Scottish Government to ‘blame for teacher strikes’ says Glasgow mum as schools closed today

Scottish Government to blame for teacher strikes says Glasgow mum as schools closed today forcing anger and frustration among parents.

<p>Teachers on strike today have begun protesting after pay disputes.  </p>

Teachers on strike today have begun protesting after pay disputes.

Leanne McGuire, chairperson of Glasgow City Parents Group has criticised the Scottish Government after telling SNP Ministers and Cosla to stop letting pay disputes “get to the wire”.

It’s the first time in 40 years that teachers in Scotland have been forced to go on strike which has caused frustration and havoc for parents and teachers across the country.

Her comments come as thousands of teachers and staff walk out and head off to picket institutions today after rejecting an increased pay deal just hours after they were told their demands were “unaffordable”.

McGuire admits that teachers are acting as a last resort, something the parents understand, she said: “These conversations have been around for some time now. From a parent’s point of view, what we’ve seen is that the Scottish Government and COSLA really need to be active, and really need to offer more serious pay deals I suppose, if they really have people’s best interests at heart.

“Those pupils really thrive on routine and when that routine is broken then it can cause them a lot of distress, which then in turn causes a lot of stress for parents,”

Schools are being forced to stay at home as every school in Glasgow City and across the country are shut. Ms McGuire said parents are desperate to find childcare solutions with many having to negotiate annual leave late in the year and others chipping in to take care of other parents’ children.

As well as picketing outside schools across the country, teachers will take their campaign for higher pay to Holyrood as they demonstrate outside the Scottish Parliament.

Ahead of the rally, Andrea Bradley, the union’s general secretary, said her members had been “forced into this strike” and the tactics of local government body Cosla and the Scottish Government had been “nothing short of disgraceful”.

“They have offered a series of substandard offers that fall far below the rate of inflation and far short of the justifiable expectations of Scotland’s hard-working teaching professionals,” she said.

“They have dragged the process out endlessly while soaring inflation has decreased the value of their offers still further.”

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville warned the Scottish Government’s budget is under “extreme pressure” and the 10 per cent rise demanded by teachers is “unaffordable” after a last-ditch offer was made in a bid to avert the strike.

The EIS, Scotland’s biggest union, rejected the offer branding it “insulting”. Teaching unions, including the EIS, had demanded a 10 per cent rise after rejecting an initial five per cent pay offer.

Future Impact from strikes?

From a schoolchildren’s perspective, the lack of routine can be frustrating and it’s sometimes hard to have a level of adaptability, especially for someone so young, as far as parents are concerned, they need to arrange time off work or sort out childcare for their children

The teachers are undertaking a nationwide strike today with schools returning to normal tomorrow. The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) said that members in the Glasgow City area will strike on Wednesday, December 7th, and Thursday, December 8th.

This only adds to the anxiety that parents will face especially in the run-up to Christmas, some having very little flexibility in sorting time off to accommodate these upcoming strikes.

With very little resolution at this precise point in time from either the SSTA or Cosla, strikes such as today could possibly be a recurring theme for more days to come which will only lead to more frustration and key decision-making.

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