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Reject poor pay offers for teachers in Scotland and Wales

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Governments in Scotland and Wales are trying to end teachers’ strikes with below-inflation pay offers
Issue 2842
Teachers hold EIS union placards and one that spells out that a 5 percent pay increase is a 6 percent pay cut

Teachers in Scotland want a proper pay rise

A new offer to end the Scottish teachers’ strikes could be on the table this week. It was very unlikely to be any significant improvement.

Councils were expecting an announcement of more money from the Scottish government to put forward a new pay deal. Unions have said any new offer would need to be “significantly” improved to avoid further strikes.

Teachers have asked for a 10 percent rise, but the latest deal was worth around 5 percent. School workers have strongly backed a series of strikes since November. But the action has been sporadic, and not enough to shift the government, headed by the Scottish National Party and the Greens.

The EIS, the main teachers’ union, has now announced strikes in schools within the constituencies of key decision makers within the Scottish Government and the Cosla local authorities’ body.

And there will be two days of national strikes on Tuesday 28 February and Wednesday 1 March. There will be a further 20 days of rolling strikes, council by council, between 13 March and 21 April. But all-out action would have a far better chance of success.

Meanwhile, union leaders have postponed teachers’ strikes across Wales after receiving a 6.5 percent pay offer with an additional 1.5 per cent one-off payment. NEU union members in Wales were set to walk out Tuesday of next week in a national dispute over pay and school funding.

They demand a government funded pay rise to beat the cost of living crisis. The 6.5 percent offer falls way short of inflation meaning it’s a real terms pay cut. More strikes can force the Welsh government to give real pay rises to all teachers and support staff.

NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said the offer in Wales “remains significantly below our members’ demands”. The Wales-wide strike is now set for 2 March, with strikes across Britain on 15 March.

School students stage walkout

Some 70 students walked out of classes at the Discovery Academy in Bentille, Stoke on Trent, last week in protest against the closure of toilets during lessons. The students said the move would hit girls and disabled students the hardest.

Dozens of parents protested outside the school on Monday of this week holding placards reading, “Basic human right,” and “No bars on toilets.” The academy has offered to interview concerned students and hold a meeting with parents.

But the protesters want the doors unlocked, and disciplinary measures on students eased.

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