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GTC Scotland Elections . . .

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Dominie, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Voted for ...
    Euan Duncan
    James Forbes
    Robert Hands (cracking statement!)
    Robert Macmillan
    Janine McCullough
    Margaret Nesbitt
    Catherine Nicol
    Sally Shearer
    The SSTA ticket in other words. But, in the past, I have voted for non SSTA candidates if their statement referred to the kind of things I was looking for. The EIS statements this year? " I'm EIS vote for me. Go on, I insist you vote for me." or "I'm on the Council alreadygo on vote for me.
    I believe the Primary candidates include Brenda Bleackly who I understand is one of the people behind the SPTA. I hope she gets elected just to take the smiles off some EIS faces.
    In fact, a good drubbing for the EIS in this election would be great all round. I'm sure a few supply teachers would be tickled pink!
     
  2. I'm no longer an EIS member but I have to say they have some fantastic people at a local level. I haven't read the statements or seen the list of candidates so I don't know who is standing. Like Dominie, I wish Brenda well because she's worked hard to be a voice for many left unheard and unrepresented by the EIS.
     
  3. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Oh! [​IMG] I didn't realise it was ok to talk about particular candidates on here. For secondary, my list is almost identical to Doms, just one name out.
    So do I.
    Well, we can always hope that some good things come out of these elections. It would be very life affirming to see some drones/cyphers replaced by REAL people.
     
  4. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Ditto.
     
  5. I also read all the EIS candidates statements and was very disappointed, not one mentioned daily supply staff and the appalling change to their salary. Why am I not surprised?
     
  6. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    EIS leadership not mentioning the Sell Out Deal is a bit like neo Nazis denying the Holocaust. Totally unsurprising.
    But to retun to the theme which is developing in this thread ... if you want to change things you have to convince those who believe the EIS leadership propaganda to act differently or convince others simply to read the statements and vote.
    Sadly, too many will simply not bother.
     
  7. cochrane1964

    cochrane1964 New commenter

    Identical to Dominie, except I mistakenly missed out Margaret Nesbitt as I did not know her credentials until yesterday! Vote for Rab C's sister! ps Bobby Hands - agreed - what a statement.
     
  8. Had to laugh at that. This from Dominie the one man SSTA propaganda machine.
    I'm the EiS rep in my school and last week I was approached by three SSTA members who wanted to join the EiS. One of them is a personal friend who showed me an email she had received from her SSTA rep. In it the rep stated that anyone who crossed the picket line on the 30th would NOT be asked to leave the union and the SSTA would still represent them.
    In all honesty I couldn't believe it. I've known the SSTA rep for years and we've always worked well together at a school level.
    So, I spoke to her. She told me that they had had to put the email out as three ex-EiS members had asked her directly as they had left the EiS because of the strike. She had spoken to Ann Ballinger directly and had been told that members didn't need to strike and that crossing a picket line should not be held against SSTA members. She further told me that she was personally disgusted with this but had to pass on what she had been told.
    The upshot has been three Eis Members going to the SSTA and five SSTA members going to the EiS.
    For me the whole sorry episode sums up the state of Scottish Teaching unions. On one hand the EiS whose leadership make the keystone cops look like a model of effeciency and on the other the SSTA whose main mission seems to be say whatevers convenient to increase your membership.
    I actually nearly joined the SSTA after the sell out in the summer and if it hadn't been for RejectEiS I would have but lets just say recent events have somewhat coloured my view of the SSTA leadership. Seems to me the tactic is welcome ex-Eis members in the summer disgusted over the sell out and in the winter let in the scabs. Hardly principled is it?
    Then there was the other tactic of waiting till everyone else votes to strike and then join in at the last minute, leading from the front?
    But for me Dominie the thing that really turns the stomach is the neo-Nazi/ Holocaust allusion. If you had ever been to Auschwitz you would realise how truly contemptable that little soundbite was (a spin to far perhaps?).
    So next time you want to have a pop at the EiS leadership feel free ( I'll probably agree with you) but please spare us the paen to the SSTA.
    It makes what I am sure are high principles look like nothing more than cheap opportunism.
     
  9. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    I am afraid you have completely failed to understand the email sent to rep's. If they were honest, the EIS leadership would have sent out a similar email. Legislation strictly regulates picketing. Limit of 6, entitlement to speak to strike breakers but any threats / intimidation might lead to arrest and possible sequestration of union funds in extremis.

    Furthermore, any union which attempts to discipline its members for strike breaking or passing a picket is liable to render itself liable to similar penalties. It is simply a reality to say that, in law, members do not need to strike.

    If you don't agree with that that's fine. You don't have the responsibility of looking after the EIS's members' funds and protecting the union from legal attack by anti union forces.

    This is however very far from saying that the SSTA does not expect its members to strike. I'll be on a picket line on Wednesday and I will be making every legal effort to persuade any strike breakers to turn around and join their colleagues on the demo's.

    Not a tactic I can assure you. Personally, I would have preferred an earlier commitment to strike action. SSTA Council disagreed after hearing from our rep on the UK superann working party. The argument was that there was still a possibility of being wrong footed by a further offer by HMG and of being accused of being "strike happy" by the ConDems. If we had decided to join the EIS in announcing a ballot (just about the time the McCormac Review reported) no doubt you would have accused us of hanging on the EIS's coat tails.

    The very opposite. See above. We have been open and honest in stating that there is nothing we can do if members choose to break the strike. If I can quote a fairly principled person however ... "Moral authority is never retained by any attempt to hold on to it. It comes without seeking and is retained without effort." Mohandas Gandhi.

    I agree with the first half. The second half is influenced by your prejudice against the SSTA and your ignorance ( a literal noun, not a pejorative one) of trade union law regarding picketing. May I suggest you visit the SSTA website and download the speech made by our President at our Congress this year. This may convince you (or not) that our position is based on fundamental trade union principles: "An injury to one is an injury to all."

    Yes, it was a little extreme and I apologise for the offence it appears to have caused. I have been to Auschwitz with pupils actually. The most shocking thing for any visitor is the extent to which Jews conspired in their own destruction. From the elders in the Ghettoes who worked with the SS (often with very rational justifications) to the laager kapos who took the victims to the showers. The actions of the EIS leadership in selling out their PT, CT and supply members in the Spring is certainly not in the same ball park, I agree.

     
  10. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    EIS members will be expected/asked to leave the union if they turn up for work on Wednesday. Our Rep made that quite clear.
    I also nearly joined the SSTA in the summer after supply teachers were shafted, but not got much time for our SSTA rep so ended up staying put.
    I agree with an earlier post that they have been very opportunistic in trying to cash in on angry EIS members with their poster campaign, and they were very late to jump on the strike bandwaggon - they suggested that nothing had been announced in Scotland (although Swinney had made it clear he had to pass on Westminister instructions on pensions during the summer).
    The simple fact is that all our union leaders are useless. Lets hope they all develop a backbone if this dispute drags on.
     
  11. No I didn't misunderstand the email Dominie. Our Branch had a meeting where the strike was discussed. It was made clear to those who refused to abide by the vote that the only honourable choice open to them was to leave the union if they couldn't abide by a democratic vote of that union. They were not expelled they left as they accepted that argument. This has nothing to do with picketing as the discussion took place in an EiS meeting.
    No I wouldn't have. It does however show up the quality of leadership in the SSTA that you were more worried about how your arguments are perceived rather than standing by your principles. In fact waiting till after the EiS voted to strike is exactly the action that does make it look like you are hanging on the EiS's coat tails.
    Quoting Gandhi doesn't change the fact that the SSTA are accepting new members whose only reason for joining is to avoid having to strike. Three people in my school openly told the SSTA rep that they were joining as they didn't want to strike and your union accepted these people as new members. Now legally speaking you could have refused them membership. You didn't, and that speaks volumes about the morality of your union.
    I did read it Dominie but it brings it back to my main point. The SSTA talk a good game but that's all you do. A Union president that speaks about union principles in the full glare of a conference speach and then tells Reps in private to let in scabs from another union doesn't deserve anything other than derision.
    Holocaust Educational Trust I presume. I also went with pupis on the initial Scottish Trip and even though I had read Primo Levi and studied the Holocaust in detail....actually being there does put it in perspective. Perhaps one of the most dispirting things about discourse these days is how quickly the Nazi/Holocaust analogy is made when there are plenty of other (more accurate) historical analogies to draw on.
    The real problem here Dominie is your simplistic EiS bad, SSTA good analysis. The reality is that neither organisation is particularly great (but what union is these days). Your failure to admit to any SSTA failures does undermine your argument.
     
  12. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Oh dear. I posted what I thought was an honest and reflective answer to your rather vituperative post. I even posted an apology and this is what happens.
    You view our current position as "failure" re strike breaking. I view it as a sensible precaution to protect the union from legal action. I say it again, read my text ...
    ANY UNION WHICH THREATENS TO DISCIPLINE MEMBERS FOR FAILURE TO TAKE PART IN STRIKE ACTION RENDERS ITSELF OPEN TO LEGAL ATTACK.
    That is the reason why the email was sent to reps. I imagine one of our rep's or local officials may have threatened some reprisal which led to a complaint and thus led to the email. I don't know for sure. What I do know is in capital letters above. If you approach the EIS, they will give an identical response, if they are honest at least. As a matter of fact, there will be far more EIS members who strike break tomorrow than SSTA members.
    Because of your own prejudice, you interpret that as opportunism and an attempt to recruit members. I can assure you no opportunism would be required at the moment. By all accounts, we can't fire out the membership forms fast enough. Possibly that may be because teachers who witnessed a sickening sell out in the Spring and who therefore are reluctant to strike for the EIS are happier to join a union which did not sell them out. Others do not like being bullied and harassed by people who represent the same organisation which sold teachers down the river. Besides this reason, others do have genuine conscientious reasons for not striking.
    To repeat : the SSTA does NOT approve of strike breaking but that disapproval need not be expressed by bullying. Hence my Ghandi quote.
    If you read my posts I have never said "EIS bad". I have always specified the EIS leadership. Unfortunately, while there are many genuine trade unionists at every level of the EIS, the culture which the leadership has developed in the past decade or so has been one of unmitigated arrogance worthy of the Sun King himself. "L'etat c'est moi" L'etat = the education system, CPD, links with government, CfE, the GTCS etc.
    If you've read our Past President's speech you'll see that he refers to the SSTA culture ..
    No schmoozing over CPD / CfE etc.
    Direct service to members when they need it.
    The proof of the pudding of course will be in the eating so back to the title of this thread. I'll bet my pension that, if the EIS dominates the next GTCS, within weeks of an "independent" GTCS being formed , a reaccreditation scheme will be cooked up by the GTCS as part of a tawdry deal between the EIS leadership on the SNCT and the SG / COSLA . Likewise, there will be a sell out on the SNCT of teachers' conditions in the negotiations over the McCormac Review.
    Time will tell.

     
  13. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Or perhaps it's only a matter of time . . . . . .
     
  14. Then your rep is wrong. You don't have to strike when your union votes for it.
     
  15. Don't give up!
     
  16. When you resort to capital letters Dominie then you've already lost the argument. But explain to me how telling people that if they won't abide by a democratic vote of their union then in all conscience they should leave that union amounts to diciplinary action.
    I fully accept everyone's right do do as they please but that isn't the same as accepting that everyone is free do do as they please without consequences.
    And I'm vituperative? Any other predictions? Any chance you could pick six numbers between 1 and 49 for me? Or could this be a rather pathetic attempt to deflect the conversation away from what the SSTA has done by claiming to know what EIS members will do?
    When someone says to an SSTA rep can I join your Union so I don't have to strike and the SSTA says come right in, then prejudice doesn't enter into it. The facts speak for themselves. You could have refused them membership. You didn't and in your post you carefully avoid addressing that point.
    So telling someone that their chosen course of action will result in them losing your respect and that if they cannot support the democratic descision then, in your opinion, they should resign from the union is now bullying?
    By that logic telling a pupil that if they behave in a certain manner they will be punished is bullying.
    Yes Dominie they're called Voice. That's the choice open to us when we decide which union to join, and I completely disagree with them but I respect their stance because it is consistent. But please spare me the crisis of conscience argument when it comes from those who waited until after the ballot to strike before deciding that it went against their priciples to strike.
    They're not striking for the EIS Dominie they are striking for their pensions. Are you seriously suggesting that people left the EIS after we voted to strike so that they could join the SSTA to still strike? That's really the best excuse you've got for taking scabs into your union?
    And then we have the best tactic at the end. Instead of addressing what your Union has done make allegations about what the EIS will do (with no evidence to back it up).
    As for our the EIS response to McCormac we had a special AGM to dicuss it. I suggest you look at the resolutions we passed (including a strike ballot if any attempt is made to implement McCormac). Haven't seen a similar commitment from the SSTA.
    Maybe you'll just wait for the EIS result before you decide to ballot yourselves. That does seem to be the tactic so far.
     
  17. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Proper little charmer aren't you. if that's an example of how you speak about your colleagues in school, I'm not surprised they're desperate to get out of the EIS! A classic example of the intolerance and arrogance of the worst of EIS activist cadre.

    None needed. The MaCormac review has no status whatsoever.. The SG has not even made a formal response to it It's the haggling on the SNCT that matters. As to EIS resolutions, spare me! Right up until the moment your leaders betrayed their members back in the Spring, they were saying how hard they were going to fight the cuts

    Tell you what, lets resume this thread (or start a new one) next Spring.

    Happy Xmas and a Good New Year! But don't count on it ...
     
  18. Playing the man and not the ball Dominie? Don't address the argument attack the person making it? When that's what you're reduced to then you've lost any credibility.
    As for the resolution the reason we passed it was to specifically prevent the leadership reaching an agreement behind closed doors. After the sell out in the summer the 'EIS activist cadre' as you like to call us are making sure that we don't get a repeat performance.
    If that fails then I suppose I'll have to affect a superior attitude of haughty disdain and complain from the sidelines. My only fear is that you seem to have cornered that market and ,alas, I lack your charm.
    Merry Xmas and a Happy new Year to you to Domine.
    (oops.... an act of overt politeness. It's so unlike me).
     
  19. You're putting pressure on them to leave. It's the same type of thing as leads to constructive dismissal claims when it's an employer putting on the pressure. I'm surprised you can't see that.
     
  20. No Airy I simply disagree, surely someone who is strong enough to go against the idea of democratic consent should be strong enough to deal with the inevitable reply. Every action has consequences I see nothing wrong with pointing that out.
    Constructive dismissal is a concerted effort to force someone out of their employment when there are no clear disciplinary reasons for doing so.
    These people suffer no financial loss amd are free to join another union, in this case the SSTA.
    Thats just a tad different from losing your livliehood. I'm surprised you can't see that.
     

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