TEACHERS in Dunfermline joined thousands of others across the country as they took to picket lines this morning.

They are demanding a 10 per cent pay rise - previous offers have been rejected as too little to meet rising costs of living - with many today gathering outside Shirley-Anne Somerville's constituency office to voice their concerns.

The MSP for Dunfermline and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills was in Parliament at the time.

Paul Jeffrey, assistant secretary for the Fife local association of the EIS (Educational Institute of Scotland), told the Press at the event: "We feel that our wages have been deteriorating for the last 12 years or so because of austerity and although we got a wage rise in 2018 it has kind of dissipated.

"The hope was that it would follow the same pattern as 2018 where we had a massive demonstration and the threat of industrial action by teachers was enough to encourage the Scottish Government to give us a pay rise, but that hasn't happened this time.

"Frankly, teachers are quite angry, they feel that after the time they spent through the COVID years when they put in extra effort, they were effectively front line workers working in schools full of children and full of COVID, this has been a kick in the teeth.

"We don't feel that we should need to take action like this to get an affordable pay rise or an affordable wage in the situation we all find ourselves in."

The EIS has shared images of teachers joining picket lines across Dunfermline.

One teacher, who works in Fife but did not want to be identified, said after the protest: "We work so hard all the time - it's not a job which switches off when the children leave - it's 24/7 really and we feel very under-valued.

"The five per cent offer was actually not a revised offer, it was exactly the same as what we had already rejected and it is quite frustrating how things are being publicised in that respect.

"The 6.85 per cent was for teachers at the bottom of the salary scale, not for teachers at the top of the salary scale, so it wasn't for everyone, it was a divide and conquer type thing and that is not what the union is about and that is not what we are about as a profession.

"We need to stick together, we need to do this for the future of education and for our children."

Don't miss next week's Press where we will bring you full coverage of the event as we hear real stories from teachers in West Fife about their struggles in the classroom and reasons for taking part in strike action.