ONLY last-ditch talks in the face of a ballot for strike action have averted an acutely embarrassing trade union dispute - in the Educational Institute of Scotland.
Fifteen officials, including Ronnie Smith, the general secretary, were voting this week on whether to back action following the loss of the depute general secretary's post.
Fred Forrester has not been replaced since he retired. Other oficials have taken on Mr Forrester's role but were threatening action that would have undermined the union's annual conference in Perth in three weeks' time.
They are members of MSF, the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union, and are expected to meet today (Friday) to confirm a compromise in true union style. The EIS is currently expanding its regional service to support local negotiators.