New rules on sick leave are challenged by EIS

Tes Editorial

The Educational Institute of Scotland has threatened to take Glasgow City Council to an industrial tribunal over "draconian" new rules on sick leave for teachers.

Willie Hart, secretary of the union's Glasgow local association, said: "This is over the top and might be abused by an overzealous management. We consider the level of absence perfectly reasonable and much lower than other council departments."

Glasgow says it has been forced to tighten up on absence after the bill for cover soared to Pounds 3.3 million a year. George Gardner, the city's depute director of education, said: "We don't plan to take teachers out of their sick beds or expect headteachers to be cavalier with the health of their staff. People who have genuine reasons to be off have got nothing to worry about. "

The new system was imposed after Glasgow failed to reach agreement with the unions and brings teachers into line with other council employees. Regular periods of absence will lead automatically to staff being interviewed by their headteacher.

Mr Hart said: "We are not in the business of encouraging absenteeism but we are not in the business either of agreeing to unreasonable demands."


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