SCHOOLS across Fife are set to close again next month after UNISON announced another set of strike dates.

Support staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools in Fife, South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Edinburgh will walk out on Wednesday, November 8.

This is the second week of a rolling programme of action that will take place, says UNISON, with further strike dates and other councils being announced in due course.

The union has already notified Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde councils, that staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools will be taking strike action on November 1.

READ MORE: Union warns of more strikes after school closures in Fife

The move comes after UNISON members voted overwhelmingly to reject Cosla’s latest pay offer.

More than 21,000 school support staff – janitors, cleaners and support workers – represented by the union took strike action in September, which resulted in Fife schools having to shut their doors for three days.

UNISON Scotland’s head of local government Johanna Baxter said: “Despite our repeated calls for Cosla and the Scottish government to get back round the table for meaningful discussions we have had no invitations to even exploratory talks.

“The union is committed to reaching a resolution to this dispute as soon as possible. And there is still time for Cosla and the Scottish Government to get back round the negotiating table to explore every avenue to reaching a negotiated settlement and avoid further disruption for parents and students.

"The strength of feeling amongst UNISON’s 91,000 local government members, who voted overwhelmingly to reject Cosla’s latest pay offer, is clear. They are determined to continue to fight to get an improved pay offer.”

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UNISON Scotland chair of the local government committee, Mark Ferguson, added: “No one takes the decision to strike lightly.

“I’m a parent myself, so I understand the disruption strikes cause. But if wages don’t rise, school staff will leave for other jobs beyond education that pay significantly more. That would be a disaster and would help no one.

“The current offer amounts to a real-terms pay cut and adds further stress to a dedicated workforce already suffering from the cost-of-living crisis.

“Cosla and the Scottish government need to give school staff a decent wage rise, fund any increase properly and commit to implementing a minimum underpinning rate of pay of £15 per hour for all local government workers.”

Councillor Katie Hagmann, COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson said UNISON's ballot result was "very disappointing" given the strength of the offer on the table. 

"I would like to make the following points. Firstly, Scotland’s Council Leaders value their workforce. 

“Secondly, we have listened to our Trade Unions, met all their asks and worked with Scottish Government to put an incredibly strong half a billion pound pay package on the table – which we hope the other trade union members will vote to accept.

“Finally, offering almost 10 per cent or a £2,006 pay increase for our lowest paid workers, which the unions specifically asked for, and £1,929 or at least 5.5 per cent for everyone else is as far as Local Government can go without impacting service and jobs.”