The first nationwide strike action over teachers’ salaries in Scotland since the 1980s takes place tomorrow.
The EIS confirmed the strike late yesterday after considering a salary offer it described as a “vile insult”.
EIS members will now ask questions about what happens next, as will members of the primary school governing body AHDS, who will also be on strike tomorrow.
Members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association and NASUWT have both set strike dates for December 7th and 8th, but School Leaders Scotland failed to win a strike mandate in their vote.
Below are answers to 17 key questions about what will happen on strike day and how it will affect teacher salaries, based on information on the EIS website (read it in full here).
1. Who will be called to strike on Thursday 24 November?
All EIS members employed by councils as:
- A teacher (Probationary, Major, Chartered, Lead, Principal, Deputy Principals and Principals).
- All Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) ‘Associate Professionals’ (music teachers, educational psychologists, senior educational psychologists, deputy secondary school psychologists, secondary school psychologists, educational support officers, quality improvement officers and quality improvement managers).
It applies to all schools and educational institutions employing staff paid under SNCT conditions. The strike mandate applies to new EIS members who joined after the last statutory vote.
2. Should teachers who voted against strikes go on strike?
Yes. The EIS says that “the result [of the recent strike ballot] reflects the mood of members overall” and that “strikes apply to all members who are council employees and are paid according to SNCT scales”.
3. Is a strike a breach of contract?
Yes, any industrial action is a breach of contract. However, tomorrow’s strike action is protected by law as the EIS has been given a legitimate strike mandate.
4. Do strikes cause teachers to lose service continuity?
no The service will not be interrupted or reset by conducting strikes, even if it is a 12-week continuous action.
However, teachers are not conscripted on strike days: their service will be suspended after today and resumed on Friday.
5. What do EIS members do on a strike day?
“Your time is yours on a strike day,” says the EIS. “You can spend the time doing whatever you want (except work-related activities).
“We hope you’ll join a picket line in the morning and a local EIS rally at lunchtime.”
Strike means members should not do any work, EIS says, including attending meetings and parents’ evenings.
The EIS also notes that it is unacceptable for teachers to be asked by their local authorities to prepare distance learning for students to conduct at home on the day of the strike.
It also states that employees who are not on strike should not be asked to take over tasks from striking colleagues. Other unions advise their members not to take over the work of a striking worker.
6.Where are the EIS rallies tomorrow?
Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Elgin, Glasgow and Inverness. Buses are organized by the local EIS associations.
7. If a school is closed on a strike day, should staff still picket the school?
The standard answer is “no” as the strike has shut down the workplace and members “may wish to focus their energies on attending local rallies”. However, if a branch wishes to picket, they are free to do so.
8. How much does each day of strike cost a teacher?
no Members who strike will be paid tomorrow, including substitute teachers (Supply teachers should go on strike if they have an employment contract on November 24).
A top teacher is deducted about £106 for each day of strike.
Each strike day is deducted at 1/235 of the annual salary. However, since no tax, social security and pension deductions are made, the net effect is less than 1/235th of a teacher’s gross salary.
The EIS does not pay strike money. “National strike actions cannot be financed because they would not be financially sustainable,” it says.
However, EIS willhardship fund‘ in support of members who are ‘disproportionately affected by strike action’, such as ‘part-time workers or substitute teachers who lose a week’s wages if the strike falls on the only/one of the few days they work in a week’.
9. Are there Strike exceptions for some members?
Yes. The EIS provides exceptions for any member who is pregnant and expecting a child beginning the week of April 2, 2023, or who is adopting or having a surrogate baby beginning the same date.
The EIS may also provide exceptions for members who have arranged travel (accommodation or day trips) for which students have already paid, or who require special leave due to personal circumstances such as B. attending a funeral, have pre-approved.
There is no strike exemption for members who are about to retire.
to apply for an exemption E-mail Strike@eis.org.uk.
10. Does the EIS give each school or local authority a list of members’ names?
No, the EIS only gives councils the number of members per workplace who are teachers and associated professionals.
11. Does an EIS member have to tell their principal or employer if they are about to go on strike?
No, the EIS advises members not to inform their school or local council of their intention to strike. The union says it has “already submitted a notice of termination to your employer with all the necessary information – there is nothing further that a single member needs to do”.
When asked by their employer after the strike if they went on strike, they should say “yes” – but only after the strike.
12. Will members who refuse to strike be expelled from the EIS?
“It is unlawful for unions to discipline members when they break union solidarity by refusing to strike,” says the EIS.
13. Are independent schools affected by the ballot law?
no Although teacher salaries at many independent schools match SNCT-agreed salaries, they are not part of SNCT collective bargaining. The EIS is therefore not in dispute with any free school and there is no strike mandate.
14. How will the strike affect student teachers who are members of the EIS?
Students are not municipal employees and are not paid on the SNCT scale, so are exempt from the strike. When a school building is open, student teachers should participate as usual, but not take on the duties of striking colleagues. If a school building is closed and student teachers are working from a location of their choice, they should also not take on striking tasks from colleagues.
The EIS expects student teachers to work on lesson plans, student profiles and any relevant coursework on strike days. You should also ask your university what to do.
15. Will the strike affect the completion of the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) or the ‘flexible route’ (ie trial period)?
“For the majority of probation officers, participation in the planned strike action will not affect the completion of the TIS,” the EIS says.
But the union acknowledges that some probation officers approaching their 20-day absenteeism limit “may be particularly concerned about taking industrial action as it would increase their absentee rate,” saying, “We want to reassure those members.” [the EIS] not jeopardize their position and in these circumstances will automatically be exempted from participation.”
You should send an email Strike@eis.org.uk to apply for an exemption if they fear they are approaching the 20-day absence limit. The same applies to all probationary teachers following the flexible path and approaching the five-year deadline for graduation.
16. Should Principals who are key holders for their school advise the council or put a colleague in place as a temporary key holder?
The EIS says it has already shared all the necessary information with employers and “there is nothing further that a single member needs to do”. Ahead may choose to inform their council, but they are not required by law to do so.
17. Can teachers talk to students about labor disputes?
“Teachers can answer students’ questions and provide factual information about the dispute and the strike action,” says the EIS. “Care must be taken not to encourage students to take sides in an argument.”