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Much to debate at this year’s AGM

As members receive this edition of the SEJ, the EIS Annual General Meeting is less than a week away. The AGM is the Institute’s supreme decision-making body, where issues are debated and decisions taken which will shape EIS policy and guide the work of the EIS in the year ahead.

With a total of 70 motions set to be debated, this year’s AGM will be a busy time for the delegates elected to attend from EIS local associations and self-governing associations. There is no shortage of pressing issues requiring discussions this year.

The key themes of the current EIS campaign, Stand Up for Quality Education – teacher workload, Additional Support Needs provision, tackling inschool violence – will all play a central part in debates. The stalled progress of education reform, the lack of progress in commitments on reducing class-contact time, and the glacial pace towards delivery of a pay settlement from local authority employers are all sure to feature.

The increasingly challenging environment in the higher education sector, and the ongoing crisis in further education that has led to the current protracted industrial dispute, will also be in the minds of delegates throughout the three days of the AGM.

In addition to speeches from the EIS President and EIS General Secretary, delegates will also hear first-hand from the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Jenny Gilruth, who has been invited to address the AGM and to engage in a question and answer session following her speech.

We’ll have a special edition of the SEJ following the AGM, highlighting the key debates and the decisions taken.

Throughout the event itself, you can follow the progress of the AGM via the EIS website and social media – see our guide to the AGM for more information.

Where next on teacher pay?

At the time of writing, teaching unions are still awaiting the opening offer from local authority employers for this year’s pay round. The teachers’ side of the SNCT submitted its pay claim in January of this year, and settlement of the claim is due to be applied to teachers’ pay by the 1st of August.

Yet, more than four months after the claim was submitted, not only had there been no pay offer from local authorities, they had yet to articulate precisely when that opening offer will come. The teachers’ side wants to negotiate in good faith, and has given the employers’ side ample opportunity to get their act together – but still we wait.

It is difficult to engage in negotiations when those you are negotiating with come to meetings with absolutely nothing to offer.

Following years of protracted pay negotiations and late delivery of pay settlements, all parties agreed to move the settlement date from 1 April to 1 August to allow more time and space for pay negotiations to be concluded.

Sadly, it appears as though the employers’ side has done little during this extended period, and has squandered the additional time available. It will be damning if employers are, once again, unable to make a fair offer to teachers to allow negotiations to be concluded and settlement delivered on time.

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June 2024

Vol. 108 / Issue no. 03