About-turn for EIS vice-president

7th November 2008 at 00:00

The vice-president of the Educational Institute of Scotland condemned councils' employment cuts for new staff and demanded class-size reductions when she was an EIS delegate to the TUC in Brighton. Why, therefore, did she vote the opposite way on North Lanarkshire learning and leisure committee ?

The committee voted to transfer Pounds 562,000 out of financing teaching staff. This money represented "underspends within teachers' staffing budgets due to actual salaries less than the budgeted average and fall in pupil numbers".

The decision undermines the Scottish Government's drive to employ teachers and cut class sizes to 18 in P1-3. The Government is financing the drive by paying authorities to keep teacher numbers at 53,000, despite falling rolls.

I moved retention of the Pounds 562,000 to pay for 19 new primary teachers. Astonishingly, the EIS vice-president spoke and voted against my proposal. Her fellow EIS teacher representative likewise voted against.

Why did they vote with Labour against these 19 jobs? Are these "teacher representatives" merely extra votes for Labour in the committee?

Councillor Tom Johnston, SNP group spokesman, Learning and Leisure, North Lanarkshire Council.

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