New pay campaign and new leadership

By the time that this SEJ reaches members, the new General Secretary of the EIS will have been selected. A special meeting of EIS Council, set to be held the week after this SEJ went to print, will have interviewed the final candidates and agreed a preferred candidate to succeed Larry Flanagan in the summer.

The change at the top of the EIS staffing structure comes as the Institute’s Annual General Meeting is set to kick-start a major campaign on teacher pay. The new General Secretary will be charged with taking forward that campaign, and delivering a significant pay increase for Scotland’s teachers.

The AGM is always a time of change, with the end of one Presidential year and the beginning of another, together with the setting of new policies and priorities for the Institute for the year ahead. Heather Hughes will chair her final meeting as President, following a challenging year in the midst of the Covid pandemic, before handing over to Andrene Bamford to lead the EIS until June 2023.

It looks set to be another busy year, as the EIS pushes for a pay settlement that accurately reflects the soaring cost of living. The 10% pay claim that was submitted through the SNCT may sound ambitious, but is actually extremely measured with inflation currently over 7% and with further steep increases in the cost of living approaching quickly over the horizon.

With last year’s, long overdue, pay deal now formalised, the EIS has already shifted its focus into campaigning mode for the 2022- 2023 pay settlement. The EIS has history in running – and winning – major pay campaigns, most recently with the Value Education, Value Teachers campaign which resulted in a 13.5% pay increase for Scotland’s teaching professionals.

The experience of last year’s pay negotiations, where COSLA sought to drag negotiations on endlessly, has hardened the resolve to achieve a greatly improved pay settlement this year. The EIS campaigned on teachers’ pay ahead of the Scottish local authority elections – and we will be reminding councillors of all political parties of the promises they made ahead of those elections.

Teachers have been under the cosh for the past two years, as they battled to deliver a continuing high-quality education for young people under the challenging environment of the Covid pandemic. Politicians were falling over themselves to commend the work of teachers during this period, and promised that their efforts would not be forgotten.

The EIS has not forgotten – teachers have delivered throughout the pandemic, and teachers continue to deliver for young people now. It is simply unacceptable for teacher pay to be subject to deep real-terms cuts as a result of the increasing cost of living. It is time for the politicians to pay attention, and to pay up. Scotland’s teaching professionals must receive the significant pay increase that they fully deserve.

175 years and still going strong

This year marks the 175th year since the foundation of the EIS, and events to mark the occasion continue. Included with this edition of the SEJ are the members’ diary for 2022-2023 which features a cover based on the 175th anniversary EIS tartan, and a specially commissioned badge for members. This edition of the SEJ also previews a new book, set to be launched at the AGM, that explores the EIS through its 175 years. The SEJ hopes that all members will join us in celebrating the long and illustrious history of the world’s longest-established teaching union – the Educational Institute of Scotland.

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Regulars

The Scottish Educational Journal May 2022

Vol 106 / Issue no. 02 / May2022

Pages