School closures across West Dunbartonshire as widespread strike dates confirmed

Thousands of janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff, will walk out in an ongoing dispute over pay

By Bill Heaney

Schools are set to shut as widespread strikes over three days this month are confirmed.

Thousands of janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff, will walk out in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Unison confirmed 21,000 members would strike from Tuesday, September 26, to Thursday, September 28, affecting 1,868 primary and secondary schools – 76% of all education settings in Scotland.

This was followed by Unite the union confirming its members would walk out in eleven councils on the same dates as part of coordinated action.

Members of the GMB, Unison and Unite unions recently rejected an average pay increase of 5.5%.

GMB announced it had suspended strikes planned for next week but is now coordinating action with the other unions with walk outs in ten councils.

A new pay offer is expected to be tabled by Scotland’s local council body COSLA next week.

“A real-terms pay cut in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis is a cut our members simply cannot afford,” said Unison Scotland’s head of local government Johanna Baxter.

This is not a highly-paid workforce – three quarters of local government workers earn less than the average Scottish wage. All they want is to be paid fairly for the vital work they do supporting Scotland’s communities – COSLA and the Scottish Government need to get back round the table and work with us to deliver that.”

Responding to strike, Scottish Labour Education spokesperson Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, RIGHT, said: “School staff would rather be in the classroom rather than on the picket line, but the inaction of this government is forcing them to take action.

“It is simply wrong that staff in schools are being forced to take strike action while the cabinet secretary sits on her hands. Support staff keep schools going. They are critical but they’ve been forgotten by this Government.

“Pupils shouldn’t miss out on education due to the SNP forgetting this key workforce – it’s time for the cabinet secretary to act and act now.”

Will your child’s school close?

Unison’s strike action will affect schools in 24 councils, while GMB and Unite’s will affect ten. A total of 26 of Scotland’s 32 councils will see disruption.

They are:

  • Aberdeen
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Angus
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dundee
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Edinburgh
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • Glasgow
  • Highland
  • Inverclyde
  • Moray
  • North Ayrshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Orkney
  • Perth and Kinross
  • Renfrewshire
  • Shetland
  • South Ayrshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • Stirling

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