South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has hosted a meeting in the Scottish Parliament with MSPs and members of the EIS union from Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.


The local MSP met the union last week to discuss the ongoing pay negotiations and the issues currently facing teachers.


Strike action has been suspended while unions consult with members over a new offer, which would give them a 14.6% pay rise over 28 months.


It involves a 7% rise backdated to last April, a further 5% this April and another 2% in January.


Colin Smyth said: “It was really beneficial to meet with members of the EIS union from Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders, and discuss the ongoing issues teachers are facing across our region.


“Nobody wants to go on strike but it is clear from speaking to teachers, both last week and on the many picket lines I’ve stood on, that this dispute is about more than just pay.


“There are serious issues around workload and also about a lack of resources in learning support units in schools across the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, which are being ignored by the Government.


“It is up to teachers whether or not they accept this new pay offer but let’s be clear: the only reason this offer has been made is because teachers took a stand and went on strike.


“It is shocking that it has taken more than a year for the Government to make this offer. Had they done so at the start there may well not have been months of industrial action.”


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