Change priorities regarding funding

1st February 2008 at 00:00
It was interesting to note the crocodile tears about the recent pay award for Scottish teachers, expressed by Andrew Fullwood, a member of the Educational Institute of Scotland executive council, in his letter to you of January 4 - in particular, the disappointment he felt at what will effectively be a pay cut over the next three years.

It was largely for this reason that NASUWT did not agree with the award. The new deal does not compensate teachers' pay erosion from the last award. It has no provision to provide protection against future erosion over the next three years. And it does not address the scandal of the failure of the chartered teachers scheme which is denying the majority of Scottish teachers access to higher salaries.

It is simply not good enough for the Scottish Government and local authorities to admit that salary slippage is not being addressed in the new offer and then to justify underpaying teachers by claiming they don't have the funds available.

A high-quality education service requires that teachers are recognised and rewarded as highly-skilled professionals. To provide this funding, priorities need to be changed.

Chris Keates, General secretary, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.

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