The SSTA National Executive Committee urges all members to take part in the strike this week to send a hard message to the employer and Scottish Government that teachers demand to be respected and receive a professional salary that will act to retain teachers in Scottish schools. The rejected offer was deliberately divisive and inadequate so that has forced the SSTA to take the strongest form of action. For many SSTA members this will be the first strike they will have taken part in and this action will have caused a great deal of anxiety not only for themselves but the pupils they teach. Please be assured this is a just campaign and one on which all Scottish teacher unions are united.
The employers (COSLA) and the Scottish Government has failed to make contact with the SSTA since 22 November to avert the strikes taking place this week. The SSTA strikes have had continuous coverage in the press due to the confusion it is causing local authorities in trying to keep schools open. The situation is constantly changing, and our strike action is having an impact. The number of local authorities who are intending to close most schools is increasing. Hopefully, the employers and the Scottish Government will understand that all teacher unions are united in seeking a fair and reasonable pay settlement and action is needed soon.
SSTA members are encouraged to join with NASUWT colleagues and form a picket at all school gates. Details are included in our guidance on picketing. Please post photographs on the SSTA social media (Facebook and Twitter) and encourage members to share. It has been confirmed that EIS will be supporting our pickets on the day and will not undertake the work of those colleagues participating in strike action despite threats from the employers.
Strike by Postal Workers
Materials have been posted to all schools to be used on strike days and there is a concern that there may be a delay in arriving in schools. Please look out for the large grey envelope. Should the materials not arrive in time we would encourage members to make their own. Posters, blank SSTA templates and armbands are available on the SSTA Website.
STUC ‘Scotland Demands Better’ Rally - Thursday 8 December
SSTA Members on strike on Thursday 8 December are encouraged to support the STUC ‘Scotland Demands Better’ Rally at Scottish Parliament at 11.00am. Further information on the rally can be found at www.scotland-demands-better.com
Bring Your Banners!
Additional FAQs - Members have sought further information in last few days and additional FAQs have been added below.
Q27. Do I need to leave work for my classes on the day of the strike?
No. SSTA members are on strike and are not required to set work.
Q28. Do I need to inform the police or my employer that a picket is taking place at my school?
No. The SSTA has informed the police that SSTA members will form a picket at all schools on the day of the strike. The SSTA has informed the employer as required by the legislation.
Q29. Are any pregnant members exempt from taking strike action?
Exemptions can be granted in exceptional circumstances, for example pregnant teachers whose maternity pay might be negatively affected by taking strike action, i.e. if date of action falls within their qualification period for calculation of future maternity pay. This period can be identified using this online calculator: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-pay-leave/
Please contact Info@ssta.org.uk if strike action falls within your qualification period or you need further help with identifying whether you require an exemption to be made.
Q30. My employer has told me I am exempt from taking strike action because…?
Some local authorities have contacted SSTA stating that certain categories of staff and workplaces are exempt from taking strike action. Only the SSTA will authorise exemptions for members from strike action.
Any member who feels they may need an exemption are asked to make contact with SSTA Head Office at email@example.com
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for further information.
For those members working in the independent sector, please note that this post is for information purposes only. See FAQs Question 25.