Socialist Worker

Revolt in Paisley forces council to retreat on cuts

by Andrew Fullwood, South Lanarkshire EIS assistant secretary and EIS council member, personal capacity
Issue No. 2240

The leader of Renfrewshire Council in Scotland says he will suspend plans to replace teachers with unqualified part-time staff in primary schools.

Councillors at a meeting of Renfrewshire Council’s education policy board on Thursday of this week will be asked to suspend the plans.

This follows huge protests. More than 1,200 teachers, parents and pupils rallied at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday morning to protest against the cuts.

The EIS teaching union balloted its primary school members, who rejected the plans by 97 percent, with a high turnout over 75 percent.

The union is set to ballot for industrial action.

Labour politicians in the area want to use this issue to condemn the SNP/Liberal council. But in neighbouring Glasgow City Council, the Labour Party is making cuts.

Most councils across Scotland have now set their budgets with massive cuts planned to education and other services.

One key part of their plans is to attack pay and conditions—but the possibility of action against this by teachers across Scotland came a step closer this week.

The councils’ organisation Cosla pulled out of talks.

This year’s negotiations have seen the SNP government and Cosla trying to force through a two-year pay freeze and unacceptable changes to teachers’ working conditions.

The EIS is committed to ballot members on any offer and this will now happen sooner rather than later if the bosses refuses to negotiate.

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Article information

Tue 22 Feb 2011, 17:52 GMT
Issue No. 2240
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