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Voting for unequal pay? Preposterous

The headline in TESS (News in brief, 7 March) stating that "supply teachers settle dispute" is preposterous.

There is no way of knowing, as is the case in any ballot, the status of individual voters in the recent ballot by the EIS teaching union on a package of teachers' pay and conditions.

Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that all, or indeed any, of the 2,500 teachers in the EIS - 3.3 per cent of its total membership - who work on supply would have actively supported a package that offers only half pay for a good proportion of their workload: that is, for every assignment lasting less than three days.

What is most likely to swing a result one way or another is the number who do not bother to vote at all. In this case, that amounted to 37,730 people - more than two-thirds of the EIS' 55,000 members.

The view of the Scottish Supply Teachers network - the only dedicated organisation for supply teachers in Scotland and which includes some EIS members - remains unchanged. Equal pay should operate from Day 1.

Kay Smith

Scottish Supply Teachers

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Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to or by post to TES Scotland, Thistle House, 21-23 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DF. Letters may be edited

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