EIS bends a knee to the SSTA

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
One of the longest on-off relationships in Scottish education is back on following the Educational Institute of Scotland's surprise decision to renew wooing the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association. But the SSTA is playing hard to get.

A statement said: "Having considered this very carefully, we see no advantage to our members. However, if the institute wishes to enter into discussions with the association about the possibility of establishing a new Scottish teachers' union with a federal structure, we would be willing to participate on that basis."

Schools are being sent a letter emphasising that the association "remains the independent voice of secondary teachers".

Disgruntled secondary members split from the EIS in 1944. There have been three attempts to re-establish the liaison, the last 20 years ago. The SSTA accepted a federal structure but the EIS conference threw it out.

David Eaglesham, the SSTA's general secretary, said the union, with around 6,500 members, would talk to the EIS, which has around 49,000, if the interests of secondary teachers could be protected within a federal structure. Pre-five, primary, secondary, further and higher education teachers and lecturers would have to be in distinct sections. Mr Eaglesham said the association was under no financial pressure to merge.

Ronnie Smith, the EIS's general secretary, welcomed the SSTA willingness to talk but felt it unlikely that such preconditions could be met. "I believe, as I think do many teachers, there is a strong case for professional unity," Mr Smith said.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today