UK Teachers on strike in the summer
Scottish teachers are the latest group in the UK to join the massive public sector strike against cuts on November 30th
Members of the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) voted by 82% on a 54% turnout to strike over cuts to teachers' pensions and the freeze on teachers' salaries. At least 2 million public sector workers are expected to strike on November 30th - which will be the biggest strike in the UK since 1926. The largest UK public sector union, Unison, which represents teaching assistants as well as health and local government workers also announced a resounding vote in favour of action yesterday.
Ronnie Smith, General Scretary of EIS said: "This 82% vote for strike action is the strongest indication so far that the patience of teachers and lecturers has been exhausted. Faced with a wide ranging attack on their pensions, on top of a two-year pay freeze, rampant inflation and education budget cuts, our members are signalling that 'enough is enough.
"Teachers and lecturers are highly committed professionals who do not decide lightly to strike - it is more than two decades since the last national strike action. However, the pensions 'triple whammy' of being compelled to pay more, work longer and get less has to be challenged."
In another development, students are to have a mass demonstration on November 9th - a year since the demonstrations which protested the tripling of student fees to £9000 a year and the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance - which was targeted towards school and college students from 16 - 18 from lower income families. The changes have since come into law but students are keeping up the struggle to change this situation which is pricing thousands of young people out of further and higher education.