A SECOND union is consulting its members on strike action over Covid-19 safety standards in Glasgow schools.

Yesterday we told how the EIS is run a consultative ballot of teachers, asking for views on potential strike action in response to health and welfare fears. 

Now the Unison Glasgow Branch intends to quiz its members in the city's schools and early years establishments on what it calls "the failure" of Glasgow City Council to do all it can to keep workers safe from coronavirus risks. 

Avril Brady, Unison Education Convenor, said: "The outcome of the consultation will be used to determine the Unison branch's future advice to members and inform any move to a statutory ballot. "Our members deserve respect and all the safety measures possible. "

The union, which represents more than 4000 workers in the city's schools and education establishments, cites the council refusing to extend the Christmas period as having a negative impact on the workforce.

The EIS had made a similar request to Glasgow City Council, although it wanted to move to blended learning in the days before the Christmas holiday, rather than have an extended break.

Both unions are critical of the council for refusing to move to blended learning while the city was in Level 4 restrictions.

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens in Glasgow have backed the EIS teachers union’s decision to consult its members.

Patrick Harvie MSP said: “Scottish Greens have consistently raised the safety of teachers and other school staff since August. 

"We agree schools should be open, but like the EIS says, not at all costs. 

"It’s extremely disappointing that Glasgow City Council has dismissed out of hand a reasonable request which would stop teachers from having to work on Christmas Day, so we support the EIS decision to ballot teachers on calling a formal dispute and will stand in solidarity with them if that happens.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “Unison has not approached the council to ask us to move to blended learning in schools and nurseries or to extend the holiday period for their members.”

“We are committed to working with our staff and professional associations to make our schools and nurseries as safe as possible during these challenging times and in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic.”

Councillor Jon Molyneux, the Greens’ Education spokesman on the council, added: "The refusal by Glasgow City Council to move to remote learning either side of the Christmas break is just the latest example of teachers being made to feel undervalued. 

"It follows concerns from pregnant and vulnerable staff who were denied safer working requests, and an extreme reluctance to move to blended learning, even in level four and when hundreds of children have been sent home from some schools due to covid."