TEACHERS in the Western Isles have voted for strike action over timetable changes they fear will lead to more online learning for students.

Bosses at the EIS trade union carried out a consultative ballot on industrial action, and said 88% of those who voted were in favour, with 12% against, on a turnout of 74%.

The union has warned Western Isles Council that if an agreement cannot be reached, a statutory ballot for industrial action will be its next step.

It came as the EIS accused the council of seeking to impose “harmonised timetables”, which it said would result in more online learning.

Karen Graham, EIS local association secretary, said: “We have informed the authority of the result of the consultative ballot and hope they will use this result to ensure they re-affirm their commitment to collective bargaining and it informs their decision-making in terms of taking the voice of teachers seriously.

“We are always open to resolving this dispute through negotiation and consultation, however if the authority wishes to continue on its path of imposition rather than agreeing a way forward with teaching staff, it is likely that a statutory ballot for strike action will be the next step.

“We are now looking at a window of opportunity, let’s hope the authority utilises it.”