EIS union members in massive ballot turnout for strike action. Senior officials name November the 30th as strike day
Scottish teachers in the EIS union have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over the government’s plans for public sector pensions.
The action – along with other unions across the UK on November the 3oth – will be the first national strike by EIS members in almost quarter of a century.
82% voted for action, on a turnout of 54%. 17.8% voted no.
The union represents school teachers and lecturers at a number of universities across Scotland.
In a statement, EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith said, “This 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.”
The decision comes after government ministers and union officials held talks earlier in the week on what some describe as a “framework for detailed negotiations” over accrual rates and protection for members of pension schemes who are currently nearing retirement.
Anti-union laws mean that several of the trade unions announcing ballot results over pensions are required to “activate” the ballot by taking industrial action of some kind within 28 days, regardless of the outcome of any separate talks on individual pension schemes.
Ronnie Smith added, “While we welcome the movement in the government’s position announced on Wednesday, we need to see further progress, together with concrete proposals specific to the pension schemes in Scotland which affect our members. The EIS will continue its engagement in all available fora to try to secure a fair pensions settlement for our members. In the meantime, we will go ahead with our plans to join the national day of action on 30 November”
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