Glasgow & West Scotland

Teachers' strike action in West Dunbartonshire resumes

Teacher's strike
Image caption Members of the EIS union have taken part in two previous strikes during the dispute

Secondary teachers in West Dunbartonshire are resuming strike action over a plan to shake up the way schools are run.

All secondary schools in the area will be disrupted by the two-day strike which will end on Thursday.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) have already carried out two one-day strikes.

The dispute centres on a plan to cut the number of principal teachers and run departments together as faculties.

Some teachers fear the move will add to their workloads and are concerned about what could happen in the long term to the pay of principal teachers who do not get one of the new posts.

West Dunbartonshire Council has said the system it is planning is already in use at a number of schools across Scotland.

Revised offer

Earlier this month the union rejected a proposal by the council to settle the dispute.

It had suspended a third set of strikes earlier this month to ballot members on a revised offer from the council.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "EIS members in West Dunbartonshire are determined to stand firm against the authority's plans to cut principal teacher posts in secondary schools.

Image caption The council's plans involve related subjects being managed together in so-called "faculties" with one head

"These changes would have a detrimental impact on the operation of secondary school departments, and a negative effect on learning and teaching activity in secondary schools."

He added: "The EIS will have picket lines in place at all West Dunbartonshire secondary schools and will be holding a campaign rally today at Clydebank Town Hall, which we have invited representatives of all main political parties to attend.

"We will be asking each political party to share its views on these proposals and, in particular, the EIS will continue to urge the ruling Labour party group in West Dunbartonshire to abandon these unpopular plans once and for all."

Further strikes

A council spokeswoman said: "Following months of negotiations, proposals were jointly developed with the EIS to address all of the points the union raised in relation to the new management structure.

"We believed this compromise, which would have introduced an additional 18 principal teachers and two centrally-deployed staff, would bring the dispute to a positive end for the benefit of our young people, parents and staff."

She added: "More than 50% of our secondary school staff have not supported this strike action. We urge the EIS to reconsider the significant compromise that has been offered."

The row centres on moves to cut the number of principal teachers of individual subjects.

Instead there would be so-called "faculty heads", whose roles would cover a number of subjects.

For instance, a school might have one "head of humanities" in charge of subjects such as English and modern languages.

Further strikes are set to take place on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April.

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