1. COUNCIL 6 OCTOBER 2007
• Council heard reports on the McCrone Implementation process, and in particular on Chartered Teacher.
• Council also heard an extensive report on “A Curriculum for Excellence” and was directed to the latest documents at http://www.curriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk and follow the link “Experiences and Outcomes”. Only the Numeracy and Science proposals are as yet available. The Numeracy proposals are, however, cross curricular.Members are urged to download and read these. The process which the Association asks you to use to allow you to express your views is as follows:
a) visit https://ssta.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence.htm
b) post your comments there in one of 3 sections:
- Numeracy – specific to theme
- Science – specific to subjects
- Other (if you wish to make general comments).
Please contribute as soon as possible. The Association will collate these views and represent them to the relevant bodies and people. Please ensure you contribute to allow maximum representation of SSTA member views to the authorities.
2. PENSION SCHEME
There have been some recent changes to the Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme (STSS) which members will need to be aware of.
• Transfer of existing pension to STSS Members are reminded that if they have entered teaching in Scotland following superannuated employment elsewhere, they have only one year in which to arrange the transfer of existing pension rights to the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme.The Association does not necessarily advise of that such a transfer should be automatic. Independent financial advice should be sought. The Scottish Public Pensions Agency will advise on any transfer.
• Death Grants If a teacher is not married or in a civil partnership, they can nominate a person to receive their Death Grant. For this to happen a nomination must be made or the grant will go to the estate of the deceased. If you wish to make a nomination, please contact SPPA.
• Re-Employment If you are re-employed as a teacher after retiring, it is in your interest to let SPPA know and you must do so. Please contact SPPA if necessary at Teachers' Branch, 7 Tweedside Park, Galashiels, TD1 3TE,
If you require any advice in these matters please contact the General Secretary.
3. DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENTS IN DECEMBER
Members who pay their subscription by monthly direct debit are advised of the following payment dates for December's subscription. The Association will input data to BACS on Thursday 27 December which will be processed on Friday 28 December for payment on Monday 31 December.
4. PRE-RETIREMENT COURSE
A series of one day pre-retirement courses will take place during the first half of 2008. Details of dates and venues will be advised to members as soon as possible and will also be posted on the website.
5. CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Members who change their home address are asked to notify the Association office in writing or by email. It is also advisable that changes of address are notified to the school, the authority, GTCS, the nearest Social Security office, the Inland Revenue and the Scottish Public Pensions Agency. In all cases, please quote any reference number (GTCS, National Insurance etc.) The Social Security Office will make arrangements for NI records to be amended.
6. RETIRED MEMBERS
Members who are about to retire are asked to note that they may maintain membership of the Association after retiral at one half of the usual rate. Members in this situation should contact this office giving their retirement date. If it has not already been done, membership will be transferred to the home address and the school membership deleted. Retiring members who have paid a full rate subscription for the whole year will receive a rebate by cheque. Retired membership entitles the member to all the usual services for members except access to those external services limited by age. Such members receive all information at their home address. Members who have retired during the course of this year who have not informed the Association (and hence who may not be currently benefiting from the reduced subscription rate) are asked to notify the office. It is helpful if all retired members (as well as those continuing in employment) give details of any email address.
7. LAWLINE SERVICE
Members are reminded of the Association's free legal advisory service, Lawline. Morton Fraser Solicitors provide SSTA members with a free confidential legal advice by telephone or email. The service permits members to seek legal advice on any issues affecting them or on which they wish details (excluding employment matters which should be directed to the General Secretary). The advice given is prompt, comprehensive, impartial, and covers Scots law as well as other jurisdictions. Advice can cover consumer matters, domestic issues, contracts, family law, estates and travel to name but a few areas. To make use of the service you can telephone on 07770 748556 or email at: Lawline@morton-fraser.com.
8. SICK PAY ENHANCEMENT COVER SCHEME
The Association is pleased to announce that the Sick Pay Enhancement Cover (SPEC) scheme is about to be launched to members. All members aged 55 and under are entitled to enrol in this extremely advantageous scheme which, for the minimal sum of £7.00 per month, affords benefits to a member on long-term sick leave of £100 per week for up to 26 weeks after a period of sickness of 26 weeks and a sum of £200 per week for up to a further 52 weeks period thereafter. Clearly this makes financial planning for the future less stressful at a time when it is difficult enough to cope with incapacity for a lengthy period.Application forms should be in schools or sent to home addresses, where applicable, by the end of October.
9. PART-TIME PROFESSIONAL OFFICER (TEMPORARY POST)
The Association has an imminent vacancy for a part-time Professional Officer (0.4 FTE) for a period of around 18 months. Any member who has extensive experience of representing members at hearings, particularly outwith his/her own school and who would be available to take up the post immediately is invited to send to the General Secretary a brief resumÃ¨ of his/her personal details and details of the representations they have recently undertaken.This should not exceed one side of A4 in length. Please indicate your current status within this Association. All expressions of interest must be received by noon on Friday 9 November 2007 at the latest. These must be in a hard-copy format and, if sent by email, must be followed up by a signed copy. The salary for the post is £16,698 p.a. and the post is based in the offices of the Association in Edinburgh.Further details are available from the General Secretary.
10. CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR CLOSURE OF THE SSTA OFFICE
Members are asked to note that the Association office will close at noon on Friday 21st December and will re-open for normal business after New Year on Monday 7th January 2008.
ANN BALLINGER, President
DAVID EAGLESHAM, General Secretary