Can you hear us?

18th February 2000 at 00:00
I NOTE (TESS, February 11) a comment from Councillor Christopher Mason that Glasgow's public private finance (PFI) proposals do not deserve the "whingeing" response they have received from the Educational Institute of Scotland.

The council's proposals, however, should serve as a warning to trade unionists and local authority bodies that privatisation can seriously damage your service.

As detailed plans are finally released the implications of a commercial mindset are clear - a philosophy that regards staffrooms as "down space"; that seeks to squeeze classroom usage to the maximum causing additional peripatetic teachers and classes and creating timetable pressures towards lager class sizes; and one that is willing to undermine years of work by physical education departments through the removal of "cost-heavy" swimming pools (one of the very few areas of educational provision where Glasgow actually excelled).

The educational implications are of serious concern to the EIS, hence our ongoing campaign to expose weaknesses within the current proposals.

If the councillors who approved the proposals were as concerned as we are about the quality of service likely to be delivered through PFI, perhaps we would not be having to "whinge" so loudly.

Larry Flanagan

Vice-chair, Glasgow Local Association, Educational Institute of Scotland

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