The same rule applies to everyone

8th August 2003 at 01:00
From his leafy fastness in Balemo, my good friend Rory Mackenzie rails against the weighting given to deprivation in the job-sizing scheme (TESS, July 25). Colleagues in some more deprived parts of Edinburgh might feel differently.

He complains that a chartered teacher can earn more than a principal teacher. I am surprised that any headteacher did not realise that the 2001 agreement clearly provided that points 3-6 of the chartered teacher pay scale equate exactly in value to points 1-4 of the principal teacher pay scale. This twin-track approach was expressly designed to allow salary advance without having to pursue a promoted post.

Nothing in this scheme will prevent any headteacher rotating the remits of senior management. There is more flexibility than before since any change that significantly impacts on job size will trigger a resizing. Rules for resizing will shortly be issued by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).

It is simply untrue that the scheme is "heavily in favour of the primary sector", as Rory Mackenzie claims. The old system - as a current employment tribunal case is likely to confirm - discriminated against primary promoted postholders who were routinely paid on a lower scale than their secondary counterparts without any obvious rationale.

Now the 2001 agreement introduces a common pay spine for principal teachers and heads deputes, across all sectors. And job-sizing provides a common methodology for deciding scale placing across all sectors, without any weighting or discrimination in favour of any sector. The same rules apply to everyone.

Finally, lest it be forgotten, all six teachers' organisations signed up for common PT and HTDHT pay scales, along with job-sizing as a replacement for whole school roll in determining scale placing. Together with representatives of the Scottish Executive Education Department and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, three of them - the Educational Institute of Scotland, Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association and National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers - worked collaboratively and constructively in the SNCT working group to produce the detailed scheme.

Predictably, its impact on individual posts is hugely divergent and the EIS will, of course, receive and assess the full range of membership views which are communicated to it on this matter.

Ronnie Smith General secretary Educational Institute of Scotland

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