Coronavirus: Deal for supply teachers in Scotland

Supply teachers express relief after news emerges of how supply teachers will be protected during the Covid-19 outbreak

Henry Hepburn

Coronavirus: Deal for supply teachers in Scotland

Supply teachers in Scotland have expressed their relief after a deal was reached to protect their income during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last night, the EIS teaching union tweeted a circular from the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), highlighting a statement from local authorities' body Cosla that there should be “no detriment in pay arrangements for all staff”.

There had been widespread concern about the impact of school closures on teachers not currently in a post, but the EIS said the news that Cosla had approved an SNCT agreement "offers some welcome reassurance of an income stream to supply members over the next few months".

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One supply teacher contacted Tes Scotland this morning to say that the news was "brilliant" and a "good start to the Easter holidays". Last night, the EIS branch in Edinburgh tweeted: "Finally!!! The news supply colleagues have been waiting for..."

The SNCT circular lays out where this the principle of “no detriment in pay” applies to "teachers and associated professionals":

  • Teachers on acting appointments who are in receipt of temporary responsibility allowance.
  • Supply teachers on temporary fixed-term appointments.
  • Teachers on temporary fixed-term contracts.
  • Teachers on temporary fixed-term contracts where there is no defined end date.
  • Teachers appointed to acting-up posts prior to 20 March 2020.

The SNCT also details how payment for supply teachers not in a contract as at 20 March should be administered in all councils. It outlines an arrangement that "should ensure that supply teachers and other SNCT workers engaged on a casual basis between 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020 whose earnings fluctuate are not disadvantaged".

The SNCT circular adds: "The deployment of supply teachers may still occur during this period of enforced school closure. Supply teachers should be encouraged to cover in the education hubs as necessary during this national emergency or be given the opportunity to volunteer for redeployment, similar to other local authority employees, to other duties within the council. Should they do so they will be paid at their normal hourly rate of pay if their hours worked are above the average hours paid."

Last night, a Twitter account set up to highlight concerns over the impact of school closures on supply teachers reacted to news of the deal by tweeting: "Very glad to see this. If you’re a supply teacher and you’re not in a union, you need to join one. Right. Now."

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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