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Budget Proposals - MSP replies?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by halfajack, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    On other threads I've urged people to write to MSPs about the above and how they'll affect us (I offered a template letter which mainly focused on the effects on me - pay cut for working supply, increase in class contact time and speculation that supply teachers will be cast aside to employ this year's probationers). Can anyone who has written to MSPs let me know if they have had a response? I have heard nothing back and neither have any of my friends or colleagues - only a couple of supportive messages from LibDem and Conservative MSPs. I've written again to my own constituency MSP (SNP) expressing my increased concern at the lack of response. I am particularly concerned as one of the things I asked was for her to seek assurance that supply teachers would continue to be employed based on length of service. If I've had no reply should I assume not? Please post here anything you hear from your MSPs about this.
     
  2. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    On other threads I've urged people to write to MSPs about the above and how they'll affect us (I offered a template letter which mainly focused on the effects on me - pay cut for working supply, increase in class contact time and speculation that supply teachers will be cast aside to employ this year's probationers). Can anyone who has written to MSPs let me know if they have had a response? I have heard nothing back and neither have any of my friends or colleagues - only a couple of supportive messages from LibDem and Conservative MSPs. I've written again to my own constituency MSP (SNP) expressing my increased concern at the lack of response. I am particularly concerned as one of the things I asked was for her to seek assurance that supply teachers would continue to be employed based on length of service. If I've had no reply should I assume not? Please post here anything you hear from your MSPs about this.
     
  3. I wrote to half a dozen MSPs. Three wrote back and the answers depended very much on political party. None of them went near changes to McCrone which was odd because I mentioned the impact of more contact time/reduced planning at length, especially when linked to larger class sizes and cuts to SFL staff. The SNP blame LAs for not choosing to spend money on education, Labour vow to fight cuts which will impact on children's education and the LibDems were very understanding but again said this was an LA issue and that they would pester the LA and get back to me. I have replied asking for a more specific response but no replies so far...I know from previous and lengthy correspondence with union and MSP that the commitment to employing supply teachers after two years is a local agreement only so it's up to your LA rather than MSPs. Given that many LAs are deliberately breaking length of service (not in because of a snow day?) I think you would be very unwise to make any assumptions of a permanent job based on long service.
     
  4. Other than my initial response from Mike Russell I have had no response. A colleague went to the EIS meeting for temp teachers and they said there are no answers at the moment as it has not been open for debate yet and nothing has been agreed. I think it will depend a lot on the LA you are in.
     
  5. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Airy, thanks for that. If I were you I'd reply to SNP response and say some things in the proposals are in relation to a national agreement. Sure, COSLA are pushing for cost-cutting but the government appear open to change. We mustn't let the SNP blame local authorities for this matter. Regarding continuity of service, in my own local authority I've heard of only positive reports of people with employment rights being kept on. I believe the employment rights issue is a national one -ie someone working for over a year in a temporary position should expect to be able to be changed to permanent - but some LAs have managed to have the length required increased. I am off for a snow day, yes, however as I've worked for over a year continuously I now have employment rights and do not expect this to be counted as a break in service. In fact, I've heard from colleagues who haven't worked more than a year that they are being promised pay for today since they're on long term supply rather than casual day to day. I'm not worried about that at the moment.
     
  6. GuessWho

    GuessWho New commenter

    I emailed both Mike Russell and my own MSP on Saturday.
    It's now Wednesday and neither have replied (save for an automated response fom the Russell inbox)
     
  7. I did. I'd made that exact point in my original letter to show why I was writing to MSPs and not the council but I repeated it more succinctly in the hope of a reply.
    Sorry, no. It's a local agreement.
    You are very lucky in your LA then.
     
  8. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    I stand corrected. It's only if someone has been working four years they should be considered permanent, according to national employment law (for any job, not just teaching). I'm in an authority which is notorious for letting staff down but I'm lucky, as are many of my colleagues starting supply this year, in that I've been given a fixed term contract and am paid monthly my salary divided by 12, just as permanent staff are. I've been assured this means I have employment rights and if they try to claim today as a break in service I will be seeking legal advice (never mind unions) and would encourage others to do the same.
     
  9. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Bump ^
     
  10. I wrote to my local SNP MSP, Stewart Maxwell, and to Mike Russell, to highlight my particular concern - the bit in his speech which seemed to suggest that councils would be asked to provide employment for all probationers finishing in summer 2011. If this goes through it will of course have the effect of drying up all permanent jobs due to be advertised plus most supply, both long and short term. This won't just affect teachers who are currently on supply - it will also affect many women like me who are currently on career breaks to look after children and who are looking to re-enter the profession. It would be grossly unfair to reserve posts for a particular year group of probationers and I wrote to make this point and to ask that any new posts created are open to competition from any teachers - which would of course have the same effect in combatting teacher unemployment overall.
    While Stewart Maxwell wrote off straight away on my behalf to Mike Russell raising these concerns, neither he nor I have had any reply from Mike Russell yet. I am going to chase this up tomorrow and I would urge anyone reading this thread also to contact their MSPs (of all political persuasion, but especially SNP!) and to write to Mike Russell to express their concerns. It is not a done deal yet but it soon will be so action needs to be taken now. If anyone is reading this from the EIS, I would love to know what they are doing about it..
     
  11. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Thanks. It's quite refreshing that you've had a response from an SNP MSP who is taking your concerns on! You say to contact MSPs, especially SNP. However, I'd argue that the SNP being a minority government it might be more effective to get other political parties on our side. I'm the first to admit I'm not 100% sure of the working of parliament but if the other parties oppose proposals when it's a minority government doesn't that bring things to a halt?

    Wasn't there another rather lengthy response including a message from an MSP here the other day? Was it removed or was it on another thread?
     
  12. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    I got two responses today. One from my constituency MSP (Labour) and one from one of my regional MSPs (SNP):

    Labour MSP blames the SNP for forcing local authorities into a deal in order to facilitate council tax freeze then goes on to slate the SNPs record of broken promises. She says Labour pledge to hire an additional 1000 teachers if elected in May.

    SNP MSP blames local authorities, especially Labour, for the proposals. He says the government wants to protect teaching jobs and in order to do so there will have to be changes to conditions. However, he says the government has been firm in rejecting proposals to increase teaching time which has been pushed by local authorities. He states any change will be a result of tripartite discussions (govt, cosla and unions) in December and it is up to THEM to find other possible means of reaching the same financial target.

    Neither make any reference to my concern about the continuity of my employment as a long term supply teacher or the proposal to drop supply teacher pay to point 1 on scale regardless of experience. Both have offered to meet in person or discuss by phone and I tend to take them up on this to get some more definitive answers.
     
  13. vforvendetta

    vforvendetta New commenter

    Just because there are plenty of jobs to apply for, does not mean there will be enough jobs for everyone. There will be a mad dash by LAs to employ NQTs to save money, and once they are all filled, the rest of use will get a chance at the left overs. Are we niave enough to believe we will all get a fair crack at the whip. Teacher recruitment has always been a joke. We go through the rig ma roll of interview, when we know that nepotism, cronyism, ageism and political correctness are rife. Nothing to do with your ability to teach.
     
  14. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Aye but it's more than that too. ACfE is the way to encourage natural wastage and a means to filter entrants into the world of the permanent contract.
     
  15. I got the same letter from Mike Russell. A subtle change of wording that should make a lot of difference to those in our position. Now we'll just have to make sure that Councils are also clear on exactly what is expected of them. Thank you Mike Russell - it's good to see an Education Minister actually listening to the voices of teachers..
     
  16. ryeland

    ryeland New commenter

    I will rant against the SNP with the best of them, but a wee bit of credit is due here - I wrote to my list and constituency MSPs I received replies from two - both SNP.
     
  17. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Were their replies satisfactory or did they simply blame Labour led councils?
     
  18. redz

    redz New commenter

    I finally got a response from Mike Russell regarding my concerns.
    Basically stating that inthis financial situation we have to all make concessions to protect jobs.
    He did also mention ncct but he stated clearly that "I am able to confirm that it is not being removed"
    We shall wait and see what the cosla, snct meeting comes to agreement about!
     
  19. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    I had a similar response from Christina McKelvie (SNP) today, which is rather more worrying than the letter I got from Mike Russell last month. She also said there are no proposals to increase NCCT and implied I'd taken this information purely from the media (as did Mr. Russell), which was rather insulting and careless since I clearly stated in my original letter that it was one of the money saving factors included in Glasgow City Council's draft budget proposal.
     
  20. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    "Recruitment to these vacancies will be in accordance with each council’s existing locally agreed procedures which need to comply with current equality and employment legislation."

    Well in a certain council near me, the recruitment procedures have not complied with this legislation for at least the last 4 years. Contact the unions, and what do they do? Look at length of service, never mind the fact that invitations to interview for posts supposedly open to all have "probationer interviews" in the file path at the bottom of the page, and that the person in charge of recruitment is blatantly discriminating in favour of probationers. I'm sure this council is not alone, so not holding my breath.
     

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