Essential school staff to go on strike unless pay deal agreed, says union

August 25, 2023 06:57 PM AEST | By PAMEDIA
Follow us on Google News:

Essential school staff will go on strike across Scotland in the autumn unless a pay deal can be struck, a union has warned.

Workers including cleaners, janitors and support workers represented by Unison have voted to strike in 24 out of the country’s 32 council areas.

It is the largest ever vote for strike action by school staff in Scotland, and the union said there was an “overwhelming vote in favour of strike action in every council” but a 50% turnout had to be met.

Unison balloted school staff working for every council in Scotland over the 5% pay offer from employer body Cosla, and described the response as “unprecedented”.

Workers were due a pay rise in April and have also been offered an additional increase dependent on salary from January 2024 for all local government workers.

Non-teaching school staff who are members of GMB Scotland also balloted to strike last week and have announced strike dates of September 13 and 14 across Aberdeen, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Orkney, Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire.

The 24 councils where Unison strikes are threatened are: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Dumfries & Galloway, Dundee City, and East Dunbartonshire.

Also impacted were: East Renfrewshire, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Moray, North Ayrshire, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, and West Dunbartonshire.

Unison Scotland’s local government committee will meet next week to take the next steps to prepare for industrial action, which is likely to take place in early autumn.

The union’s secretary in Scotland, Lilian Macer, said: “This is Unison’s strongest ever strike mandate in local government, which shows the level of anger felt by staff.

“The union will do everything possible to get back around the table with Cosla to resolve this dispute.

“School staff would prefer to be in school working with children, not on picket lines and closing dozens of schools.

“But the Scottish Government and Cosla should be in no doubt about the determination of school staff and they’ll do what it takes to get an improved pay deal for all local government workers.”

Unison Scotland local government committee chair, Mark Ferguson, said: “School staff across Scottish local government have voted to strike in unprecedented numbers.

“Cosla must address the union’s calls for improved fair pay that recognises and rewards them for the vital work they do in their communities.

“Cosla leaders are meeting today and, if they fail to address the reasonable demands on the back of such a significant mandate, schools across Scotland will close and nobody wants that.

“Unison remains committed to dialogue and hopes a satisfactory resolution can be found before staff are forced to take industrial action.”

Katie Hagmann, Cosla’s resources spokesperson, said: “We had a good positive meeting of council leaders earlier today at which they once again reiterated how much they value the whole of the local government workforce.

“In relation to this year’s pay negotiations for the SJC (Scottish Joint Council) workforce, we discussed options for concluding these negotiations as soon as the outcome of current ballots are known, and to this end, there was agreement to hold a special meeting of leaders as soon as we possibly can.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.


The content, including but not limited to any articles, news, quotes, information, data, text, reports, ratings, opinions, images, photos, graphics, graphs, charts, animations and video (Content) is a service of Kalkine Media Pty Ltd (Kalkine Media, we or us), ACN 629 651 672 and is available for personal and non-commercial use only. The principal purpose of the Content is to educate and inform. The Content does not contain or imply any recommendation or opinion intended to influence your financial decisions and must not be relied upon by you as such. Some of the Content on this website may be sponsored/non-sponsored, as applicable, but is NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold the stocks of the company(s) or engage in any investment activity under discussion. Kalkine Media is neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice through this platform. Users should make their own enquiries about any investments and Kalkine Media strongly suggests the users to seek advice from a financial adviser, stockbroker or other professional (including taxation and legal advice), as necessary. Kalkine Media hereby disclaims any and all the liabilities to any user for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising from any use of the Content on this website, which is provided without warranties. The views expressed in the Content by the guests, if any, are their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Kalkine Media. Some of the images/music that may be used on this website are copyright to their respective owner(s). Kalkine Media does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed/music used on this website unless stated otherwise. The images/music that may be used on this website are taken from various sources on the internet, including paid subscriptions or are believed to be in public domain. We have used reasonable efforts to accredit the source wherever it was indicated as or found to be necessary.

Top ASX Listed Companies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. OK