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Pay Claim rejected by COSLA.

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Marco82, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Marco82

    Marco82 Established commenter

    COSLA have told the unions to get real and accept their offer of 2.5% over two years. We are now on track for a full decade of falling living standards - a cut of about 14% since 2008 - and back where we were before McCrone, maybe even worse off. Does anyone think the unions will launch a genuine fight to protect our conditions? I don't think so, despite the fact that some of them marched up and down Glasgow at the weekend calling in their speeches for an end to austerity. Well, now they can follow their fine words with deeds and make the case for a general rise in wages as a way of injecting some demand into a decrepit economy. We have done our bit since the financial collapse, accepting falling wages while those who caused the crash fill their boots and tell us to tighten our belts. Enough is enough, it's time to link up with other workers in the public sector and mount an all out campaign against austerity. We have a government now in Scotalnd which has set it's face against Tory cuts and argued for an end to austerity, so we can count on their support, can't we ?
  2. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    I am all for striking for a pay increase, and also to get rid of this silly curriculum - but that's another story.

    I'd be very surprised if we actually do go on strike, and even then it will be the odd day here and there, probably to minimise (eh?!) impact.

    Interesting to see what Holyrood will do in general, and how they will interact with largely Labour-run councils, especially in the run-up to the elections next year. One thing can be guaranteed: hypocrisy will not be in short supply from anyone.

    Interesting to see what the reaction of the public will be. Somehow I don't think they'll view us as exhausted, overpaid, underpaid "workers" - more like middle-class numpties with long holidays, and they' need tae take time aff work to look after their own kids - god forbid!.

    If there is a substantial strike then how will that affect our certificated classes? On the whole there's not a lot of give time-wise so the pace will have to quicken, and how will pupils react to that?

    Finally, what would be acceptable to return to work? 5%, ie double what's on offer now? That's what COSLA will claim although it's still well short of the 14% lost since 2008. Also, think of all the lost wages over seven years you'll never see again.

    Bring it on!
  3. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Scrap COSLA. Nobody needs the organisation - apart from the SNP led SG. They have an anti-teacher agenda. They are unelected. Used by the SNP to do their dirty-work - taking money out of teachers pay-packets while blaming in on the Tories.

    Local Authorities who have already spilt:

    Aberdeen, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire
  4. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    COSLA is/was Labour's baby.
  5. Aberdeen doesn't strike me as a model to follow.
  6. Offer of a 1% pay rise this year would push most teachers over the 35K threshold and into the 9.7% tier for pensions a 1% increase. But since the pension contribution would be 1% of the increased pay we would actually be roughly £34 a year worse off in cash terms.

    So Cosla's offer is actually a pay cut in cash terms.

    As of April 2016 we also see a 1.4% increase in National Insurance for all teachers as the contracted out scheme is ended.

    So the 2.5% pay offer is simply a transfer of funds from Scottish Council Education Budgets to H.M. Treasury with Teachers acting as intermediaries.

    That's not a pay deal, that's money laundering.

    As for the 14% figure. Absolutely true but the last time teacher's pay increased in real terms was 2004. Since then the drop in value is nearer 20% (and that's not counting the Pension theft).
  7. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Thought - with the overall poor standard of new teachers entering the profession these days isn't our pay just about right? As I said, just a thought.

    Thought - public spending just ain't gonna rise significantly for decades hence, so we're just gonna have to lump it whether we like it or not, right? Just a thought.
  8. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Quite likely. Can't say that lack of a pay rise has been the talk of the steamie, therefore,no way teachers will be striking about it.
  9. inthered

    inthered Occasional commenter

    It's been a hot topic at our place - we're all skint well before the end of the month, just like in the pre-McCrone era and there is much grumbling from about 20th of the month to payday. In my whole career as unpromoted teacher, I've really only felt flush from 2000 to about 2007. Probably my own fault for not being promotion hungry...
  10. suzuki1690

    suzuki1690 New commenter

    We dont need to strike we can use our brains. Leave at lunchtime all of us, empty the building, every school. Wonder how cosla would deal with that. We are after all not paid for lunchtime and can leave if we wish. Give plenty of notice and do it each and every lunchtime. How long do you think it will take them to deal with that one.
    sub3 and bigjimmy2 like this.
  11. MilkyBar Kid

    MilkyBar Kid Occasional commenter

    Strikes are highly unlikely, workload is perhaps as much an issue as pay. As for pay we'll end up with around 3% over 2 years with strings attached so both sides can claim victory. Don't see pay & conditions improving for the next 5 years.
  12. Thereasonwhy

    Thereasonwhy New commenter

    There are a few problems around this overall issue. Firstly, workload is a massive problem at the moment for all levels of teaching staff (and most likely to worsen through stealth or otherwise) but as a profession, we are our own worst enemy at times. We didn't particularly adhere to the last work to rule (more of that later), we don't all vote on potential strike action and when we did, it was seen as ineffectual and at the best of times we have limited public support and at the worst of times, the public would happily hang us above the worst of societies criminals. How do we overcome this without compromising the kinds of industrial action we can take? In other industries (and this is without condemnation) like train drivers...All they have to do is mention strike action and the public are right behind them. They generally get most of what they want. The last time there was semi successful industrial action by teachers, it came through a very well coordinated series of strikes where departments would go on strike on different days...Naturally, this did cause major educational disruption but isn't that what true industrial action is meant to achieve?

    Another major issue is if we do get the 3% over 2 years are previously suggested, that in effect is a pay cut (or at best, in real terms a 0% increase) due to the fact that it places us into the new pension bracket.

    On the last work to rule and strike action, there were many staff at my place who didn't know (strategic ignorance or otherwise), didn't care or didn't see in their own personal interests to follow it, refusing to sacrifice their little piece of the pie to think of the bigger picture. during the last strike, there were 10 scabs that showed up to work (2 of which weren't unionised so my apologies for calling them scabs...the other 8 however). The culture of people thinking solely out of self interest is growing that more and more aren't even bothering to sign up to a union. Will there even be unions in 10 years? I'd really like to think so, but I fear that as support dilutes and the culture of the "I'm alright Jack" and "Not if it stops me progressing" types increases then it places or collective bargaining stance at an all time low...if it doesn't completely obliterate it.
  13. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    During our last so-called work-to-rule a colleague complained that she'd do it only if she'd still be allowed to take her football team. Another colleague claimed she'd actually said that the football team was more important than teaching her classes!

    Mind you, she also declared that the SLT had said to her after her probation year that they were delighted she could go 1.0 FTE because then even more pupils could benefit from her brilliant teaching . . .

    That's the sort of **** we're up against folks!
  14. Marco82

    Marco82 Established commenter

    It's hard to get through to some colleagues who never can see the need for solidarity and the benefits long years of struggle have given us. I worked in industry for many years before teaching and it was exactly the same there, with people who wouldn't join a union and swallowed whole all the anti-Union propaganda dished up by the gutter press. But still we have to carry the fight forward for it is our material interests which are at stake. It makes me grind my teeth though when I hear the kind of teacher you describe, the ones who are oh so concerned with every little problem of their tiny charges, feel they have a "calling", unlike you and me, and forget that, at the end of the day, teaching is a job like any other and that we are workers who need to pay the bills at the end of the month. Or maybe their bank manager waives their bills because they are such committed professionals!
  15. craigy77

    craigy77 New commenter

    bigjimmy2, this reminds me of a conversation I had with a DHT a few years back. I retired last week as PT Technical having taught since 1977. About three years ago, a young DHT asked me how I coped with two "difficult to manage" colleagues in my department. I explained that they were both fantastic classroom teachers who work hard in the department, great results etc

    The reply...."yes but every time SMT ask them to get involved in any initiatives they say no!"

    That summed it up for me, even if you are a great teacher, you are difficult to manage if you are not on the latest committee.
    sub3 likes this.
  16. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Marco, craigy - interesting replies.

    I too worked for 20 years before I became a teacher (which of course now implies that I don't work because I teach!). My previous working environment excluded unions: had unions been involved the place where I worked would have been unsuccessful.

    Comparing that working environment with teaching, it's night and day.

    Previously, people got on with their jobs and real, useful advice was often given by peers, your management and even peers/management from other depts. If something wasn't working, or could work better, you felt free to suggest or implement improvements with little fear of recrimination.

    In my teaching experience, colleagues are a fractured bunch, often unwilling to share advice or resources. If something isn't working then hell mend you if you merely point it out! Even if you do highlight that something is, eg, a waste of time then no explanation, no counter-argument, is given and we still have to do the waste-of-time process!

    For example, our department's planning was audited by the council recently and we got a glowing report. Surely this means absolutely nothing if that planning does not result in at least a small increase in attainment? Surely? I mean, what's the point of having a benchmark planning process if it doesn't make a difference to the end product, ie pupils perform better? (In reality if there's no difference then this tells me that the planning process is redundant).

    Craigy, your two "difficult to manage" colleagues were probably the easiest to manage I'd imagine. The "yes but every time SMT ask them to get involved in any initiatives they say no!" was not a problem for you or them. Again, this should tell any manager that the "initiatives" are either ineffective or a waste of time. When I joined my present school I did volunteer (nooooo!!!) to be part of the literacy working group. Around eight of us had a mindless wee chat every inservice day, imagining how each of our departments had literacy built in to their courses. The chair summarized - god knows how - and emailed the HT on the fabricated "progress" we had made. None of our departments did anything different from what went on before. A waste of time, a redundant process. Never again.

    Marco, I did go into teaching wanting to make the proverbial difference. I bust a gut teaching my classes like most other teachers. However, there's little solidarity amongst teachers just now and that is to the detriment of us all - shame on us. I've always thought that teaching wears you down a little year on year and I still believe that that is the case. At some point I think most teachers realize that they're making little or no difference to most pupils and that is certainly demotivator for me. At some point I think most teachers will look at their remuneration - and eventually pension - and be aghast at their future finances. Then they'll be looking for solidarity: then I smile.

    Apologies for the length of this (don't get the opportunity to say that very often . . . ).
  17. craigy77

    craigy77 New commenter

    They were both fantastic colleagues, yes. But they focused on the job- teaching their classes! SMTs seem a little wary of such teachers and prefer the promotion chasers who get involved in everything. When I was promoted to PT Technical, I had very little of what we know call "whole school" on my CV. I did have a strong department track record though.
  18. Marco82

    Marco82 Established commenter

    Big Jimmy, just read your reply, good stuff. You hit the nail on the head there, we all go in keen to do a good job but end up being ground down by having to do stuff we feel has no point, like all the guff tha came with the CfE, or, even worse, all those acres of tripe produced by the GTCS. ( actually, I have a sneaking admiration for the people who write all that for it takes ability to write so much about so little that so few can understand) I don't know where we go on the wages front, though, for I don't see a great groundswell among colleagues keen to get back what we have lost. The unions will cop out at theleast minute, as usual, while our of so radical SNP government will put the blame on London. Been reading a lot about the Greek crisis and it seems the main problem in Europe is not Greece itself but the fact that wages have been kept so low, especially in Germany that there is a lack of consumer demand which means that businesses are stagnatiing. Even the IMF sees this now and so the case for a general wage increase is undeniable. So why is it that our union leaders - all of them - while arguing for an end to austerity are so unwilling to take a real hard line on this? Anyway, it is only our livelihoods and pensions that are at stake so can't really expect many of our colleagues to care.
  19. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Oh yes, and COSLA are not covered by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, so if you wanted to find out how much this secretive organisation costs to the public purse, you can't!!!

    Get rid I say.
    sub3 likes this.

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