Cole-Hamilton criticises FM as no new pay offer for teachers is made in months

2 Feb 2023
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Addressing the First Minister, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today pressed her over what action she will take to get school gates open and recognition for gallantry for firefighter Barry Martin.

Commenting on the death of firefighter Barry Martin, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“When we are told to run from danger, our emergency workers run towards it. Last week Edinburgh firefighter Barry Martin did just that and paid the ultimate price in so doing. I hope that the First Minister will join me in paying tribute to Barry and join our efforts to see him awarded the George Cross – the highest award for civilian gallantry.

On strikes in Scotland’s schools, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“Presiding Officer, after the disruption of the pandemic, we have calculated that Scotland’s school pupils have now lost over 2 million days of education due to strike action. That will double if an agreement is not reached.

“Today it’s Dundee and Argyll & Bute. Tomorrow it’s South Lanarkshire and the Western Isles.

“Teachers care deeply about their pupils and closing the gates is the last thing they want to do but the last pay offer was made to them back in November and there has been nothing new since.

“Presiding Officer, this generation of young people has had it harder than any other, and life-qualifying exams are coming over the horizon.

“Waiting for teachers to buckle or inflation to fall is not a strategy. So can I ask the First Minister, what will she do personally to get those school gates open?”

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