An abysmal offer;Letter

24th September 1999 at 01:00
So the 98 per cent of articulate, intelligent members of the Educational Institute of Scotland and Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association who have voted against Labour's pay package have all been led astray by a bunch of Trots and SNP and Militants, eh? I think not, Ross Martin (TESS September 17).

Mr Martin, only recently humiliated by disillusioned Labour voters at the ballot box, presided over a Labour seven per cent cut in West Lothian's education budget when he was education convener there. He also led a cull of evening classes and the promotion of 'social inclusion' by keeping extremely disruptive pupils in the classroom to the detriment of the vast majority of decent, well behaved, conscientious students around them.

As a principal subject teacher who works more than 50 hours a week, I was not going to vote for a massive deterioration in my conditions for an abysmal 11.8 per cent over three years. I am well aware of the massive increase in indiscipline in recent years, the decline in teacher recruitment, the collapse in teacher morale, the well documented curricular innovation overload and the rush for early retirement. I saw nothing in Labour's package to tackle these.

I did see the disappearance of many promoted posts, a promotion logjam, no recompense for additional duties, even more time controlled by management, no adequate provision for guidance, no absence cover agreement, larger composite classes, even more appraisal and no set time for preparation and marking.

I am sickened at Labour's spin that we must draw back from hurting our students. It has been our desire to avoid just that which has led to our repeated acceptance of below inflation pay deals.

Labour must beware imposing any deal which would lead to a loss of our goodwill, on which schools depend. As for Mr Martin's SNP jibe, the SNP would adequately fund education. It is now blatantly obvious that Labour has no new money to offer.

John Lloyd Strathbeg Drive Dalgety Bay West Dunfermline.

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