General Secretary Report - February 2018

PDF Version - General Secretary Report - February 2018

Teachers Pay - April 2018 

  • 1% increase backdated to cover April to end of December 2017, and a further 1% from January until the end of March, across all grades and scale points.
  • The SSTA is preparing a submission for the April 2018 pay claim. To be discussed at the SNCT teacher’s side meeting on 5 February 2018.
  • Scottish Government Budget has made provision for a 3% increase for public service workers earning less than £36,500 and 2% for those above
  • Next full SNCT meeting Thursday 8 February

SSTA Position following the SSTA Salaries Committee meeting on 2 February

  • 1st priority Retention and 2nd priority Recruitment of teachers
  • The restoration of teachers’ pay
  • a common % increase for all teachers at all grades
  • Parity for unpromoted teachers with FE lecturers of £40,000+
  • A major reduction in teacher workload


SSTA Meeting with Deputy First Minister – 19 December 2017

  • Workload - The overriding message from the SSTA delegation to the Minister was to stop further changes as teachers do not have the capacity for more changes.
  • Teachers’ Pay Survey - (see below)
  • Career Structure to address the lack of a teachers’ career structure and the lack of
  • recognition and salary of teachers in pupil support and guidance roles
  • Additional Support Needs (ASN) - The delegation urged a commitment to invest in ASN as the years of education cuts had seen a decimation of this essential part of the education service.
  • Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RIC) - The SSTA saw the potential of subject specific and sector specific groups to promote and share good practice across local.
  • Education Workforce Council - opposition to the end of the GTCS.


SSTA Member Survey - December 2017 (1359 responses)

The survey found:

  • 77% of teachers are not content with the 2017 Pay increase
  • 95% of teachers believe the 2017 pay increase will not attract more people in to teaching
  • 89% of teachers believe the 2017 pay increase will not encourage teachers to remain in teaching
  • 68% of teachers are considering or have considered a career outside of  teaching
  • 50% of teachers are expecting a substantial pay offer in 2018
  • 54% of teachers are not expecting changes/reductions in workload in 2018
  • 49% of teachers were prepared to take strike action on the 2017 pay increase
  • 64% of teachers are prepared to take strike action with a further 32% prepared to take action short of strike action should the 2018 pay increase be below the rate of inflation.

 Education Scotland has stated

“School Improvement Plans should focus on a small number of priorities, aware of WTA and cutting bureaucracy – some schools producing their own bureaucracy in case of Inspections - not needed"

 Industrial Action - Members are being advised to work within the SNCT contracted 35 hour working week and Working Time Agreement. Guidance available at


Curriculum and Assessment Board - 6 December 2017 (first meeting)

Inspection findings - Secondary

  • How different BGE in S1and S2 compared to ten years ago?
  • Curriculum to be planned separately at 3 levels (S3, S4 and S5/S6)
  • 2 year courses and alternative pathways  and not a repeat year
  • RIC – national subject groups, regionally tailored
  • Need for an overview of curriculum models
  • Fitting the timetable rather than meeting the needs of the pupil

Work Themes

Broad General Education, Senior Phase, Curriculum Areas, Curriculum Improvement

and Assessment (BGE and Senior Phase)

National 4: Way Forward – discussion included:

  • Currency of Nat 4
  • Potential drop in achievement
  • Appetite for further change in the profession?
  • Achievement for all (certification for all)
  • Entitlement to 160 hours
  • 2 year courses
  • True progression from Nat 4 to Nat 5 (same course and content)
  • End of multi-course teaching (some pupils taking units or not)
  • Alignment of content between Nat 4 or Nat 5

Further discussion required

Education Governance - ‘Next Steps (June 2017) includes:

  1. 6 “regional improvement collaboratives”
  2. Develop a Headteacher Charter
  3. Talks on new career pathways (Autumn 2017)
  4. Consult on Education Workforce Council – include GTCS and other education professionals (Autumn 2017)
  5. Launch fast-track route to Headship (2018)
  6. Develop new “executive consultant head” and “cluster leaders” (2018)


COSLA: Regional Improvement Collaboratives (ICs) for Education (September 2017)

A response to the Governments Next Steps Document includes:

  • Six collaborative regions with a ‘Regional Improvement Lead’ appointed by the IC and employed by a local authority (October 2017)
  • Regional Improvement Plan following consultation (January 2018)
  • Enhance and improve professional learning
  • Identify, promote and share good practice – develop networks of teachers
  • Subject-specific and sector-specific support and advice
  • Regional approach to staffing – recruitment and retention, build capacity
  • Support wider collaborative working across LA services
  • Each IC to develop a ‘workforce plan’ and decide their ‘model of staff deployment’


Education Bill 2018 – consultation closed 30 January 2018

To create a school and teacher-led education system

  • Headteachers’ Charter - right and responsibilities, to be the leaders of learning
  • Improve parental and community engagement
  • Strengthen the voice of children and young people
  • Regional Improvement Collaboratives which will provide professional learning and leadership, support in both curriculum and specific sectors, sharing of good practice, and peer to peer collaboration, among other responsibilities.
  • Education Workforce Council - registration of other educational professionals, taking the responsibilities of the GTCS and Community Learning and Development Standards Council

  • To see SSTA Senior Managers Panel response please


Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC)

   Women’s Committee Work Plan - Major themes:

  • Promote Women in Work (STEM, media, education and public life)
  • Promote women’s health priorities (mental health, domestic abuse, sexual harassment and menopause)
  • Women as Carers
  • Women as victims of austerity and privatisation

    Congress 2018 - Motion to Amend the STUC Constitution

‘The STUC shall not trade for profit; shall not make payment of dividends or any return of capital; and will transfer all the assets that would otherwise be available after payment of creditors on its winding up, to a body or bodies with objects similar to those of the STUC.’

     Public Service Campaign - The following is proposed for 2018:

  • A series of ‘strike ready’ events, where unions are able to share current practice in building density, adapting to technical requirements of the Trade Union Act and building active participation within the context of public sector pay campaigns;
  • Four ‘Fair Work and public services’ events, detailing the specific ways in which affiliates are, or can be using the Framework to promote organising, which will be supported by a discreet section in the new STUC Fair Work website; and
  • Work with affiliates to create a set of organising resources to support local public service networks in developing skills in power structure analysis, whole worker organising and developing workplace leaders.

   First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls

  • The Advisory Council on Women and Girls will be chaired by Louise Macdonald OBE, Chief Executive of Young Scot. There are members from the third sector, government and business – including three aged under 20 years old.
  • STUC ensured a trade union representative.

 Scottish Government’s Budget 2018/19 - STUC response made the following points:

  • The Scottish Government’s tax proposals are progressive, but offer modest savings for low earners and modest reductions in incomes for high earners. They, therefore, also raise modest levels of tax.
  • Of the £164m raised, £96m is given away to businesses in tax breaks. Once other tax and social security changes are taken into account, only £28m of additional revenue is left, that could be used to invest in public services.
  • Questions the Scottish Government’s commitment to properly resourcing public services.
  • Sets out the Scottish Government’s proposals on public sector pay, but notes that only 50% of public sector workers will be covered by them.
  • The proposals mean that not a single public sector worker in Scotland will receive an above inflation pay rise when housing costs are taken into account.
  • Of the 50% of workers who are covered by the pay promise, only 50% will be offered a pay rise at 3%.


Forthcoming Events


SSTA Professional Education Courses

  • Dementia Awareness - Monday 19 February - SSTA Office Edinburgh
  • Understanding Disability - Monday 5 March - SSTA Office Edinburgh
  • Mental Health Awareness:-
    • Tuesday 13 March - SSTA Office Edinburgh and
    • Tuesday 20 March - STUC Centre, Glasgow

For further information and how to reserve a place follow the link


STUC Women's Weekend School, Glasgow, 17-18 March 2018

STUC Annual Congress, Aviemore, 16 -18 April 2018

SSTA Congress, Crieff 18 - 19 May 2018

STUC LGBT+ Workers Conference, Glasgow 9-10 June 2018

STUC Women's Conference, Dundee 29-30 October 2018

SSTA School Representative Training – to be delivered locally details to be circulated