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Teacher strike moves closer as union announces vote over industrial action

(Danny Lawson/PA)
(Danny Lawson/PA)

Scottish teachers are moving closer to strike action after the country’s largest teaching union announced plans to open a statutory strike ballot.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) is moving ahead with its plans to ballot members in pursuit of a fair pay settlement for teachers.

The move comes after a meeting of the Scottish negotiating committee for teachers where the latest offer was formally rejected and a dispute has been declared with local authority employers.

A statutory ballot is the final step to ensure strike action can be taken by teachers and comes after an “overwhelming” result in a consultative ballot last week where 94% of EIS members voted to reject a 5% pay offer and 91% voted in favour of a move to strike action.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: “Scotland’s local authorities and the Scottish Government must significantly up their offer to Scotland’s teachers if strike action is to be avoided.

“Our overwhelming consultative ballot result smashed through the restrictive strike thresholds set by the UK government’s anti-trade union legislation, and the EIS is confident that a similar result will be delivered in the forthcoming statutory strike ballot.

“It is not too late for strike action to be avoided but, for this to happen, COSLA and the Scottish Government must step up and deliver a much improved offer.”

All employers will be issued with formal notice of the statutory ballot within the next fortnight and ballots will be sent to EIS members the following week with a result declared on November 8.