More school strikes are planned in Scotland after a union voted to reject a pay offer.
About nine in ten (89.9%) Unison members voted in a consultative vote to reject the latest pay offer for school support staff from local government umbrella body Cosla.
The union representing support staff, including administrative staff, catering assistants and janitors, said a rolling program of strikes in schools and kindergartens would take place in the coming weeks, with dates to be announced within a few days.
The strikes follow industrial action by Unison members in 24 local authorities last month, which led to the closure of schools and nurseries across much of the country.
It’s a very difficult decision for anyone, but as much as this is about pay, it’s also about supporting local services
Unison Scottish secretary Lilian Macer said: “No-one takes industrial action lightly. It’s a very difficult decision for anyone, but as much as this is about pay, it’s also about supporting local services.
“The school staff taking part in strike action support children at school every day of the year, and many are also parents with school-age children.
“Workers are taking action because they want children to be educated in well-equipped schools with good staff. They want to start reversing years of cuts and underinvestment in workers and services.
“Nobody wants to disrupt students and parents, but school staff have no other choice.
“The blame must clearly lie with Cosla and the Scottish ministers. They have the opportunity to end the strike, but they show no signs of wanting to do so. This is a terrible shame for everyone affected.”
Councilor Katie Hagmann, Cosla resources spokesperson, said: “Of course this vote result from Unison is very disappointing given the strength of the offer at hand. I would like to address the following points:
“Firstly, Scottish council leaders value their workforce.
“Secondly, we have listened to our unions, fulfilled all their wishes and worked with the Scottish Government to put an incredibly strong half-billion-pound pay package on the table – and we hope that other union members will vote for it.
“After all, offering a pay rise of almost 10% or £2,006 for our lowest paid workers, which unions have specifically asked for, and £1,929 or at least 5.5% for everyone else is the best the local government can do without to affect service and jobs.” .”