'Sell-out' revolt hits EIS leaders

11th August 2000 at 01:00
TEACHERS will not buy a deal on McCrone in which conditions are sold out in return for salary increases they feel they are entitled to, the most prominent critic of the Educational Institute of Scotland's leadership has warned.

John Dennis said union leaders were out of step with the mood of the membership if they pressed for broad acceptance of the package proposed by Professor Gavin McCrone's independent inquiry into pay and conditions.

Mr Dennis, an executive council member from Dumfries and Galloway and a spokesman for the Scottish Federation of Socialist Teachers, was responding to the disclosure in last week's TES Scotland about the union's upbeat initial analysis of McCrone.

He commented: "Some members of the EIS leading committees are intent on persuading the members that there is no alternative to accepting the McCrone recommendations. The Blairites will find it very difficult to convince members that a substantial incease in time at management's disposal - five days or 30 hours annually and the equivalent of a PAT session nearly every day - is worth the salary increases on offer.

"The members know that salary increases soon disappear and they don't trust the Government to keep pay rises in line with average earnings in the future. Worsened conditions, however, are always very difficult to remove."

The executive council at the end of June witnessed a major argument over extra hours for continuing professional development and whole-school duties, which are set to be the biggest sticking point in forthcoming negotiations with ministers and local authorities.

Mr Dennis said: "Members, promoted and unpromoted, do not want the increase in hours and they do not see anything in the proposals that gives them any guarantee on salaries in the future. They see the salary increases as what they should have been getting in the last few years."

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