Third teachers’ union announces strike dates for January

ANOTHER teachers’ union has announced plans to strike next month, with the row over pay no closer to being settled.  

Members of the NASUWT have announced their intention to take industrial action at the same time as the EIS and the SSTA.

It means just about every primary school in the country will close on January 10, while nearly all secondary schools will need to shut their doors in January 11.

The NASUWT is calling for a fully funded 12 per cent pay award for 2022/23.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon urged to intervene in teachers’ pay dispute

However, ministers and COSLA have previously offered a “progressive” pay increase of either £1,926 or 5%, with more help targeted at those on the lowest salaries, giving them a pay hike equivalent to 6.85%.

The unions say that is effectively a real-terms pay cut.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: “We have been left with no choice but to call two further days of national strike action as a result of the failure of ministers and Cosla to offer an improved pay offer.

“At a time when teachers are facing the biggest squeeze on their finances in a generation, offering what amounts to a further real-terms pay cut is simply not good enough.

“Our members are not prepared to stand by while their pay dwindles and their living costs rise.

“The Government and employers will need to bring forward a substantially improved pay offer if they want to see an end to this dispute.”

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Katie Hagmann, Cosla’s resources spokeswoman, said: “We are disappointed that strikes are going ahead.

“In an effort to prevent strikes happening, we as employers made a revised fourth offer to our trade union colleagues, that did include additional money.

“It was a fair and affordable offer which recognises the cost-of-living crisis as the priority by focusing on higher increases for staff on lower pay points.

“This means 6.85% for probationers, as well as between 5.71% and 5.1% for those on the lower to middle parts of the pay scale who will also receive their annual increment.

“The offer we have made is in line with the offers made to all other parts of the public sector, including the wider local government workforce. Teachers are a core part of that workforce and are supported in their roles by other council employees who help keep schools open and clean.

“It was an offer that ensured no additional pressure is placed on teachers themselves, as well as any other parts of our hardworking workforce and the essential services they deliver, and importantly it protects the best interests of children and young people.

She added: “The response of our trade union partners is disappointing given the financial challenges facing everybody, but we remain open to having open and honest conversations about how we can reach a viable and realistic settlement that protects the best interests of teachers, children and young people and our wider communities.”

She said that teachers in Scotland are already paid well above their counterparts in England and Wales.

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