachers pay has fallen in real terms by 25% over the years and the failure to act promptly only adds to teachers frustration. “

Here’s everything you need to know about the strikes

Why are Glasgow teachers striking?

Teachers will be taking strike action over pay and comes after members of the Educational Institute of Scotland, the country’s largest teaching union, voted overwhelmingly to strike with 96 per cent of those who voted - with a turnout of 71 per cent - backed strike action after a 5 per cent pay rise was rejected earlier this year.

Teachers are now fighting for a 10 per cent pay increase. Explaining why it had to go ahead, Douglas Hutchison, the executive director of education at Glasgow City Council, wrote to parents and apologised for the impact the closures will have on them and their kids.

“I am sorry that learning is being disrupted and you will have to make alternative arrangements for childcare because of this announcement. I hope you will understand that we have been left with no further option but to close our schools and we will post any updates on the council’s normal communication channels.”

What schools are closed?

The impact of the strikes on Glasgow primary, secondary and ASL schools will vary across the city and schools will take their own decisions on what they will be able to deliver.

Are there any more Glasgow school strikes planned?

At present, there is no further strikes planned, just the national strikes this month. If this changes, we will update you.

Can I take the day off work to look after my children if I can’t find alternative arrangements?

Yes, you can take time off work to look after your child however it may not be paid, despite the circumstances.

The Department for Business couldn’t confirm that school strikes would qualify as a childcare “emergency”. It advised carers to check their contract for more specific guidance.

Teachers are due to strike later this weekTeachers are due to strike later this week
Teachers are due to strike later this week

Online Work

It’s yet to be confirmed by Glasgow City Council whether there will be schoolwork getting done online on the days affected but it’s hoped there will be a level of flexibility with the strikes coming before the Christmas holidays.

Free School Meals

Mr Hutchison, from Glasgow City Council said, “Our intention is to provide all families entitled to free school meals with a direct payment to their bank accounts to cover the day’s action.

“The payment may be added to a payment that is due in the near future, rather than as a one off for the strike day.”