The impact of austerity on education will dominate debates at the annual general meeting of Scotland’s EIS teachers union in Dundee this week.
There will be frustration that the pensions dispute has not been resolved successfully following the united strikes on 30 November last year.
EIS members delivered an overwhelming vote for action in an indicative ballot, and in April our contributions increased. Yet the union’s executive pulled out of a planned strike in March.
Their excuse was that joint action with other teaching unions and the PCS was unravelling. Union members are frustrated by the failure to provide a clear strategy that can win.
The EIS has appointed a new general secretary, Larry Flanagan, with a more left wing background.
He has said that we need to be ready to take more action over pensions.
But it is no good for the leadership of the union to sound militant only to deliver no action.
EIS members face other attacks including ongoing budget cuts and sweeping proposals to change working conditions.
Last year the union controversially accepted a two year pay freeze and disastrous changes to supply teachers’ pay and conditions.
At the same time a new “Curriculum for Excellence” is causing workload to spiral out of control.