TEACHERS have staged a protest over cuts that threaten to axe hundreds of jobs in Glasgow schools.

EIS members held a demonstration outside the City Chambers after Glasgow City Council set its budget last month which included education service reforms.

The “reform” is estimated by unions to mean 450 teaching posts cut across the city over the three-year budget term.

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EIS members were joined by NASUWT, GMB and Unison to demand a rethink of the budget and for the council to join them in calling for more cash from the Scottish Government to fund local services.

Glasgow Times:

The union argues that more teachers, not fewer are needed to cope with “rising numbers of young people who require sustained and specialised support”.

The council said the three-year budget means no total number can be put on an overall reduction in posts but the 172 number is understood to be accurate for the first year.

The EIS said the cuts will impact negatively on teachers and pupils across the city.

Glasgow Times:

Jane Gow, Glasgow Local Association Secretary, said, “Despite promises from the Scottish Government to increase teacher numbers, in Glasgow, teacher numbers have continued to fall for the past two years.

“The EIS has long recognised the corrosively dangerous effect previous cuts have had on education provision across Scotland and has been campaigning widely for more teachers to address the rising numbers of young people who must have sustained and specialised support to meet their needs and get the quality education they deserve.

 “We strongly believe this key action will also address the concern we have over a concomitant rise in violent and aggressive behaviour as pupils struggle with the effects of diminishing resources.

“We are at crisis point and in dispute with our employer who published a budget where drastic cuts to teacher numbers were not overt but emerged along with a plan for education reform.”

The union has also hit out at the 'axing' of the MCR mentoring programme and cuts to vital support staff in schools.

Ms Gow added: “The voice of Glasgow’s workforce is clear, our city cannot absorb any cuts to jobs and we strongly condemn a budget that says it can.”

The council however, said no decision has been made on the MCR Pathways programme.

A spokesperson said: “A review of our MCR mentoring co-ordinators is underway following the council budget last month.

“Several options are being explored and no decision has been taken to stop the programme.”

The council said that it is no longer sustainable to protect education from cuts like in previous years.

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council, said: “Officers will continue to have meaningful consultation with trade unions to discuss the challenges and they are aware of the savings required.

“Senior staff have met with headteachers to start the discussions on future staffing models and service reform.

“At every stage we will do everything we can to minimise any impact but in the current financial climate the council must look at every option.

“Officers are looking at several education service reform options as part of a budget that required £108m of savings from council services over the next three years, not including social care.

“For many years education spending has been prioritised, relative to other services, in the budget process.

“However, with the education budget now amounting to more than half of service expenditure directed by the council, it is significantly more challenging to protect education when substantial savings are still required.

“A cross party, political oversight group is being established, and we will continue to engage with employees, parents, carers, and trade unions.”