School and Nursery Closures 24/11/22
A number of teaching trade unions have confirmed an intention to take national industrial action on 24th November 2022 as part of their on-going national pay campaign. After careful consideration of the likely extent of the strike, the Comhairle regrets to have to inform you that we expect significant disruption to education provision across the Western Isles.
On the day of the strike, 24th November 2022, the following will apply.
- All primary and secondary schools will be closed to all pupils
- All nurseries operated by the Comhairle will be closed to children
- Nurseries not operated by the Comhairle expect to be unaffected (An Cotan, Stornoway Playgroup, Ravenspoint and Cothrom Og)
- Stornoway Childcare Centre will be open as normal
- All events, activities or meetings planned by schools for 24th November will be cancelled or rescheduled
- No dedicated home-school transport will operate, including ASN transport
- A payment will be made to bank accounts for any children registered for Free School Meals (not including universal P1-5 provision). It will be included with the next routine payment in December.
Teachers that are members of the striking trade unions are not required to confirm to their employer that they intend to participate in the industrial action and, due to the level of disruption predicted, the Comhairle is not able to guarantee having sufficient staff available to safely operate provision of any kind in schools on 24th November. As a result, there will be no alternative care hub provisions and it is unlikely due to restrictions on duties during the strike that online learning can be provided.
All nurseries operated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will be closed to children and young people on the day of the industrial action. They are required to close because we expect a significant reduction in school leadership teams and teachers that act as nursery managers as they are included in the industrial action. There may also be issues where keyholders and staff with health and safety responsibilities participate in the strike, resulting in some buildings being fully closed.
National pay negotiations with trade unions will be on-going right up to the date of the strike and there remains a possibility that the action may be suspended or changed. If that happens, information will be provided to parents and carers via the Comhairle’s usual communication and social media channels.
If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of any child or young person during the day of industrial action, please contact Faire on 01851 701702.
Trade Unions have also intimated to local authorities their intentions for future strike dates.
- Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) – Week beginning 5th December 202
- Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS):
- Tue 10th January 2023 (EY and Primary)
- Wed 11th January 2023 (Secondary and ASN)
It’s too early yet to forecast the impact of these planned strikes and more information will be provided prior to the date if they are confirmed to be proceeding.