COUNCIL services will be severely affected by this week’s strike action as union members walk out for the second time in a month over pay.
The 24-hour strike will see the vast majority of schools close their doors and inter-island ferries brought to a halt on Wednesday.
Around 1,200 council workers walked out on August 20th in protest over a below inflation 2.5 per cent pay offer for three years.
Hopes were raised that renewed negotiations could lead to a compromise which would avert any further strike action. But when talks with Cosla leaders failed to thrash out a deal, plans for a second strike day were hatched.
As a result, the only schools expected to remain open are Skerries, Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Lunnasting and Sandness. Schools at North Roe and Uyeasound will be open for pupils until lunchtime.
The Janet Courtney Hostel in Lerwick will be closed, but travel arrangements have been made for isles pupils to take them to the ferry, and flights have been arranged for Fair Isle pupils.
All ferry services will be affected for the 24 hours when there will be an emergency service only for blue light services and animal care. Emergency standby will liaise with the coastguard agency for emergencies.
Further information will be placed on the notice boards on each ferry and the electronic displays will be used for updating where possible.
Buses will operate as normal, but the inter-island air service may have some timetable changes if Sumburgh has to be used instead of Tingwall.
The public library in Lerwick is likely to remain closed.
Shetland College will be unaffected, as will Train Shetland’s short courses, although its office for vocational courses will be closed during the action.
Islesburgh Community Centre and Youth Hostel will be closed all day, including all children’s groups.
Staff will contact anyone who has a booking for Wednesday to discuss alternative arrangements.
The Town Hall will be closed and no switchboard will be available.
There is unlikely to be any refuse collection.
Day care at the Eric Gray Resource Centre, day and evening care at Newcraigielea and the skills centre at Annsbrae will be closed.
Care centres and Loeg will, however, operate as normal due to the exemption of workers from the strike action.