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Schools across Highlands to be closed for THREE days next week for strike action

By John Davidson

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Unison members will take strike action for three days next week.
Unison members will take strike action for three days next week.

Parents have been told that schools will be closed to pupils for three days next week as non-teaching staff take strike action over pay.

Highland Council has been formally notified by Unison that its members intend to stage a walkout on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, September 26-28.

The action will also affect early learning and childcare centres associated with schools.

In a letter to parents sent on Wednesday, Nicky Grant, the council's executive chief officer for education and learning, said it anticipated "significantly reduced numbers of support staff, including catering and cleaning staff, in schools and early learning and childcare settings". Therefore, it had decided to close the settings on safety grounds.

School transport and crossing patrols will not operate on the strike days. Children who are entitled to free school meals based on low income will receive a payment for each day of strike action.

Unison Scotland's local government committee voted unanimously to reject the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities' latest offer outright when they met to discuss it on Thursday.

They slammed the revised offer as "minuscule" and warned that strike action would go ahead "unless a significantly improved offer" is received by 5pm today – Wednesday, September 20.

Talks are understood to be ongoing and Highland Council said parents would be updated if there is any change to the planned strike action.

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