Union leaders are right to warn that the opportunity must not be lost to bed down the agreement and make it the long-term basis for a happier and more prosperous profession. They are conscious that previous salary hikes were not safeguarded and staffroom morale soon drained away. The omensthis time are not necessarily set fair.
Local implementation forms part of the McCrone follow-up. Some local authority leaders, especially those used to dealing with other less favoured groups of employees, have little sympathy with teachers' claims to special treatment. They think that McCrone did not sufficiently tighten conditions. There is a danger of divide and rule council by council, or even school by school.
The new package will not work without extra teachers. Yet faculties of education look like suffering financially just when government should be ensuring that their intakes are buoyant. Otherwise schools will be unable to recruit enough young staff and the much-needed extension of professional development programmes will be untenable. The Executive says it cannot interfere with decisions by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council. It can, however, point to ill-timed folly and the need for joined-up government.