Schools closed for strikes

SCHOOLS across Glasgow and East Renfrewshire are to close for one day in the face of strike action.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action on Wednesday (November 30).

The union had said that 82.2 per cent of those who responded to the ballot backed strike action as more than half of its 24,426 members participated.

A GCC spokeswoman commented: “This decision has been taken by the council because of the planned widespread industrial action by a number of public sector trade unions that day.

“The health and safety of our children is paramount and as we have no idea of knowing how many teachers and school staff will be in each establishment until the day of the strike, we have taken the decision to close all schools on Wednesday.

“This gives parents and carers time to make alternative arrangements for the day”.

Across the city authority, the closure will affect, in total, 27,000 secondary school pupils, 36,000 primary pupils, 15,000 pre-school early learning kids and 2,000 students of additional support and learning needs.

In East Renfrewshire, an expected 7,980 secondary, 8,127 primary pupils and 1,729 nursery-age children will be affected by the action.

The ballot for strike action was called after what union chiefs claimed was a “triple whammy” by the UK government to make teachers work longer hours, pay more and receive less in their pension.

It is part of a UK-wide day of action that is expected to see a raft of workers down tools including school dinner ladies, refuse collectors, NHS staff and civil servants.

East Renfrewshire council predicted yesterday that most council-run services will close or run at a reduced level.

Libraries, sports centres, nurseries and community centres are expected to remain closed throughout the day, and a spokesman for ERC warned residents to be aware of the reduced services.

A spokesman told The Extra: “Our contingency plans are being put in place to ensure that we can provide locations for those employees that choose to come to work on November 30.

“We have sought to agree exceptions from the strike action for several areas to protect public safety, and would aim to deliver a basic home care service, emergency social work service and cover for our CCTV control room, though at a much reduced level than normal”.

A limited customer service facility will be available for emergency situations, such as house repairs, on 573 3001, and residents can follow updates on the council website and Twitter feed.

The work of Glasgow city council is also set to be hit as Unite members of its own workforce have voted to take action on November 30.

They will join union members at Scottish Water and the National Association of Probation Officers in the day of action.