More hours and a pay cut

16th June 2000 at 01:00
I WAS shocked at some of the comments about the McCrone report from primary teachers in ScotlandPlus (TESS, June 9). I can only assume that those reported are too young to remember Sir Peter Main and Malcolm Rifkind or have very poor memories.

"The 35-hour week, we all work anyway - and more - so it might as well be recognised." This is exactly how we were sold planned activity time. The 35-hour week in school will simply mean PAT every night.

The unpaid hours that the primary teachers were referring to will still have to be done because the extra hours in school are for "school" activities, not preparation and correction.

Do those primary teachers who are in school till 5pm just now really want to stay till 6pm?

As for "All the staff accepted - nd some positively welcomed - the extra five days allocated to continuing professional development", what other profession welcomes a pay cut?

This is what the report amounts to if you work out hourly rates, even using the best tabloid percentage rise.

In real terms we would be better off keeping PAT, retaining the present working year and receiving the increases we get at the moment, even if we go on letting the EIS negotiate salary increases which are less then the authorities have budgeted for.

I cannot believe that as a profession we complain about falling behind other professions and then clap our hands in joy when told we must worsen our conditions to start moving towards parity.

M Devlin, Overton Avenue, Strathaven, Lanarkshire


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