East Dunbartonshire teachers on strike over workload and working conditions

Teachers at three East Dunbartonshire schools are today on strike over workload and working conditions.

NASUWT members at Kirkintilloch High School, Lenzie Academy and Bearsden Academy are taking action due to what the union feels is the local authority’s failure to support teachers.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “Whilst the government must take responsibility for the year-on-year deterioration in teachers’ pay and conditions, there are actions that employers have the power to take locally to address some of the concerns raised by teachers and alleviate some of the pressures on them.

“It is disappointing that we have been forced to take action in East Dunbartonshire, but having attempted to engage in constructive discussions to work together on these issues, regrettably the Council changed its position and instead of confirming it would work with us on the issues we had raised, would only commit to them informing local discussions.

“By the council’s own admission, these discussions have been going on for years. Endless meetings that fail to produce outcomes which make a tangible difference to teachers’ working lives to enable them to do their best for pupils are pointless. East Dunbartonshire missed a golden opportunity to demonstrate it was prepared to listen to its teachers and act on their concerns. It underestimated badly the depth of teachers’ anger and frustration.

“Strike action could have been avoided if the council had agreed, for example, to our proposals to make sure the recommendations from the national working group on tackling bureaucracy are being implemented in schools, or to ensure that teachers are not burdened with clerical and administrative tasks which are diverting them from teaching, or to stop the excessive amount of cover teachers are being asked to do. Other employers should take note. Teachers’ patience and goodwill is exhausted.”

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