Hundreds of teachers’ jobs facing the axe in Glasgow

In the run up to the July general election, it could be time for the Scottish National Party (SNP) Scottish government to go back to school. In a cowardly and highly controversial move which will cut teaching jobs by as much as 652 over a three-year-period, which has caused the Glasgow branch of the EIS teachers’ union to open a consultative ballot for possible strike action, it’s clear they have failed miserably to defend the city from cuts.

The SNP-led local council, the biggest in Scotland, says it has to plug a £108 million budget black hole, however teachers have hit back, warning of the detrimental impact this will have on children’s education and on teachers who are already leaving the profession due to intolerable stress.

With teacher absence at already worryingly high levels and probationer teacher numbers declining, these cuts could lead to whole classes being sent home. Pupils with additional needs will come under threat too, which will have serious consequences for vulnerable children. Some of the areas that could be lost are ASN support, literacy and numeracy support, sports competitions and other events, psychological services and trips out of school.

Almost 30% of Glasgow’s youth live in poverty, seriously curtailing their opportunities. They are less likely to carry on to further education and be trapped in low paid jobs. Some will also be more likely to turn to crime and addiction in future. This is an abysmal legacy for capitalist politicians and an urgent indication of the need for a socialist alternative to austerity.

The fact that Labour wanted to cut £28 million from the education budget, including the 450 teacher’s jobs and the Greens, £35 million, the 450 jobs plus support projects and more, shows that neither of them can be trusted to act in the interests of working-class families in Glasgow either.

Scottish TUSC (Trade Union Socialist Coalition) are standing two candidates, in Glasgow South and Glasgow North East, who will do so on a no cuts, socialist programme.

Alongside the consultative ballot, a petition has been launched encouraging all teachers, parents and members of the public to sign showing their opposition to the proposed cuts. It would be unwise for the government to engage in another battle with the teachers’ union after being forced into finding more money over pay disputes by prolonged strike action in 2022/3.

TUSC will support any action teachers take, joining them on picket lines and on demos and marches. A march has already been planned for June 24th at The Royal Concert Hall steps at 7pm.

We say that the Scottish government should use all the financial mechanisms at their disposal, including borrowing powers, reserves and cancelling all PFI/PPP debt.

Glasgow school children cannot wait for independence to fix their broken school system. Voting for a socialist candidate would put huge pressure on the cuts making politicians in Westminster but also in the Scottish parliament where they persistently blame the Tories for their budget decisions.

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June 2024