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Why do the unions bother?;Letter

As a probationary teacher I have to thank you for saving me about pound;100 a year by highlighting (March 13) how ineffective the teaching unions have been in fighting for teachers' pay rights, winning only one battle in 26 years.

The following week one of the unions distributed a leaflet claiming that teachers in Scotland are falling behind not only their European counterparts but also other graduates in this country. I read this to mean that the unions are admitting failure for having allowed such a situation to arise, although this was not the explicit message of the leaflet.

One highly placed union insider was reported recently in The Scotsman as saying that the current pay claim "doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell". Why bother then?

The 4 per cent success rate in pay claims is not enough to make me join. The unions'primary purpose is as a buffer against any false allegations that can be made against teachers. Perhaps this explains why the fall in salaries has been allowed to occur. I think I'll take my chances and not further reduce my salary by pound;100.

Angus MacNeil Bentalla Crescent, Salen, Mull

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