HUNDREDS of teachers protested in Clydebank this week as strikes continued throughout the country.

More than 300 members of the Educational Institue for Scotland (EIS) were in Clydebank Town Hall yesterday (January 26)  rallying as they continued their industrial action.

Members of the EIS union are in the midst of their 16 days of rolling strike action, with teachers in two of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas walking out each day until February 6.

The EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union, is leading the first teacher-pay dispute in over 40 years, accusing the Scottish Government and COSLA of “inaction” over teachers’ pay.

The rally was supported by the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Scotland’s largest trade union body, with general secretary Roz Foyer calling the striking workers “inspiring”.

Clydebank Post:

Ms Foyer said:“Our teachers and educators are the lifeblood of our schools. It was inspiring to see so many turn out in their droves to keep pressure on the Scottish Government to settle this dispute.

“No one wants to be out on strike, least of all our teachers. They serve – willingly and professionally – our communities day in and day out, giving every ounce of effort to educate our young people.

“The Scottish Government wants to build a world-class education system; that cannot possibly be done on the cheap. Our message is clear, Scottish Government ministers need to pay attention and reward our dedicated teachers with the fair pay settlement they deserve. Anything less is shameful."

EIS members have previously taken three days of strike action, one in November and two in January, while members of other teaching unions also walked out on those days in January and on two dates in December.

Unions have rejected a pay offer which would see most teachers receive a five per cent wage rise, although the lowest earners would get an increase of 6.85 per cent.

Scotland’s education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has insisted the 10 per cent teachers are demanding is unaffordable.

Clydebank Post:

 EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley: “It is no surprise that EIS members in West Dunbartonshire, and in Midlothian, were strike-strong again today given that it is now 353 days since their pay claim first landed on the desks of the Scottish Government and COSLA.

"But it is quite scandalous that for yet another day, teachers in Scotland have had to be on picket lines rather than in classrooms where they would much rather be.

"The Scottish Government and COSLA have the power and the resource to resolve this dispute reasonably and fairly. So far, they simply have fallen short on the political will to do so. EIS members in Renfrewshire and Falkirk will be strike-strong tomorrow.”