School strike action threat

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THERE has been some uncertainty over the situation regarding Schools following the Education Institute of Scotland’s (EIS) ballot last week which showed a majority in support of strike action on November 30.

If the strike does go-ahead, it could disrupt Schools in the Mearns and Kincardine area.

Aberdeenshire EIS Secretary, Pat Flannigan said: “In Aberdeenshire we have some 2,600 teachers who are members across the 172 schools. Our members include class teachers and all grades of promoted teacher including Headteachers.”

Aberdeenshire Council has said it is still considering all options available. A spokesman said: “We are in discussions with the trade unions in connection with the proposed strike action and will be working to ensure disruption to services is kept to a minimum. Should any interim arrangements be required we will communicate these in due course.”

In a ballot of EIS members at the start of the month, a total of 24,426 of the 29,736 ballot papers posted were in favour of a strike – and will see teachers joining other public sector workers in a row over pensions.

Following the ballot, EIS General Secretary, Ronnie Smith said, “This 82% vote for strike action is the strongest indication so far that the patience of teachers and lecturers has been exhausted.

“Faced with a wide ranging attack on their pensions, on top of a two-year pay freeze, rampant inflation and education budget cuts, our members are signalling that ‘enough is enough’.

“Teachers and lecturers are highly committed professionals who do not decide lightly to strike – it is more than two decades since the last national strike action. However, the pensions ‘triple whammy’ of being compelled to pay more, work longer and get less has to be challenged.”