Delegates to the AGM of the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching trade union, gathered in Perth last week.
They met against the backdrop of teachers narrowly accepting a deal that was strongly recommended by the union leadership. This included £45 million of cuts and a 46 percent wage cut for many supply teachers.
The ballot found 56 percent in favour—hardly a ringing endorsement of the leadership.
There is anger and bitterness over the deal.
The leadership narrowly survived a motion of disapproval on the decisions of the EIS salaries committee who negotiated this deal.
Delegates were met by an angry demonstration outside conference on Saturday morning, mainly of supply teachers who had travelled from all over Scotland.
One banner reading “Sold out—stabbed in the back” summed up the mood.
The protest was organised by a new group called Reclaim EIS, which campaigns for a more democratic union and to fight all the cuts.
Delegates passed a record nine motions calling for industrial action on a range of issues, including national strikes to defend pensions and for joint action with other public sector unions.
Delegates also voted overwhelmingly to affiliate to the Right to Work campaign.
Unfortunately a specific motion on calling for a ballot before November, targeted strikes and a member’s levy was defeated.