I read with interest last week's coverage of the proposed changes to teachers' pay and conditions ("Union minority put pay deal in peril", 25 October).
The NASUWT rejected the proposals for a number of reasons, chiefly: a real-terms cut in teachers' pay (with inflation still running at over 2.5 per cent, by any measure) is not acceptable after a two-year pay freeze and increased pension contributions; and the suggested "improvements" to supply teachers' conditions are just sticking plaster on poor policy.
Supply teachers should not continue to be treated as less valuable members of the profession, particularly in terms of their pay. It would be interesting to know the research base for the proposed changes to supply teacher pay - it is the firm belief of the NASUWT that nothing less than a return to the pre-2011 pay conditions would have any significant impact on the crisis in securing supply teacher cover; there is no justifiable reason for the attempt to reword SNCT Appendix 2.6 on Administrative and Other Non-Teaching Tasks. If it is truly believed that the proposed rewording will have little impact on teachers then why bother changing it in the first place? The NASUWT believes that this change could lead to cuts in support staffing and the allocation of non-teaching duties to teachers - a bad deal for both support staff and teachers.
If the Scottish government genuinely aspires to have a world-class education service then it will need to ensure that teachers are given a better offer on pay and conditions than this.
Mike Corbett, President, NASUWT Scotland.