Who’s on strike today and how will it affect you? Daily update for January 30

Teachers in Scotland and maintenance workers in Hertfordshire are kicking off yet another week of industrial action for the UK.

Workers in different industries up and down the country are fighting for better pay and conditions, as the cost of living crisis leaves many struggling to afford the basics.

Today, teachers will take to picket lines in Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders in a dispute over a 5% pay rise offer.

The nation’s teachers are striking on sixteen consecutive days in January and February – with staff across two local authorities walking out on each of these dates.

Trade union the Educational Institute of Scotland has demanded a 10% rise in wages as inflation soars.

But Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is a ‘gap’ between what teachers are demanding and ‘what is affordable’.

Members of the EIS have been ‘greatly angered by the actions of the Scottish Government and COSLA’, the union warns.

EIS Salaries Convener Des Morris said: ‘Both the Scottish Government and COSLA should be ashamed that their refusal to offer teachers a fair pay settlement has led to schools being closed. 

‘Instead of negotiating positively with unions to reach a fair agreement, the Scottish Government and COSLA have dug in their heels and refused to negotiate meaningfully at all.’

It comes as last-ditch talks take place today in England and Wales, with teachers looking to follow suit and strike on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Welwyn and Hatfield grounds maintenance workers are continuing with walk-outs over ‘poverty pay’.

The workers are responsible for all of the Welwyn Hatfield council’s garden maintenance work, including grass cutting, hedge trimming, pruning and bulb planting.

Unite says they have been offered a pay increase ‘in line with their claim’ – but it comes with conditions attached.

These include moving to annualised hours, and not getting a further pay increase until late 2024.

Staff employed by Continental Landscapes on a council contract are launching an initial five days of strike action beginning on 30 January. This is followed by a further five days from Monday 6 February.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Unite’s members at Continental Landscapes play an integral part in keeping Welwyn and Hatfield clean and tidy. It is entirely unacceptable that the employer thinks it can get away with paying poverty rates of pay.

‘Unite is totally dedicated to defending and improving our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and our members at Continental Landscapes will continue to receive the union’s unflinching support.’

In a statement, a spokesperson for Continental Lanscapes confirmed they are ‘working hard’ to find a pay award that Unite and the workers deem acceptable.

‘As at 1st March 2022 we agreed a 9.4% annual pay rise with Unite and applied this across our workforce’, they said.

‘A further pay claim from Unite was received in July 2022. In response we made an additional offer which has been rejected by Unite on behalf of its members.

‘At this time we are continuing to work hard to find a solution to the current industrial action.’

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