Schools caught up in union walk-out

1st September 2000 at 01:00
UNISON staff outside Shawlands Academy in Glasgow were among some of the union's 70,000 members working for local councils who took strike action on Tuesday. A number of schools, but not all, were forced to close and the work of education departments was affected.

The one-day strike in protest against the employers' 2.5 per cent pay offer is set to be followed by another two days of action around September 13-14 and then a further three.

Selected groups of employees will also becalled out on an indefinite strike.

The stoppages are in support of the union's claim for a 5 per cent rise or pound;500, whichever is greater, and a minimum rate of pound;5 an hour. Any "substantial improvement" which falls short of that will be voted on.

Unison complains that the offer is half the going rate for pay settlements at a time when council staff are paid an average pound;17.50 a week less than English counterparts. It is the first strike by council workers in 11 years.

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