School support staff in Scotland go on strike for three days over a pay dispute with Cosla.
Why it matters
The strike by school support staff in Scotland is significant as it highlights the ongoing issue of low pay for essential workers in the education sector. The strike is expected to disrupt schools and impact thousands of pupils, drawing attention to the need for fair wages and improved working conditions for support staff.
What the papers say
The strike by school support staff in Scotland has split trade unions, with GMB Scotland and Unite suspending their strikes while they consider a new pay offer from Cosla. However, Unison has rejected the offer, stating that it is a real-terms pay cut and below the rate of inflation. Unison Scotland's chair, Mark Ferguson, emphasized that local government workers are being asked to take a pay cut during a cost-of-living crisis. The strike is expected to affect schools across 24 council areas, with Falkirk Council already confirming the closure of its schools during the strike period.
How we got here
The dispute between school support staff and Cosla over pay has been ongoing, with support staff being some of the lowest-paid local authority workers. The revised pay offer from Cosla represents a minimum wage increase for those on the Scottish Government's living wage, but Unison argues that it is still below the rate of inflation and constitutes a real-terms pay cut. The strike action by Unison highlights the frustration and dissatisfaction among support staff regarding their wages and working conditions.
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Humza Haroon Yousaf MSP is a Scottish National Party politician who has been Cabinet Secretary for Justice since 26 June 2018 and the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Pollok since 2016.
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities is the national association of Scottish councils and acts as an employers' association for its 32 member authorities.
The Scottish Government is the devolved government of Scotland.
The government is led by the First Minister, who selects the Cabinet Secretaries, who attend Cabinet, and Ministers with the approval of Parliament.