30 years ago

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
It was all so different then, as illustrated in a front page tour de force by Iain Thorburn who sets out a guide to the union comradeships of the time (TESS, October 25, 1974):

So far this month, schools in Central Scotland have been disrupted by strikes, works to rule and mid-term holidays: day or half-day stoppages are scheduled in different parts of the country for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday next week and longer strikes are threatened thereafter.

The EIS work-to-rule has intensified. The SSTA have started a work-to-rule on different criteria and with different aims. Teachers' action groups in east and west central Scotland have organised strikes which differ in form and intent from those planned by the EIS. SSA and teachers' action group members are to lobby the meeting of the Scottish Teachers' Salaries Committee on Monday, with different demands.

On the "official" side, the EIS, regarding the eventual Houghton award as an interim payment, want an "interim interim" of 10 per cent, and threaten to strike if that 10 per cent is not granted by Wednesday.

The SSTA and SSA want this "interim interim" to be 20 per cent and have argued this in the STSC teachers' panel - and have been surprised and suspicious at the reaction of the EIS representatives who seemed as individuals receptive to the argument, but as a group rejected it.

Suspicion is shared by the unofficial groups, who believe the EIS have been tipped off that a claim for 10 per cent would be successful . . .

All of this strikes the "unofficial" side as futile and phoney. Here too there are three groups - the action groups set up in east and west central Scotland and Rank and File who are basically a ginger group who seek to change the EIS - but they are more united than the three unions.

. . . the various degrees and forms of militancy show teachers to be fighting against one another at least as bitterly as against the management side . . . so far as teachers' leaders are concerned,the fight is as much for the allegiance of hearts and minds as for bigger pay packets.

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