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School workers in Scotland reject blather from bosses

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Issue 2661
Workers on the picket line at Buchanan High School
Workers on the picket line at Buchanan High School (Pic: NASUWT/Twitter)

Teachers at two schools in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, have struck over health concerns.

NASUWT union members at Buchanan High School held a week long walkout that ended on Wednesday of last week. And teachers at St Ambrose High School launched a four-day strike last Tuesday.

Four former pupils and current teachers have all been treated for bladder cancer since the schools opened in Coatbridge in 2012.

And for a period blue water ran from the schools’ taps.

The schools are built on a domestic rubbish and steelworks waste material landfill site that closed in the 1970s.

During the period of operation an estimated half a million tonnes of domestic refuse from Coatbridge was deposited at the site. And in addition to this 77,000 gallons of wet sewage and unspecified residue from Gartsherrie Steel Works were disposed of there annually.

Many parents back the action. A big and angry public meeting last month heard parents make clear their concerns about their children’s health.

Jane Peckham, NASUWT national officer for Scotland, said, “We will continue to take all practical steps to protect their health and welfare, including further industrial action in the new academic year.”

The Scottish government has been pushed to set up a panel to look into health and safety fears as well as the history, construction and maintenance of the campus.

The investigation is expected to be completed by the start of the next school year.

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