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This Week

EIS ballot teachers on pay

An EIS ballot to give teachers their say on a revised pay and conditions offer has caused a rift in the union. The EIS, unlike the SSTA, is encouraging teachers to accept the proposals from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in order to protect jobs and maintain nationally-negotiated pay and conditions of service. The ballot runs for four weeks. Early indications are that some of the union's larger branches will reject the offer.

Aberdeenshire appointment

Maria Walker has been appointed Aberdeenshire Council's director of education, learning and leisure. Ms Walker, who is expected to take up her new position in early summer, is depute director of education and children's services at Perth and Kinross Council. Educated in Aberdeen, she worked as a teacher and community worker and has, since 1996, held a number of roles within Perth and Kinross education and cultural services.

UCU praise Langside method

Efforts by management and staff to protect jobs at Langside College have been praised by the University and College Union. At a meeting of the college's board of management on March 29, a statement by the lecturers' trade union recognised the "positive approach" taken by management to protect jobs and work with unions. Board chair Brian Keegan commended principal Graeme Hyslop.

Further enquiry into IT contract

Further questions have been raised about Highland Council's contract with IT provider Fujitsu after it emerged the firm was likely to miss more deadlines. Fujitsu is one year into a five-year pound;66 million contract with the local authority but is already falling behind with projects to bring new technology to schools and offices across the region. Councillors have complained of "huge question marks" over the company's performance, since no school's IT system has been completed.

Staff excluded from vote

Sue Pinder, principal of James Watt College in Greenock, has raised concerns about the exclusion of academic staff from a recent ballot on strike action. Ms Pinder said 21 curriculum managers had been "denied the right to vote" by the EIS. The union said that because curriculum managers were not threatened by the current round of redundancies, they did not have the right to take part.

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