Teacher strikes: Fife schools closed for two days as union reveals future dates of industrial action

Teachers across Fife are out on strike today (Tuesday) in the latest industrial action over a pay dispute.
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As a result of this action, which is taking place across the country, all schools and nurseries in the Kingdom are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, are campaigning for a fair pay settlement for all of Scotland’s teaching professionals.

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They will be joined in taking industrial action by colleagues in the NASUWT union.

Teachers in Fife are back on the picket lines this week.  (Pic: Michael Gillen)Teachers in Fife are back on the picket lines this week.  (Pic: Michael Gillen)
Teachers in Fife are back on the picket lines this week. (Pic: Michael Gillen)

Members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association had been due to walk out on the same dates, however last week the union said it was deferring its strike action after members ‘marginally’ voted to accept a new pay offer from the Scottish Government. The union will reinstate industrial action should a new pay offer not be forthcoming.

Fife Council has confirmed all primary schools (and their nursery classes), secondary schools, special schools and primary pupil support centres will be closed both days.

The two days of action this week follow a programme of industrial action – both national, rolling and targeted – by EIS.

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Andrea Bradley, EIS General Secretary, said: “This two-day national strike action is a further clear signal that Scotland’s teachers are not prepared to accept the deep real-terms pay cut that is being offered to them. Support for the ongoing programme of strike action remains very strong, with a growing number of teachers out on picket lines with each day of action.”

Ms Bradley said teachers, pupils and their parents had been “badly let down” by the Scottish Government and Cosla throughout the dispute.

She added: “The Scottish Government and Cosla need to realise that it is only by coming back to the negotiating table with an improved offer – one that is truly worthy of consideration by our members – that this dispute can be brought to a close. The EIS is ready and willing to call off future strike action should an offer be brought forward that we can recommend to Scotland’s teachers.”

Teachers have been striking since November in the dispute and last week, three days of strike action took place in the constituencies of certain MSPs including the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Glasgow Southside), Deputy First Minister John Swinney (Perthshire North) and Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville (Dunfermline).

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A further three days of these targeted strikes are planned for next week. Some schools and nurseries in the Dunfermline area will be closed on Tuesday, March 7; Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9, while some will open. Details can be found on the council’s website.

Should no resolution be found, the EIS has now confirmed the dates for its next planned rolling strikes which will span 20 days.

Teachers in the Fife Council area are expected to take industrial action again following the Easter Holidays on Monday, April 17 (All teachers); Tuesday, April 18 (Secondary teachers) and Wednesday, April 19 (Primary teachers).

For more information on future strike dates visit www.eis.org.uk

Further information on school closures can be found at www.fife.gov.uk