Schools in Glasgow are facing the threat of industrial action by teachers over calls to bring in remote learning before and after the Christmas holiday.

The Glasgow Local Association of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Scotland's largest teaching union, has opened a consultative ballot of all members.

EIS leaders said Glasgow City Council had rejected their EIS request to move teaching and learning to remote online platforms for the pre and post-Christmas period, in the interests of minimising infection risk.

They claim that the Council have further failed to consider moves to blended or remote learning as a consequence of schools operating in a Level Four area of COVID restrictions.

The ballot states that the Local Association believes this to be indicative of the Council failing to fully exercise its duty of care to staff.

The ballot, which has gone to all EIS members employed by Glasgow City Council - across early years, primary and secondary schools - is open until midday on Monday. Members are being consulted on whether the Local Association should declare a formal trade dispute with the employer.

The Local Association Executive recommend a ‘Yes’ vote in this ballot.

If there is a mandate to declare a dispute with the employer, this declaration will be made before the EIS decide on issuing a further consultative ballot on industrial action.

Susan Quinn, EIS Glasgow Local Association Secretary, said “The EIS has tried to work with the employer on ensuring safe workplaces since the beginning of the pandemic. Our members care deeply about the education and safety of Glasgow’s children and young people.

"That is why they know that schools and educational establishments should not remain open ‘at all costs’.

"We have simply asked the Council to consider moving to remote learning for a few days before and after the Christmas holidays, which it is within their power to do, and to outline their triggers and plans for remote and blended learning. The Council have, so far, refused on both accounts.

"We want to get an outcome which ensures the safety of our members in order that they can continue to provide quality and nurturing education.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “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.”