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Warning of further school strikes

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By Fiona Reid
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Warning of further school strikes

PUPILS are back to school across Dumfries and Galloway today after three days of strike disruption which saw hundreds of school support staff from Langholm to Stranraer staged a walk out over pay in association with Unison.

The industrial action has been declared a ‘success’, but there are also warnings today that there may be more strikes to come, despite a revised pay offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

Unison is currently balloting members on the latest offer and is also planning a campaign to address the high level of problems support staff face with violence and disruptive behaviour in schools and nurseries.

DG branch secretary Jan Andrews said: “We fully expect members to vote to reject this offer and if no further reasonable offer acceptable to our membership is forthcoming, there will be further action.”

She also revealed that hundreds of people had joined the union in the last month and added: “Our members feel very strongly about their pay and conditions and are in full support of Unison’s recommendation to reject the latest offer from Cosla, which represents all Scottish councils.

“We have had tremendous support from the community, the children and all the other council workers who will also benefit from any pay increase. The strikers were being given cups of tea and coffee, chocolates and biscuits as they stood outside and the teachers and head teachers were really supportive.

“We want to thank everyone for their support and especially the strikers for taking a stance and striking to improve pay and working conditions for all local government workers with the exception of teachers.”

  • Above, a picket line in Annan this week

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