Don't punish good supply teachers with pay cuts

17th December 2010 at 00:00

Supply teachers are a mixed bunch. There are some who wander into class, sit at the front and let the pupils run riot while they catch up on their knitting or read Heat magazine. On the other hand, there are those who display the sort of commitment that some permanent members of staff would do well to show.

Imagine a secondary teacher with 10 years' teaching experience, five in a full-time post and five on supply. She does not see supply teaching as the easy option: she is known for always doing her best, her reputation for hard work and reliability have ensured that she is employed on a near full-time basis in the same school and she is, to all intents and purposes, a "proper" teacher.

However, should the agreement between Cosla and the Scottish Government come to pass, she will no longer be deemed worthy of her salary at point six of the main pay scale but will be forced to take a 25 per cent pay cut and only be paid for "hours worked". Maybe she should learn to knit in readiness.

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