Socialist Worker

Scottish teachers announce a ballot against pay freeze

by Andrew Fullwood, South Lanarkshire EIS assistant secretary and EIS council member, personal capacity
Issue No. 2241

Industrial action came a step closer today, Tuesday, as Scotland’s biggest teachers’ union announced that it would ballot its members over proposals to impose a two-year pay freeze and changes to working conditions.

The EIS union will recommend that teachers reject every aspect of the deal and support the call for industrial action.

The councils and the Scottish government are trying to force through £60 million in cuts by slashing the wages of supply teachers, forcing trainee teachers to teach more classes and slashing sick pay.

Other parts of the proposal attack hard-won rights such as salary conservation, maternity and sick leave.

The teaching unions had argued for a pay increase to maintain living standards and make the profession attractive to graduates. They also sought guarantees about improving job prospects for teachers, but the employer made no cast iron promises.

With thousands of teachers already out of work and scrabbling for supply jobs the future is bleak. But the anger that years of cuts and “efficiencies” has created could now be set to boil over.

As one teacher posting on the EIS website put it: 'We and the children we teach did not cause the financial crisis that has led to these cuts but are being asked to pay for it in damaging changes to our education system.

'I am certain that teachers in Scotland will vote to reject these proposals and send a clear message to our employers and those in government that education is not an area for cuts but one for investment.'

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Article information

Tue 1 Mar 2011, 18:46 GMT
Issue No. 2241
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