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Riposte to 'EIS baiting'

Your chatroom correspondent, Cochrane1964, never permits facts to get in the way of denigrating comments.

Cochrane1964 refers to "behind the scenes" negotiations (TES, 22 March). I presume he is referring to the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, which is the body responsible for negotiating the salaries and conditions of service for teachers and associated professionals. This is a tripartite body comprising the Scottish government, Cosla and teachers' unions and has been in place since 2001.

The teachers' side comprises 11 teachers, eight of whom represent EIS. However, the negotiating position of the side is arrived at by a teachers' panel of 19 - 13 of whom are from the EIS, 12 employed as teachers, the other being the EIS general secretary.

The fact is, the teachers' unions unanimously agreed the McCormac package subject to each organisation's internal procedures.

The EIS will ballot its membership on that package. The timing of our ballot will be considered only when the current consultative ballot on pensions has been concluded.

Your other correspondent, Readyfortheweekend, is, of course, correct on the democratic structures within the EIS. The 13 members of the EIS who sit on the teachers' panel are appointed by EIS Council. It is open to any member employed as a teacher or associated professional to seek election to EIS Council and thereafter to seek to represent the union in negotiations. To do so requires commitment, effort and a willingness to serve. Cheap sneering is not the route these negotiators choose.

While Cochrane1964 can indulge in what appears to be EIS baiting, I wonder, when there is a public expectation of responsible journalism, why you indulge such comments which depend on innuendo.

Drew Morrice, assistant secretary, EIS.

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