Fife teacher strike looks set to go ahead as latest pay offer rejected

Teachers in Scotland have voted to strike in a dispute over pay.Teachers in Scotland have voted to strike in a dispute over pay.
Teachers in Scotland have voted to strike in a dispute over pay.
Planned strike action which will see Fife schools closed tomorrow (Thursday) looks set to go ahead after Scotland’s largest teaching union rejected the Scottish Government’s latest pay offer.

Hundreds of teachers across Scotland are set to take part in their first national strike for almost 40 years in a dispute over pay.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Scottish Government made a new pay offer in a bid to avert the strike, however EIS union leaders branded the offer as “an insult”. Under the proposal, teachers earning less than £40,107 would receive an increase of £1,926 per year, 6.85 per cent for those on the lowest salaries, while those earning more would receive a five per cent increase, and those earning more than £60,000 will receive a £3,000 boost.

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Andrea Bradley, general secretary of EIS confirmed the strike action on Thursday would still be going ahead as planned as the union unanimously rejected the offer. She said: “This offer is nothing less than an abject insult to Scotland’s hard-working teaching professionals. Teachers overwhelmingly rejected a five per cent offer more than three months ago and now, after months of prevarication and weeks of empty promises, COSLA and the Scottish Government come back with an offer that is worth that same five per cent to the vast majority of teachers.”

Fife Council had previously informed parents and carers that all schools in the Kingdom will be closed if the industrial action goes ahead due to a significant reduction in staffing levels.

Services impacted include high schools, primary schools, special schools, nurseries and early learning and family nurture centres, additional support needs units, childcare services and the pupil support service.

The local authority said it was making arrangements related to free school meals and details would be issued through individual schools.

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The planned strike this week comes after members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), overwhelmingly rejected a below-inflation offer of five per cent, with 96 per cent of members voting in favour of strike action on a turnout of 71 per cent.

Another union, the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS) will also strike on Thursday if no agreement is reached before then.

Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director, Education & Children’s Services, said: “This strike is part of wider action relating to a national pay dispute. I fully appreciate how difficult it is for parents, carers and pupils when we have to close our schools, and I can only ask for their patience and understanding.

“We can’t know in advance how many of our teachers will join the planned strike action on Thursday. However, we do know that most union members voted in favour of action, so we expect a high level of participation.

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“As you will understand, we can’t open our buildings to children and young people, or provide cover across all classes and subjects, without sufficient teachers. So, even though some staff may come to work, we’re unlikely to be able to run any educational facility safely.

“Therefore, to help families plan, we’ve made the difficult decision to close all Fife schools on Thursday, November 24. I know this may be challenging or inconvenient for many families.

“Pupil welfare remains our top priority and we’re particularly conscious of the ongoing cost of living crisis. We will make food available for anyone entitled to free school meals, and each school will be in touch with parents to let them know the arrangements for this.

“Our children and young people have access to a wide range of online learning resources and educational games, and more senior pupils will have work and study they can continue with, on their own, at home. Of course, we’ll update parents immediately if the dispute is resolved and plans change.”

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The EIS also revealed plans for future strike dates in the new year should no resolution be found before then.

The union is calling on its primary, special schools (primary and primary/secondary) and early years teacher members to take another day of strike action on Tuesday, January 10 and its members in secondary and special schools (secondary only) and all associated professionals to strike on Wednesday, January 11.

Updates on the impact for Fife schools can be found at

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