In the mood at Moray Place

4th August 2000 at 01:00
IN June the leadership of the Educational Institute of Scotland won a two-to-one endorsement of plans to negotiate with ministers and the employers about the McCrone report. The tone of the union's analysis of the report, revealed on page one, now suggests a desire to settle on at least many of the terms recommended by McCrone.

The EIS Left will not see that as a happy start to the new session. But the leadership is showing welcome realism. It concentrates its case on demanding evidence that the Executive has the cash to fund a deal. The amount needed remains at issue. The local autorities want almost double what McCrone estimated. But if there is money on the table (thanks in part to Scotland's share of the Comprehensive Spending Review) then the EIS is in the mood to do business.

Conditions of service remain the main stumbling block. The EIS may reckon that willingness to go along with the bulk of McCrone will make concessions easier to win. But the employers will have modernisation (as they see it) at the top of their agenda.

Sam Galbraith will still find it difficult to steer a safe passage even with the fair wind that seems to be blowing.


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