The SSTA will today hand to Peter Peacock, Minister of Education, a petition from secondary teachers in Scotland who are outraged at the downgrading of over 2/3rds of promoted posts in secondary schools in Scotland. The handing over of the petition, collected under the banner of “Mail the Minister” will take place at Victoria Quay at 1pm on Wednesday 9 July 2003.

The petition comes as a consequence of the “Job Sizing” process imposed on schools under the McCrone Agreement. Following this process, which cost well over £1m, over two thirds of promoted teachers in secondary schools will see their posts downgraded despite increased rather than decreased levels of work being demanded in schools. The set of criteria used are, in the view of the SSTA, arbitrary, and bring about a vastly greater element and downgrading than was ever contemplated when teachers voted for the Agreement in 2001.(outline details of the effects are appended)

“Teachers are outraged that they are having to endure such an arbitrary slur on their commitment and dedication to pupils” said David Eaglesham, General Secretary. “The work demanded has never been greater and has increased since signing the Agreement. However, by the use of statistical sophistry, to job sizing process has managed to alienate and enrage teachers in secondary schools.”

The petition, signed by over 1300 teachers calls on the Minister to refer back the outcome of the process to ensure the result is fairer and more equitable.

The petition will be handed over by Alan McKenzie, SSTA President and David Eaglesham, General Secretary on behalf on the Association and the signatories.

“The whole process of giving out the details of job sizing so late in the term, and later than had been planned, has only increased cynicism about the exercise. Already we are seeing instances where the process led to increases actually leading to local authorities reducing scores at will. This gives the lie to any suggestion that the process was fair or transparent.”

Further information fromDAVID EAGLESHAM

General Secretary