By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie has responded to news that Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) members will stage a strike for 16 consecutive days in the new year.

Following industrial action on Tuesday 10th January, union members will then walk out for 16 days in a row impacting on each council area in Scotland during that time.

Strikes will take place in West Dunbartonshire on Thursday 26th January and in Argyll and Bute on Thursday 2nd February.

Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie, pictured right seeing children off to school safely, said: “This announcement was inevitable as soon as last week’s offer was rejected so emphatically.

“The offer was with the Cabinet Secretary for weeks but was only signed off within hours of the first all-out walkout by teachers in 40 years. That is unforgivable and is now set to cause chaos for parents and disrupt education throughout the first two months of the year.

“That is on the Scottish Government who have badly mishandled the most critical round of public pay negotiations in decades. Money should have been in the budget for public sector pay deals at the start of the budget year. Instead we now have a crisis that is escalating fast.

“A deal has to be struck which will avoid these strikes taking place. The only way that this is going to be resolved is for the First Minister [Nicola Sturgeon] to come personally to the negotiating table to get a deal done where the government has failed to do so far.”

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