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.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now