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New demand to scrap pay cut for supply teachers

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Ezaspi, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. New demand to scrap pay cut for teachers

    </h1>ARTICLE IN THE HERALD TODAY http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/education/new-demand-to-scrap-pay-cut-for-teachers.16794147

    Andrew DenholmEducation Correspondent

    FRESH calls have been made for the Scottish Government to
    overturn its controversial pay cut for supply teachers as new figures
    show a growing crisis over classroom cover.

    HUGH HENRY: 'The situation is unfair, unacceptable and unsustainable.'

    Teaching unions and political opponents made the plea yesterday after
    a survey by Scottish Labour found 84% of local authorities did not fill
    all requests for short-term cover in 2011/12.
    In addition, some 52% of councils also experienced problems filling long-term supply requests over the past year.

    The highest rate of non-fulfillment for long-term supply was in
    Edinburgh, while for short-term supply the greatest problems were in
    West Lothian.

    Of the local authorities in Scotland holding accurate records, half
    revealed a reduction in the number of teachers held on their supply

    The biggest drop in the number of supply teachers available was in
    Aberdeenshire, which lost 275 teachers from the supply list in one year

    The poll, which featured responses from two-thirds of councils,
    follows a controversial deal between council body Cosla, the Scottish
    Government and teaching unions.

    Councils were asked to fund Government priorities, such as providing
    jobs for newly qualified teachers and maintaining pupil-teacher ratios
    in P1 to P3.

    In return, Cosla drew up changes to terms and conditions to save about &pound;60 million, including lower salaries for supply staff.

    It means supply staff must work at the lowest daily rate of &pound;78 for
    five consecutive days in the same school before their pay rises to the
    normal rate of &pound;145.

    Hugh Henry, Scottish Labour's education spokesman, said: "It is clear
    this penny-pinching deal from the SNP is having a devastating impact on
    the education of Scotland's young people. The current situation is
    unfair, unacceptable and unsustainable.

    "Teachers are being offered stints of five days or less so employers
    can avoid paying them a higher rate. It is little wonder so many local
    authorities are struggling to fill requests for supply.

    "This cannot go on. It is not fair to pupils who are facing a
    succession of different faces, and it's not fair to teachers who worked
    hard for their qualification and deserve a fair day's pay for a fair
    day's work."

    Ann Ballinger, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers'
    Association, said: "We have made it clear from the start it is
    irresponsible to expect fully qualified teachers to be paid &pound;78 for a
    day's work when their normal rate is &pound;145.

    "There are very few, if any, permanent teaching posts, so existing on
    a day of supply work is frequently the best teachers can get.

    "This agreement was absolutely unfair on supply staff and, once again, we call on this cut to be removed."

    Eileen Prior, executive director of the Scottish Parent Teacher
    Council, said: "The concerns we are hearing, primarily in the senior
    schools, is where pupils are heading towards qualifications and are
    finding classes not covered by specialist teachers.

    "It can also be the case that classes are being covered by a
    succession of different replacement teachers which breaks the continuity
    of lessons at this important time."

    A Government spokesman said one of the reasons supply staff were in
    shorter supply was because many were finding full-time permanent jobs.

    He said: "These figures do not take into account the high numbers of
    fully qualified teachers and probationers in employment, in line with
    this Government's commitment to providing a stable workforce. We want to
    achieve a strong, confident and reflective professional teaching

    "That's why the Education Secretary announced a series of actions
    last week in response to recommendations made through the McCormac
    review of teaching employment."

    He added: "The Education Secretary has also recently engaged in
    discussions with the teaching unions and local government on the issue
    of supply teachers and reached an agreement all three parties agreed was
    necessary. The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers will
    continue to monitor the situation and we will take any appropriate
    action that is required."
  2. Thanks for that.
  3. Supply teachers of Scotland unite: you have nothing to lose but your chicken-hearted colleagues, who didn't even have the decency to vote against the proposals to cut your pay. Scottish supply teachers need a new union, because they are unlikely to trust the EIS ever again. Withdrawal of labour by all of Scotland's supply teachers would close more schools than winter blizzards.

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