The EIS based its case on the contract of Raymond Catt, principal chemistry teacher at Lanark Grammar, whose teaching career spans 26 years.
The tribunal dealt particularly sharply with the evidence of Alan Cuthbertson, South Lanarkshire's director of personnel services, who is a key figure in national negotiations. Mr Cuthbertson argued that disciplinary and grievance issues had nothing to do with staff terms and conditions but were matters of policy which could therefore be varied unilaterally.
Its report commented: "His evidence on that was wholly unsatisfactory and indeed he ultimately admitted that the provisions were conditions of service, although somehow or other they were not contractual. We failed to follow the logic of this."
The tribunal's reading of Mr Catt's contract led it to state unequivocally:
"Teachers could only be dismissed by education committees comprising lay representatives. They could not be dismissed by officials."