Thousands of pupils across Tayside and Fife are set for disruption next week after it was confirmed widespread school closures will go ahead.
Unions previously announced plans to hold strikes involving non-teaching staff between September 26 and 28, in a dispute over pay.
Last-ditch talks have since led to two unions, Unite and GMB, suspending industrial action.
But Unison is still going ahead with its walkout.
We explain what that means for pupils and parents across Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife.
What do unions want from councils?
Unions have been calling for council umbrella body Cosla to offer what they deem to be a fair pay rise for members, particularly those on the lowest wages.
Those members include school support staff, such as catering and janitors, along with nursery workers like early years educators.
Teachers are not involved.
A series of offers have already been rejected, but Cosla made another offer on Thursday, in an attempt to avert next week’s strikes.
The offer, which reportedly includes an extra £80 million, would give workers on the living wage an uplift of about £2,000 – nearly 10% – this year.
Both Unite and GMB say the offer represents a significant improvement on what has been on the table previously and have suspended industrial action, pending a vote by workers.
But Unison says the offer, which it has not yet put to a members’ vote, is “too little, too late” and say it “remains a long way from what is needed”.
Are schools still closing in Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife?
Despite the suspension of strike action by two of the three unions, councils across Tayside and Fife say they expect school closures to go ahead.
This is what it means for each area:
- Angus Council will close all secondary schools and most primary schools, except some in mainly rural areas
- More than 50 schools across Perth and Kinross will shut
- However, Perth Academy, previously due to be closed, will now be open
- Kinloch Rannoch PS and Luncarty PS – open to P1 to P7 but there will be no ELC, breakfast club or wraparound care.
- Methven – ELC open but the rest of the school closed.
- Every school in Fife will close due to the action by Unison
- Dundee did not release a full list of closures until late afternoon on Monday, causing chaos for parents.
The councils say they will make announcements if these plans change before Tuesday.
Are more school strikes planned in Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife?
Although Unite and GMB have suspended strike action, the decision on whether to accept the latest pay offer ultimately lies with members of both unions.
If they reject the offer, it will mean further talks are needed – raising the prospect of further strikes if a deal cannot be reached.
Should the deal be accepted, it would mean an end to the threat of strikes from members of Unite and GMB for this year.
Future disruption could also depend on what Unison does next, with the union still making several demands of Cosla on behalf of its members.