Open Letter to Ronnie Smith

2nd September 2011 at 01:00

Dear Ron,

I trust you have received a fair day's pay for the work you have undertaken today?

As a supply teacher I have just had my time sheet for this week. It shows that I will only be paid 25 hours as per the new national agreement. Having stepped in and picked up a class with no planning left for me, I have ensured that the children under my charge will receive a full five days of education and assessment, backed up with differentiated planning and suitable resources which will support the class teacher's work on return to school. I will have worked in excess of 35 hours this week - never mind 25!

I have no quibble with the school, which is only following the rules for supply teachers agreed with the support of the EIS on the negotiating committee.

In the past, supply teaching may have been a cosy number for retired staff; sadly, due to local authorities not being challenged on cuts to staff numbers, supply teaching is the only avenue available for qualified professionals to earn a living wage. This has now been badly eroded.

As a shop steward in SOGAT and GPMU before entering teaching, I find it incredible that the EIS sold fellow members down the river with these cuts to their terms. Many new teachers will remember how badly they have been let down by them.

As for the promised jobs for NQTs as part of this deal, this is now starting to look a bit woolly if the latest interview with Mike Russell is anything to go by.

I know many of your members are joining other trade unions - something I also intend to do.

Donald Macdonald, supply teacher.

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