Glasgow & West Scotland

Teachers in West Dunbartonshire back industrial action

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Schools in West Dunbartonshire could be hit by industrial action in the New Year.

The EIS union is angry about a management restructuring in secondary schools.

Members voted in favour of action by 88% to 12% in a statutory ballot.

The union will decide what action to take in the new year. A spokesman said the ballot provided a mandate for strike but options such as a work-to-contract would also be considered.

The row is over a plan by the council to cut the number of heads of departments in some schools.

More departments would be grouped together as "faculties" under one head.

'Depth of opposition'

Principal teachers who do not secure one of the new positions would have their pay protected for three years but could lose money in the longer term if they do not find another promoted post.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: "This is an overwhelming ballot result which gives a clear mandate for a programme of industrial action in protest at West Dunbartonshire's plans for management restructuring it its secondary schools.

"The high turnout and the fact that almost 90% of teachers voting in the ballot backed industrial action demonstrate the depth of opposition to the council's plans.

"It is time for West Dunbartonshire council to rethink its proposals and to listen to the views of the teachers in its secondary schools."

Michael Dolan, EIS local association secretary for West Dunbartonshire, added: "We believe that the council's proposed restructuring of management positions in its five secondary schools will have a serious detrimental impact on learning and teaching.

"Teachers do not want to take industrial action, but we feel our hand has been forced by these proposals which will damage the service we provide for pupils across West Dunbartonshire secondary schools."

'Ongoing discussions'

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said it respected the ballot result and would work with teachers and trade union representatives to reach a resolution.

She added: "We are committed to protecting teacher numbers in West Dunbartonshire and will support our staff in every way possible with the national issue around workload.

"We know that our teachers care just as much as we do about providing a first-class education to the young people of this area.

"We remain hopeful that our on-going discussions can reassure teaching staff and find a solution that avoids industrial action and its impact on young people."

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