COUNCIL 5 MARCH 2005
a) Council stood in silence as a mark of respect for George Dawson, Life Member, who died in January 2005, and also for Peter Dawson former General Secretary of NATFHE and EI, who was a long standing friend of the Association.
b) Council heard that Executive had authorised a indicative ballot on possible strike action with regard to proposed pension changes to teachers' pensions. Executive will determine, on the basis of the indicative ballot, whether a statutory ballot will be called for a potential one day strike in early May. Council also heard reports on the latest developments with regards to the proposed pension changes.
c) Council heard reports on the latest stage of implementation of the McCrone Agreement and the SNCT meeting in January 2005.
d) Edward Sutherland, Greenock Academy was appointed to be a representative on the Scottish Joint Committee for Religious and Moral Education.
e) Joining Council as guests and observers were Brian Wagget (President) and Jane Bennett (Senior Vice-President) from ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) with whom the Association has a reciprocal membership agreement.
f) The following members were endorsed as candidates for the forthcoming GTC Council elections.
Ann Ballinger, Bishopbriggs High School
James Forbes, Lasswade High School
Bill Guthrie, Perth High School
David Malloch, St Kentigern's Academy
Anne O'Kane, Kirkland High School
Margaret Potter, Biggar High School
Margaret Smith, St Andrew's High School
Tom Watt, Northfield Academy
2. LIFE MEMBERSHIP
The Committee of Past Presidents has agreed to confer Life Membership on Nora Bruce South Lanarkshire District, Douglas Cousin, Clackmannanshire District, Malcolm Gracie, Dundee City District and Bill Walker, Highland District.The awards will be presented at Congress on 13-14 May 2005
3. STUC CONGRESS
The following three motions have been submitted by the Association.
a) Health and Safety and Young PeopleCongress notes with concern that whilst staff working in schools and colleges are fully covered by the provision of Health and Safety legislation and regulations, young people and adult students are only given secondary consideration with regard to Health and Safety issues. This leads to a situation where, in a large secondary school with 1500 pupils and 150 school staff, only 9% of those on the premises will be fully covered by legislation. Young people and adult learners have the right to be as well protected at what is effectively their “workplace” as those employed there. This includes the right to be free from violence, harassment and intimidation.Congress, therefore, calls on the government to bring forward appropriate legislative or regulatory provision to provide the same levels of duty of care to school and college students as is provided for staff employed there.
b) Violence in the WorkplaceCongress calls on the Scottish Executive to propose legislation requiring that all employers instigate an audit of violence and abusive behaviour suffered by all front line staff in the workplace. On completion of such an audit, appropriate legislation should be put in place to protect workers from criminal violence and abuse.
c) The Scottish People and Debts of Developing Countries Congress congratulates the people of Scotland on their generosity in raising funds for the relief and reconstruction of the areas affected by the tsunami in South East Asia.Congress calls on the G8 countries to emulate this generosity by cancelling all debt incurred by developing countries. Congress further calls on the UK government to consult with the relevant financial institutions and non government organisations to facilitate direct links between schools, colleges and work places in the UK and partner institutions in developing countries. Such links might include:
Fund raising and sponsorship
Curriculum links between partner schools and colleges
4. PRE-RETIREMENT COURSES
Members who are considering retiring from the profession within the next two years may be interested in the pre-retirement courses which have been arranged in conjunction with Planned Futures for 2 April 2005 in Dundee, and 4 June 2005 in Stirling. Members who wish to participate can register for either of the courses by completing the online enrolment form at https://ssta.org.uk or by telephoning the office for an application form.
5. LAWLINE SERVICE
Members are reminded of the Association's free legal advisory service Lawline. Morton Fraser Solicitors provides SSTA members with a free confidential legal advice by telephone or email. To make use of the service you can telephone on 07770 748556 or email at:
6. TAX REBATE ON SUBSCRIPTIONS
Members are reminded that two-thirds of the annual subscription payable to the Association is allowable for income tax relief. A proforma letter detailing the subscription fees for the past six years is available from the Association office or from the website.
ALAN McKENZIE, President
DAVID EAGLESHAM, General Secretary