I would like to thank all members for their efforts in making a tremendous 76% return in the consultative ballot. The 64% vote to accept has indicated the direction for the Association. It was clear from the comments made by members in the ballot that there was a reluctance to accept and that morale in schools is very low. The issues of teacher workload, pupil behaviour and lack of support were highlighted throughout the ballot process. The SSTA will be ensuring as part of any pay agreement that these issues must be addressed. A failure to make a real difference in these areas will only see more teachers leaving the profession.
The next steps in the pay negotiation process are:
- The SNCT Teachers’ Side will meet on Monday 25 February to agree a formal response to the pay offer. The union positions are:
- SSTA – conducted a members ballot and has voted to accept
- EIS – conducted a members ballot and has voted to reject
- Voice – Did not consult members but are prepared to accept
- AHDS (primary heads) – conducted a members ballot and has voted to accept
- NASUWT – no indication of what actions they have taken on the pay offer
- SLS (secondary heads) – is not allowed to consult its members as it is not a union (is only an observer at the meeting)
- The likely outcome is that SNCT Teachers’ Side will formally reject the pay offer (the EIS hold the majority when it comes to the vote). This will become the SNCT Teachers’ Side position. As a member of the SNCT Teachers’ Side the SSTA will accept the outcome of the vote and be seeking further negotiation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. This will include seeking action on teacher workload and pupil behaviour.
- The SNCT Teachers’ Side rejection will be taken to the SNCT Extended Joint Chairs (SSTA, EIS, Government and COSLA) on Tuesday 26 February. This would be the opportunity for the Government (should they chose to take it) to try and negotiate a settlement. It is fair to say the Government is keen to resolve the dispute and avoid industrial action.
- The SSTA Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee are awaiting developments and will be preparing guidance for members.
- The SSTA National Executive (Friday 1 March) and Council (Saturday 2 March) will be meeting next week to consider the situation and any further action.
It will be our intention to keep members updated on developments.
Thanks again for all your efforts in taking part in the members surveys and ballots during this difficult time.