EIS boycotts McCalman;Back Paige;Jotter

22nd January 1999 at 00:00
"THE PEOPLE have spoken - the bastards," an aggrieved and defeated candidate once moaned. Ian McCalman, ex-convener of the Educational Institute of Scotland's influential finance and general purposes committee, may be reflecting on the quotation.

Fellow Glasgow comrade Willie Hart, also a recent past union president, has pipped him for the convener's post by 50-23 in an executive council ballot.

The Higher Still controversy in December provoked the election with McCalman resigning after failing to win backing for a compromise deal hatched by his committee. The boycott might be off, then it was back on, then it was off again, as a remarkably similar deal was finally accepted.

McCalman felt vindicated and stood for the post he had vacated after just four months. But Hart led the calls for barricade action, which has obviously done him a power of electoral good.

The post is not unfamiliar. Hart was elected four years ago but stood down after a year to spend more time with his local association as secretary.

With a controversial pay and conditions deal looming (which the left will inevitably claim is a sell-out), there is no better figurehead than Hart to lead the retreat. Sorry, campaign.

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