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35% of members...

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by airy, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Driving home I listened to someone from the ATL passionately defend their decision to take strike action. Asked if the union really had a mandate as only 35% of members had voted, she replied that many MPs would be grateful for such a mandate, the point was accepted and the debate moved on...I wonder if the EIS would like to comment on this?
  2. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    They already have. Retiring President Kay Barnet (the one who met privately with Alex Salmond the week before the sell out) called for unity in the broad church that is the EIS yada yada yada and other vomit inducing platitudes. What was the quote from Jonothan Swift again ...?

    "I never wonder at the wickedness of (wo) men but I often wonder that they be no more ashamed."
  3. Yeah, I kinda knew that. It just annoyed me. I've had great support from the EIS in the past and I'm ****** off that the leadership choose merely to pretend that they represent members. You'll be pleased to know I'm jumping ship to your lot...
  4. Hmm, so....when exactly is the tough-talking SSTA balloting its members on strike action on pay and conditions? I note that the last emergency motion passed at the SSTA AGM talks about, "fighting injustice"... How will it do this? Handing COSLA a punishment exercise? giving Mike Russell the 1000 yard stare? Give me a break.
    Has the SSTA actually given us any alternative suggestion as to how to proceed? Not a bit of it.

    I'm afraid that the bark of the SSTA is very much louder than its bite.
  5. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    When they ask us to. That's what unions do - respond to the concerns of their members. My bet would be September - ish when the McCormac Review reports or when the pensions proposals are fully fleshed out by the UK government

    Don't know what motion you're referring to. That phrase rings no bells. You can check the exact wording of the motions which were actually passed on the SSTA website here ...


    We'd have a lot bigger bite if we had 20K plus secondary teacher members! And we'd have an even bigger one yet
    if we could work cooperatively with a primary teachers' union which was equally determined to defend teachers' terms and conditions and which was not led by spineless toadies.

    Be clear that I am not attacking EIS members in saying that. Nor am I trying to encourage EIS members to switch to my own union. (That's hardly necessary at the moment anyway.) I would be just as happy for EIS members to become more active in their own union and change its policies.

    What really infuriates me about the EIS leadership is their arrogance and hubris. They were offered the possibility of a coalition against the cuts by SSTA and NASUWT and even Voice and they spurned that offer. They'd rather do deals with employers and sell out their own members than cooperate with or even admit the existence of other unions.

    As to the recent sell out, this is part of a mail I got from SSTA HQ yesterday ...

    SNCT Agreement

    This Association is committed to protecting the rights of all teachers in Scotland, whatever type of contract they may hold. To this end we will be actively involved in monitoring the position of members disadvantaged by these unacceptable changes. We are in discussion with our legal team and fully intend to test these decisions at law.

    We request that members keep us informed of their position, and in particular of any detriment they suffer.[
  6. 1. She doesn't understand the diference between turnout and share of the vote
    2. Assuming she meant share of the vote the many MPs she refers to are 8 in number.
    3. None of the MPs with < 35 % of the share were in an election with one other candidate i.e a similar binary choice.

  7. ryeland

    ryeland New commenter

    And had the vote gone the other way - the other side would then claim that the non voters supported them. Always the way.

    Good Luck down South!
  8. MAJ, none of those points were made by the interviewer. It might just be that the EIS have a better grasp of numbers than the ATL but the point remains that one union will support what another regarded as unsupportable. Nice to see you over here, btw...
  9. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I do sometimes wonder, though, if the SSTA are actually picking the right fights here.
    There's an interesting article on the public sector strike action in today's Independent - the link is:
    The problem is, people look at teachers and see the holidays and the pensions - and while we understand the stress there really isn't much sympathy for public sector workers in general on things like pay & conditions when the private sector is being squeezed. What I'm concerned about is that the SSTA (and the EIS too) would actually fight the unwinnable fight instead of the winnable one. For example, I'm pretty sure that most people would disagree with the infamous statement that "a teacher's primary role should not be to teach," and by hammering this point home it would undermine COSLA's arguments. Instead, the unions are attacking the changes which most people working in the private sector seem reasonable.
    Unions in the private sector now are primarily only about protecting employees' legal rights, not their pay & conditions. My old union, Unite, has no-strike agreements with employers, and so has deliberately strung itself up on pay negotiations. It wouldn't surprise me if things move along those lines in the public sector within the next few years - as pay deals are imposed because unions won't negotiate, people will start to question the worth of the union you're paying &pound;20 or &pound;30 per month for.

  10. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    The thing is, when the private sector is 'squeezed' terms and conditions of employment are changed temporarily. Generally, when economic conditions improve so does pay etc in the private sector. Permanent changes to our conditions are being enforced upon us for a situation which is not of our making.
    If the public is not prepared to pay for a professional service they will not get one, it's as simple as that.
    We need to smash the gold-plated pension myth. 10k a year is hardly enough to retire to the South of France with a la Fred Goodwin.
  11. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    I can assure you that the SSTA is picking a fight with no one. Not even COSLA. Rather, it is doing what any trade union worth the name would do - defending its members.
    Agreed up to a point. The point being that we are teachers specifically not public sector workers in general. Scots still have a fairly high regard for teachers and there's very few would exchange places with a teacher. Yes, anti teacher spin will have to be countered but that's not new.
    Not sure what you mean here? I'm not aware of any attacks being mounted at the moment. We're keeping our powder dry until the MacCormac Review reports. If you mean the pensions situation then the Scottish unions are likewise engaging with the negotiating process on the UK teachers' working group. It may be that we will be forced to take action to defend a scheme which already does most of what the UK govt wants e.g. retirement at 65.
    We had one of those too! It was called the 21st C Agreement and it provided 10 years of stability and progress in Scotland's schools. It's certainly not the unions who are trying to dismantle it.
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I used "picking a fight" in the sense that it needs to choose what it is criticising the employers for, whilst acknowledging that it's not going to get everything it wants. EIS did string up its supply members, and probably could have held out for better, but they would argue that they got the best deal possible for most of their members.
    I think the second part of your sentence is true, but I'm not so sure about the first now. The effect of the Sun and the Daily Mail cannot be underemphasised.
    Fair enough, but - building on the two points above - I still think that the COSLA statement should have been roundly and publicly shredded by both unions. Even the most anti-teacher parent would agree that teachers should primarily teach - it's actually a simple stick which could have caused lots of damage. Leaving it until McCormac reports in the autumn could mean that it's less effective by that stage.
  13. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    I think you'll find that it has been. The press has reported on this. Even Ronnie Smith had a go at COSLA in his EIS AGM speech. Unfortunately we don't control the media. However, you can be asured that COSLA's approach will be highlighted again when the MacCormac Review reports.

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