The SSTA Ballot for Industrial ‘Action Short of Strike Action’ returned a very large vote in favour to take action to reduce teacher workload. The Ballot closed on Friday (30 September 2106) and the SSTA National Council at its meeting on Saturday authorised the start of Industrial Action on Monday 24 October 2016.
Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said, “The ballot has shown the strength of feeling and determination of secondary school teachers to address the workload demands that distract teachers from focusing on teaching and learning. The SSTA has consistently argued for cutbacks in bureaucracy and the damage it does to our young people and teachers”
“The SSTA wishes to acknowledge and welcome the Deputy First Minister’s determination to declutter the work of teachers and allow them to focus on teaching and learning. However, The SSTA’s view is that teacher workload has and is unlikely to be significantly reduced in the current session, especially in the area of national qualifications, and therefore we have no option but to move into industrial action to protect its members”.
Seamus Searson added, “The SSTA welcomed the Minister to its National Council meeting on Saturday and heard his request for more time to bring about change. Unfortunately, the proposed changes for National 5 do not take place until 2017-18 and with the lack of progress on National 4 the union had no option but to move to action to protect another cohort of young people and its members from excessive workload”.
Euan Duncan, SSTA President said, “SSTA members care passionately about the young people they teach and getting the best qualifications. However, the pressure and stress suffered by both young people and teachers cannot be allowed to continue. We hope the Deputy First Minister can work with the SSTA to find a way forward and put measures in place to help the situation.”
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