School support workers, who are members of Unison, on the picket line at Royal Mile Primary School in Edinburgh. Jane Barlow/PA WireSchool support workers, who are members of Unison, on the picket line at Royal Mile Primary School in Edinburgh. Jane Barlow/PA Wire
School support workers, who are members of Unison, on the picket line at Royal Mile Primary School in Edinburgh. Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Edinburgh school strikes: 10 pictures as strike action brings picket lines to Edinburgh’s schools

Hundreds stood on picket lines in Edinburgh on Tuesday as schools closed in the first of three days of strike action.

School support staff in 24 council areas across Scotland – including the City of Edinburgh – walked out after Unison rejected the latest pay offer, though GMB Scotland and Unite have suspended strikes while they consider it.

The dispute is over a revised pay offer from council umbrella body the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) for a pay increase for janitors, cleaners, and support workers, who are some of the lowest-paid council employees.

The new offer represents a minimum wage increase of £2,006 for those on the Scottish Government’s living wage and a minimum increase of £1,929 for workers who are earning above the living wage.

The living wage of £10.85 will rise to £11.89 under the new offer, equivalent to a 9.6% increase – but Unison has said the revised pay offer remains a “real terms pay cut” and “below the rate of inflation”.

At Portobello High School, around 30 school support staff stood on the picket lines with placards emblazoned with slogans such as “pay up for council staff”, “no pay, no play” and “we are worth more”. Similar scenes were witnessed at schools across the Capital, where similar protests were taking place.

Take a look through our photo gallery to see images of the strike that has caused disruption in schools all over Edinburgh today.

The new offer represents a minimum wage increase of £2,006 for those on the Scottish Government’s living wage and a minimum increase of £1,929 for workers who are earning above the living wage.