Teachers confirm strikes are imminent as EIS members back action over pay
The Scottish Government is coming under renewed pressure to find additional cash for public sector pay deals after members of teaching union the EIS voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.
On a turnout of 71 per cent, almost everyone who voted (96 per cent) backed industrial action after union members rejected a five per cent pay offer earlier this year.
Around 80 per cent of Scotland’s teachers are members of the union, with widespread disruption expected when the first day of action goes ahead on 24 November.
It comes a day after members of nursing union the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) also backed strike action, with hospitals across Scotland due to be impacted over the next six months.
The EIS will release details of when its strikes are to be held later today, with general secretary Andrea Bradley saying that in light of the cost-of-living crisis members are “neither willing nor able to accept a deep real-terms cut to their pay”.
“COSLA and the Scottish Government really must now pay attention to Scotland’s teachers and they must come back with a greatly improved pay offer if strike action starting this month is to be avoided,” she said.
Following the RCN’s announcement yesterday, health secretary Humza Yousaf said the Scottish Government had “no more money” with which to make an improved pay offer.
Today he was quoted in The Herald saying the UK Government, which will outline its spending plans a week today, had a “moral obligation” to fund a new pay deal for NHS Scotland.
Following First Minister’s Questions today a spokesperson for the Scottish Government was asked about how ministers would avert the impending strikes from teachers and nurses and reiterated the position that the administration is at “the absolute limits of our budgets”.