Teachers in three areas back dispute over Covid safety

Votes show clear support from teachers for industrial dispute, including those in Scotland's largest local authority
15th December 2020, 5:48pm
Tes Reporter

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Teachers in three areas back dispute over Covid safety

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/teachers-three-areas-back-dispute-over-covid-safety
Coronavirus: Teachers In Three Local Authority Areas In Scotland – Glasgow, Fife & West Dunbartonshire – Have Backed An Industrial Dispute Over Covid Safety In Schools

Teachers in three Scottish local authority areas - Glasgow, Fife and West Dunbartonshire - have today voted to declare a formal dispute with their employers over Covid safety.

This dispute is over what the EIS teaching union describes as "failure to provide a safe working environment for staff in light of the continuing threat from the Covid-19 pandemic".

In West Dunbartonshire, 91 per cent of teachers backed the move to a dispute, based on on a turnout of 75 per cent. In Glasgow, 93 per cent of teachers voted in favour, on a turnout of 63 per cent. In Fife, 90 per cent of teachers voted in favour, on a turnout of 53 per cent.

Coronavirus: Teachers fear for their safety

The EIS local associations in these areas will seek "an urgent response from the councils involved".


Also today: Scottish FE lecturers vote for industrial action

Teacher numbers: What new Scottish data tells us

Quick read: Covid safety measures 'impossible in special education'


EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "These votes are clear evidence of the anxieties teachers feel with regard to school Covid security. The first minister [Nicola Sturgeon] today has cited rising infection levels in parts of the country and hinted that some areas may have to move back to Level 4 - all the more likely if there is a post-Christmas spike in infection levels."

He added: "We have seen schools in Wales move to remote learning as part of the effort to drive down infection levels and yet in Scotland there isn't a single additional mitigation put in place for schools even at Level 4. Teachers want to see schools open but not at all costs. Both the Scottish government and local authorities should be transparent in setting out the benchmarks which would trigger a move to remote or blended learning."

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