WEE COUNTY schools face closure later this month as Unison and Unite announced they will hold three days of strike action over a pay dispute.

The two unions announced they will take strike action from Tuesday, September 26 to Thursday, September 28.

These strikes are expected to affect primary and secondary schools in Clacks and several other local authorities.

Members of Unite and Unison set to strike include janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff.

Johanna Baxter, Unison Scotland’s head of local government, said: “Going on strike is always a last resort – our members want to be in schools supporting children, not on picket lines outside them. But they have been left with no option.

“Local government workers overwhelmingly rejected Cosla’s below-inflation pay offer back in March and despite our repeated representations, no improvement has been forthcoming. A real-terms pay cut in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis is a cut our members simply cannot afford.

“This is not a highly-paid workforce – there quarters of local government workers earn less than the average Scottish wage.

“All they want is to be paid fairly for the vital work they do supporting Scotland’s communities – Cosla and the Scottish Government need to get back round the table and work with us to deliver that.”

Unite the Union has also voted to strike on the same days in September, with their members covering 11 Scottish Councils.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Cosla and the Scottish Government have been given warning after warning that strike action will be inevitable unless there is an improved pay offer.

“The entire blame for this situation is down to Cosla’s ineptitude, and the Scottish Government’s dithering.”

The third major union, GMB Scotland, has announced it will postpone it planned industrial action set for Wednesday and Thursday, September 13 and 14.

Essential non-teaching staff were set to down tools over the two-day period, but have held off for the time being amid talks over a new pay deal.

Keir Greenaway, senior organiser in public services, said: “We wanted to give parents, children and local authorities as much clarity around our plans as possible.

“We had served notice for two days of strike action this month but as our sister unions cannot join us on these dates, these have been withdrawn and we are actively discussing joint action later in the month.

“Cosla has the opportunity to avert that action if they can offer our members a fair pay rise and we can only urge them to take that opportunity.”

Parents are encouraged to keep an eye on their school’s social media or websites as the situation continues to change.