Primary teachers on the picket line in Fife as part of national strike

Primary schools in Fife are closed to pupils as teachers take to picket lines over pay.

They join primaries across the country in a national strike, which has been organized by several unions in a campaign for a 10% pay rise.

Teaching unions EIS, NASUWT, Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) and the Association of Headteachers and Deputes Scotland (AHDS) are all taking part in the industrial action.

Together they have rejected a 5% raise and the latest offer of up to 6.85% for lowest-paid staff.

Primary teachers at South Parks Primary School, Glenrothes, on the picket line. Image: Supplied by EIS Fife.

Graeme Keir, EIS Fife’s rep, said: “People are frustrated that rather than come and negotiate and present an improved offer, the Scottish Government is now concentrating on spin and the idea of ​​moving money around.

“They say they are giving a 6.85% offer but that is only for probationary teachers and everyone else is being offered the same or less.

“That dishonesty at attempt to divide education or any other public service is pretty low, especially for a government who says it wants to prioritise education.”

Ongoing discussions

Talks on Monday afternoon failed to reach a resolution, with no new pay offer on the table from the Scottish Government and local government body Cosla.

Teacher strike at St Patrick’s RC Primary School, Lochgelly. Image: Supplied by EIS Fife.

After the meeting of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said there had been ‘some positive progress’ but only a ‘significantly improved’ offer could end the dispute.

The union hopes fresh talks could take place towards the end of the week.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Yesterday’s SNCT meeting provided a crucial opportunity to further discuss potential areas for agreement.

“While there was a shared understanding that the talks were focussed on examining options for compromise, rather than tabling a new offer, dialogue was constructive.

Teachers on strike at Pitteuchar West Primary School, Glenrothes. Image: Supplied by EIS Fife.

The spokesman continued: “We value our teaching workforce and recognize the vital importance of an agreement on pay, but we cannot escape the unprecedented pressures facing Scotland’s budget.

“While we have been clear that a 10% pay increase is unaffordable within the Scottish Government’s fixed budget, we remain absolutely committed to a fair and sustainable pay deal.”

More strikes to come

Today’s action follows a strike by the EIS union which resulted in the closure of all Scottish schools on Thursday, November 24.

Secondary schools were affected again when teaching union NASUWT Scotland led industrial action on December 8.

Tomorrow secondary schools in the area will close for strike action and further strikes are planned to take place in Fife only on Wednesday January 18.

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[Primary teachers on the picket line in Fife as part of national strike]


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