Message to Members 1 April 2022

Teachers’ Pay Offer for 2021-2022 - Accepted

The SSTA attended a meeting of the SNCT Teachers’ Side (31 March) where constituent parties confirmed their view on the revised 2022 pay offer. All parties stated their union’s position and  SSTA representatives followed the view taken by members (SSTA members had voted 71.6% rejected) against accepting the pay offer. However, the SNCT Teachers’ Side voted to accept and the SSTA is bound by the collective decision reluctantly to accept.
The SNCT Teachers’ Side confirmed the decision to the management side with the expectation that the pay offer is implemented as soon as possible. At the meeting it was confirmed by all unions, even though the pay offer was far below what would be acceptable, that the campaign for 10% pay increase in 2022-2023 had begun and the preparedness for taking action should an unacceptable pay offer be made.

10% for all teachers in 2022

Teachers Pay and Leave

The SSTA regularly receives queries from teachers who have recently started in a promoted post or increased their hours and are surprised to find that their first pay following the additional work is less than expected.
Frequently when querying this with payroll departments they receive an unsatisfactory answer along the lines that “any teacher who moves position, new starts, leavers etc. are subject to the Teachers’ new start/leavers calculation” along with a spreadsheet calculation which may need explanation. To help clarify this we offer the following FAQs.

SSTA Management Time Survey

 The issue of Management Time, or the lack of it, has been raised at the SNCT and it will be a major item at the next SNCT meeting. The SSTA believes it is essential for those in management positions to have sufficient time within the school day to meet the requirements of the post.
The SSTA is keen to gather evidence as to the situation in secondary schools so that the employers and Government understand the reality members face in schools. Invitations have been passed to all members recorded on our membership system. We would really appreciate your assistance in this matter. If you are in a management position and you wish to contribute to the short survey and you have not received an invitation, please email with your name, school and the post you hold.  A link to the survey will then be sent to you.

SSTA and SQA Examinations

The SSTA met with the SQA following the release of the SQA support materials for the Examinations this summer. The SSTA shared the responses made by its members  with the SQA to highlight the major distress in schools in trying deliver national qualifications in schools.
Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said
“The SQA seems to have little understanding of the situation teachers and their pupils. The pandemic has challenged schools over the last two in trying to support young people in reaching their full potential. The SQA is ‘out of touch’ with teachers and must be prepared to listen to the calls for help. This could have all been avoided if the SQA had listened to secondary teacher representatives such as the SSTA. The SQA was adamant that it did not need to include the SSTA in its decision making but relied upon the views of those far away from the reality of schools. The SSTA predicted problems in 2020 and 2021 but the SQA pressed ahead with its plans regardless of the stress and pain of pupils and teachers. The response from members highlighted the inconsistency of support, insufficient quality of unvetted unwieldy materials, the insensitivity of procedures that failed to address the reality in schools, failed to acknowledge impact on teacher workload, and the potential reputational damage to the SQA and its qualifications”.
“The situation in schools at present is dire with increasing staff and pupil absences and the collection of mountains of evidence in the event of pupils missing examinations and not reaching the grades the pupils and parents are expecting. The SSTA raised concerns in the summer 2021 of the potential problems this summer and the need to find a system that factored in further disruption to education due to the pandemic. This again was ignored and the ‘full’ exam diet for 2022 was hastened forward. Unfortunately, it will be the poor teachers in the classroom working every hour of the coming months to ensure that pupils get the best results in spite of the SQA”.
“The SSTA sees further problems in the years to come with the pupils in S1 to S3 whose education has been disrupted in the last two years as they join the conveyor belt of examinations with no changes or allowances being considered for 2023 and 2024. The SSTA has suggested that the pressure could be relieved by reducing the number of presentations each year by restoring two year courses, having shared-content courses with a range of pupil-centred summative assessment techniques and ending the unproductive practice of multi-course teaching where N4 to Advanced Higher pupils are being forced into the same classes”.