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School strikes loom in Scotland as weekend negotiations fail

Group of high school students

School strikes loom in Scotland as weekend negotiations fail

School strikes in 24 of Scotland’s local authorities will start this week after weekend negotiations between councils and a union have faltered.

Unite and the GMB union withdrew their planned strikes to present the offer from the local authority body Cosla to their members.

However, Unison opted to maintain its industrial action and ballot staff. 

Read More: Stirling University Staff To Strike Over Pay Deductions

Mark Ferguson, the chair of Unison Scotland’s local government committee, said: “Unison is continuing with schools strikes unless something significant comes from Cosla in the next hours.

“We have tried to talk to Cosla over the weekend, but problems still remain – Unison’s commitment to winning a £15 per hour minimum rate for all local government roles has still not been satisfactorily addressed.

“And the failure to provide any new money to back this offer means further cuts to jobs and services. 

“Unison will not accept a position where the union is asked to trade pay for jobs and services.

“No one takes the decision to strike lightly.

“But Unison believes that council workers in Scotland deserve far better this.

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“I know the inconvenience these strikes will cause. I am a parent myself. 

“But if we don’t take a stand then the longer-term impact on our children and communities is going to get far worse.”

The offer that has been rejected

The offer includes a minimum wage rise of £2,006 for those earning the Scottish Government’s living wage.

It also includes a minimum increase of £1,929 for workers above the living wage. 

The living wage would increase from £10.85 to £11.89 under the new offer, amounting to a 9.6 percent increase. 

The estimated cost of the pay offer is approximately £580 million.

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