Fears of political hijack after Scottish Labour official claims teacher pay march was anti-SNP protest

Fears that the Scottish Labour party is seeking to make political capital out of public-sector pay negotiations have grown after a party official claimed a march in support of teachers’ pay was a protest against the ‘SNP government’.

Aidan Kerr, who is part of Scottish Labour’s communications team, made the claim in a tweet following the march on Saturday.

Fomer STV reporter Kerr said: “Incredible show of opposition to the SNP government on Glasgow’s streets.”

The tweet followed a march organised by the teaching union, the EIS.  The march was in support of a demand by the union that all teachers be awarded a ten per cent pay rise, regardless of their current salary.

The Scottish government has offered a combination of a 3% increase for all staff earning up to £80,000, a restructuring of the main grade scale and annual progression, which they say will mean the majority of teachers receive a rise between 5% and 11%.

The march attracted an estimated 30,000 people according to the EIS with speakers from the SNP, Greens, Lib Dems and Scottish Labour.  However there have been growing suspicions that some trade unions have been using local-government pay disputes as a means of boosting support for Scottish Labour under Richard Leonard.

One Scottish Labour politician released a video which used the march to attack the SNP.

A previous march in support of equal pay for female council workers in Glasgow witnessed Labour politicians blame the SNP despite the dispute having been caused by Labour and prolonged for over ten years by the party.

An official of one leading trade union at the centre of the Glasgow Council Equal Pay strike is also a Labour party election candidate.  GMB official Rhea Wolfson attacked SNP group leader Susan Aitken and threatened to “shut down this city” only months after the SNP took control of Glasgow Council from Labour.

Current Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who replaced Kezia Dugdale last year, is a former official with GMB Scotland.  The union contributed £12,000 to Leonard’s Scottish Labour leadership campaign.

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8 thoughts on “Fears of political hijack after Scottish Labour official claims teacher pay march was anti-SNP protest

  1. John

    Leonard is out to get rid of SNP , he has the Unions at his beck and call , any dirty play will do , watch for the next lot to be called out , back to the seventies ! .

  2. Lorna Campbell

    Thought this was union and Labour orchestrated from the beginning because nothing to be gained except propaganda. The women and the teachers are being used as political pawns. This is a serious step up from normal political campaigning. It has always been Labour that is the true foe of Scotland. The Tories and Lib Dems are as sleekit as the proverbial cat’s doo-doo, but at least you know what they are.

    1. Heidstaethefire

      If you really think that the leadership of the EIS is stupid enough to manipulated by the labour party you underestimste teachers and overestimate the labour party.
      As a retired former active member of the EIS I am still regularly in touch with former colleagues, several of whom served at the very top of the union. All of them, apart from one have long since eschewed the labour party and are independence supporters.
      Teachers are on strike for one rrason only; they have been underpsid for 10 years.

      1. Lorna Campbell

        I don’t believe I said any such thing, Heid. Why is it not possible for the teachers to strike but also for the unions and Labour party in Scotland to be cock-a-hoop for very different reasons? Hasn’t that great former Labour and union man, Richard Leonard, who was actually a high-up official of GMB, been tweeting his support and making speeches? I actually support the unions in their fight for better pay and conditions for their members, always have. SNP baaaaahhhd is on the agenda, always was and always will be, so long as we are trapped in the Union I believe that Labour in Scotland and the unions that back LiS are making hay with these strikes, keeping the pot boiling. That is what I meant. I am sorry that teachers feel as they do, and I sympathize.

  3. Independent Woman

    Come on SNP rebuttal unit. Are you on your holidays? Get your official a***e in gear and tackle these liars head on. The foot soldiers are getting sick of taking the flak at street stalls etc.

  4. Lochside

    ‘Snp rebuttal unit’..does it even exist?…arrogant or ignorant…the SNP seem to be like lemmings..letting themselves and the rest us..go headlong over the cliff into a no deal brexit disaster, without any attempt to assert our sovereignty…and also probably to a minority SNP gov. in Hollyrood as all the dupes and dopes buy into Corbyn/Leonard and the SLAB/BBC coalition of lies.

    I’ve given up expecting any fightback worth a damn….and I know that I’m not alone.

    1. Karen Ann Donald

      I think we have all learnt a few things. In 2014 we spent all our time rebutting this that and the other. To no avail. The papers won’t publish it and if they do they twist it. I think the SNP leaders have decided to concentrate on making Scotland a better version of England. And I think they are succeeding. Who doesn’t want free prescriptions, more houses built, better health care , etc, etc.
      They do not want to get into a constant argument with the lying, biased press. They aren’t stooping to their level this time. They are marching to a different tine. Their own. Our own. There are enough keyboard warriors jumping down the throats of all the ner sayers now. Every time an utterance is made 6 of us jump in with facts. We are the Indy movement. We have huge numbers. Let the SC get on with governing. Let us be better “ on purpose”. They rise about it. We don’t want them being fish wives claichin about every piece of gossip and lies.
      Annoying I know. Frustrating yes. But. Hey ho. That’s our job. Kill them with facts. Dispute their untruths. Uncover their lies.

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