South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said the Scottish Government must take action and give teachers the pay they deserve, as more strike dates have been announced.

This follows on from two days of strikes involving members of the EIS, NASUWT, Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) and the Association of Headteachers and Deputes (AHDS) unions last week.

They have rejected a 5% pay offer arguing with inflation running at 10.1% this is a real terms pay cut. The EIS pay claim is for 10%.

More strikes will affect East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway on Monday (January 23), with South Ayrshire on January 25, Scottish Borders on January 30 and South Lanarkshire on 3 February.

The Educational Institute of Scotland last week announced this will be followed by 22 extra days of strikes.

Colin Smyth has given his backing to the workers and joined teachers on the picket line recently. The local MSP 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, that is the only thing which will prevent more disruption.

“But these disputes go beyond pay and there is real frustration that the disputes weren’t resolved by the Government months ago and issues around workload and a lack of resources in Schools are being ignored by the Government.”

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