Vice-President Paula McEwan updated Council on other areas of work currently being undertaken by the Executive Committee.
Ms McEwan provided an update on staffing within the institute, with a number of new appointments and internal moves within the staff.
The Vice-President also expressed solidarity to members in EIS-ULA currently engaged in strike action over pay and conditions. Ms McEwan had visited members on the picket line at Napier earlier that morning.
Heather Collie (Aberdeen) asked if Council would also send its solidarity to members at Northfield Academy, following their overwhelming vote for industrial action over the authority’s failure to address concerns over severe pupil disruption and the health and safety of staff in the school. “We believe that this is the first action of its type in a secondary school across Scotland. Would Council show its solidarity with members in Northfield in their action.”
The reply of “Absolutely” from the Vice-President was greeted with overwhelming applause from Council members.
Convener Susan Quinn provided an update on the work of the Committee, highlighting that there was a lot of work to get through related to all the education reform programmes that were underway – including the National Conversation, responding to the Hayward Review on Assessment in the Senior Phase, and consultations on replacement of Education Scotland and SQA.
Convener David Baxter said that the Committee welcomed the receipt of two very generous donations to the Benevolent Fund from local associations, plus donations from legal fees and the sale of PC equipment which would further benefit the fund.
On applications for assistance, Mr Baxter said that eleven grants had been homologated, and the Committee considered 36 applications and approved 36 grants totalling £99,000. Mr Baxter also noted the continuing increase in applications for assistance – which is very likely to continue to increase still further in the current climate.
On legal affairs, Mr Baxter said that 20 cases had been considered at the most recent meeting, and the Committee was pleased to note that a total of £131,000 in settlements had been received on behalf of two members.
Convener Nicola Fisher told Council that the Committee had been working on the Equality response to the National Discussion. Ms Fisher highlighted that the Equality Reps training programme was progressing, with this work set to be highlighted in an SEJ article. Ms Fisher also highlighted the Committee’s concerns in relation to Gender misrepresentation of the Gender Recognition Bill in the media and online. On anti-racism, work has begun on the new Early Years welcome pack, which we hope to release in Refugee Week 2023.
Council approved a Motion, moved by Susan Quinn (Glasgow), calling on the EIS to support current pupil week arrangements in local authorities, and committing to campaign against any attempt to reduce or adversely change the pupil week for budgetary-driven reasons.
Council resolved to make a £2000 donation to the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, matching an early donation from the Equality Committee, following a Motion proposed by Nicola Fisher (Glasgow). Council also resolved to encourage EIS local associations, EIS-FELA and EIS-ULA to consider making donations to support the work of the TIE campaign.