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Teachers’ strike to continue into January as union rejects most recent pay proposal

Teachers will leave the classrooms on January 10 and January 11 as part of the ongoing dispute after members of the Educational Institute of Scotland overwhelmingly supported action in a recent referendum (EIS).

On November 24, all schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow will be closed as part of the first round of labour unrest.

On January 10, primary and special schools will strike alongside their early years counterparts. On January 11, secondary schools will strike.

Although it has approved strike action, the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association has not yet specified a date.

It comes after educators turned down a 5% pay increase despite inflation reaching a 40-year high of 12.6%, and it’s the first pay-related strike action they’ve taken since 1985.

The union’s general secretary said the ball “was in the court” of the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to return to the negotiating table with a “fair offer” during the next negotiating period – which will run until the Christmas break.

However, she accused the latest offer of going “round the houses” without any significant improvement of terms.

She added: “Scotland’s teachers – and Scotland’s young people – deserve far better from COSLA and the Scottish Government.

“It is extremely disappointing that today’s meeting of the extended joint chairs of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers did not result in any new offer.

“Instead, this meeting – requested at short notice by the Scottish Government – seems to have been called simply to make it appear as though talks are progressing.

“This meeting simply went round the houses in areas that have been covered many times before, with still no improvement to the 5% offer that Scotland’s teachers overwhelming rejected in a ballot some three months ago.”

“This meeting simply went round the houses in areas that have been covered many times before, with still no improvement to the 5% offer that Scotland’s teachers overwhelming rejected in a ballot some three months ago.”

Deputy first minister John Swinney warned on Thursday that increasing public sector pay will result in spending cuts.

He previously said the Scottish Government “had nowhere else to go” when it came to a new pay offer, despite rising inflationary pressures.

“We’ve been very clear that in this financial year – because in the budget statement there is no new money for this financial year – I have no unallocated resources,” he said after UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled his Autumn Statement.

“If I want to put any more money into a public sector pay deal, beyond what’s already on the table, I have to cut public expenditure and public services.”

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