October 3, 2023
From Socialist Worker (UK)

Packed group of Unison Scotland workers outside the parliament  with purple Unison Scotland flags and banners

Unison Scotland members rallied outside the parliament in Edinburgh (Picture: Unison)

Strikes in Scottish schools by around 20,000 workers last week were a big success—and more should be coming.

The Unison union, whose members were out last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, has told the employers’ body Cosla that further action is planned unless there’s a new offer.

Unison reported a surge in membership before and after the strikes. This includes janitors, canteen workers, classroom assistants, cleaners, admin staff and nursery staff in more than 1,800 schools.

Some of those will have moved from the Unite and GMB after both unions called off action at the last moment.

Hundreds of strikers joined a rally at the Scottish parliament last Wednesday. Workers waved flags and banners with messages such as “From frontline to breadline” and “Support us, we support your children”.

Anger against the proposed deal is growing.

It’s emerged that the cash to fund it will come partly from that used to compensate the survivors of historic abuse, and to provide school-level funding.

Cosla refuses to come clean over the details of its offer. It has not published the proposed pay scales.

Unison Scotland’s chair of the local government committee Mark Ferguson said, “For Cosla to tell council staff to ‘sign up now and we’ll tell you how much you’ll get later’ just adds insult to the injury of the ongoing wait for a pay deal that should have been in wage packets in April.”

Former Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon dared to turn up at a Unison picket line last week.

This was a blow to the present first minister Humza Yousef, but it was also extraordinary hypocrisy.

As former MSP Neil Findlay tweeted, “This is beyond satire. She presided over years of cuts to Scotland’s councils and claimed every budget was fair to local government and now has the affront to stand on a picket line. ”

Unison should launch bigger strikes as soon as possible, and the other unions should be out with them.

Source: Socialistworker.co.uk