Speaking for all

19th January 2001 at 00:00
I WOULD be grateful for the opportunity to correct your Jotter report (TESS, December 15) which appeared to suggest that I attend the General Teaching Council as a delegate from my union, the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association.

This is patently not so. In the last GTC election, I polled 3,615 votes. Given the regrettable lack of teacher interest in GTC matters, it stretches credulity to assume that these were all SSTA members! I have always assumed therefore that I was elected to speak for all secondary teachers regardless of whether they belong to either major union or none at all.

While I cannot speak for him, I am pretty sure that my colleague, Bill Guthrie, is likewise minded. Certinly, at no time has there ever been an "SSTA position" on matters raised at the GTC, nor do we make a point of discussing GTC business in advance of meetings. In short, when at the GTC, we are "our own men".

I am aware, of course, that my GTC colleagues who happen to be members of the "dominant union" may not take this view, hence their unanimous position on the "Florida Question" (as the GTC's debate on voting systems was described) and over other matters.

Whatever voting system the GTC uses, now or in the future, I hope that those elected will be prepared to view the issues before them from the viewpoint of the "chalkface" teacher.

Peter Wright

Falcon Road, Edinburgh

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