In response to the growing anger of teachers over the failure of the Government to take effective action to address the cuts to their pay and address the significant deterioration in other conditions of service teachers have endured over the last few years, the NASUWT - the teachers’ union is today issuing the first of a series of strike notices to schools.
The Union’s rolling programme of strike action will target small clusters of schools, in local authorities across Scotland, with a day of protest strike action, escalating the action short of strike action the Union already has in place in furtherance of its on-going dispute with the Government on pay, conditions of service and job loss.
Teachers in St Andrew’s Secondary School, Eastbank Academy and All Saints Secondary School in Glasgow will be the first to strike on 23rd November 2017.
They will be followed on 30th November by teachers at Kirkintilloch High School, Lenzie Academy and Bearsden Academy in East Dunbartonshire.
Strike action for next term, including primary schools in other local authorities will be announced over the coming weeks.
The NASUWT is also developing plans for a further escalation of action short of strike action currently in place in schools.
The escalation of the action has been driven by the significant financial detriment teachers have suffered as a result of six years of pay freezes and pay cuts. Teachers have not received any pay award since April 2016 and the pay award for 2017/18 is now over six months overdue.
In addition while pay has been cut, workload has soared and conditions of service have continued to deteriorate.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“Teachers regret having to escalate action and the disruption this will cause to pupils and parents but more and more teachers are now saying that enough is enough and are reaching the end of their tether over workload, pay and other conditions.
“The NASUWT has sought to engage constructively to address these issues through the teachers’ negotiating machinery, but this has shown itself to be increasingly not fit for purpose, as year on year deals have been struck which have cut teachers’ pay and worsened their conditions of service.
“Whilst the NASUWT’s direct dialogue with ministers has secured some progress on tackling workload, the Government regrettably failed to capitalise on that progress and ensure that employers and schools take workload reduction seriously.
“Teachers’ pay and conditions of service are inextricably linked to the high quality of educational provision for all children and young people. Attacks on teachers’ pay and conditions of service are attacks on our children and young people.
“Our rolling programme of strikes will be a regular reminder to the Government, employers and the public of the plight of the teaching profession.
“Escalation of action, in one form or another, will now continue until the Government is willing to discuss meaningfully with the NASUWT solutions to the crisis in teacher pay, workload and morale.”
Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official for Scotland said:
“Year on year, the NASUWT has presented evidence to the Government of the growing concerns of teachers over their pay and conditions of service.
“Our warnings over the adverse impact of pay cuts and deteriorating pay and conditions have not been heeded.
“Our representations on the increasing dysfunctionality of the negotiating machinery have not been addressed.
“Our requests for the Government’s recommendations and guidance on workload to be given statutory force so that employers have to take them seriously have not been actioned.
“We are in this position because those who should be valuing and supporting the profession are consistently failing to do so.”