South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said the Scottish Government must take action and give teachers the pay they deserve, as more strikes are set to affect schools across the south of Scotland this week.

Members of the SSTA and NASUWT unions will walk out on either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the area they are in.

All secondary schools in East Ayrshire and Scottish Borders will be closed as a result.

The impact varies in other council areas, with some closing all secondary schools to younger pupils.

Industrial action by members of EIS last month led to the closure of almost every school in Scotland.

The latest pay offer from the Scottish Government was formally rejected. Teachers’ unions were being offered a rise of between 5% and 6.85% but they want 10%.

There are a further 16 strike dates planned for the new year.

Colin Smyth has given his backing to the workers and believes that the action is prompted by more than just planned pay.

Colin Smyth said: “Let’s be clear, our amazing teachers don’t want to strike but they feel like they’ve got no choice.

“The cost of living crisis, following on from the years of misery during the pandemic, have brought many of our public services to their knees.

“I have stood on many picket lines in solidarity with workers these past couple of months and I will continue to fully support those who feel they must go on strike.

“We must stand up for public services and I would urge both governments to take on board what the unions are telling them and start paying teachers a decent wage.

“But these disputes go beyond pay and there is real frustration that the disputes weren’t resolved by the Government months ago.”

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