Currie criticises 15.7pc pay deal

Eleanor Currie, head of the independent inquiry into educational psychological services, has criticised the 15.7 per cent pay award to the country's 350 psychologists as inadequate to protect their revised mainline roles in social inclusion and raising attainment.

Mrs Currie, former education director in East Renfrewshire, spoke out after last week's TESS revelation that psychologists have been forced to accept an offer they had overwhelmingly rejected.

"I certainly hope this is an interim settlement because the minister (Cathy Jamieson) has already agreed that the inquiry report should be taken forward in its entirety. Psychologists are fundamentally important to social inclusion within the 32 councils," Mrs Currie said. She called on the three sides in the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers to re-examine psychologists' salaries before her report's 31 recommendations are implemented by councils next August. Some proposals could be jeopardised.

Meanwhile, disquiet is growing among psychologists with the Educational Institute of Scotland, their negotiators. Fergal Doherty, a leading figure in their campaign, said: "There was a golden opportunity for the union to use the Currie report that was approved by the Scottish Executive and Cosla (the local authorities), to argue for a proper pay rise, but this was not used. People feel that very strongly."

Psychologists fear that the forthcoming job-sizing exercise will increase salaries for senior staff and leave main grade posts alone.

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