Motions from Congress 2012

Details of the motions passed at Congress, held on 11-12 May 2012 can be found on our website below. Further details of this, and a review of other business, will be sent to all members in the next newsletter. In the meantime this will provide some information about the issues dealt with at Congress.

A PDF of the motions can be download from <a href="">here</a>

Motion A

On behalf of Aberdeenshire, Gordon West, seconded by Ruth French, moved:

Congress notes that teachers are now facing intolerable stress levels as a result of the impending changes to National Qualifications. Faced with inadequate details of the coverage of courses, teachers now have insufficient time to prepare appropriate schemes of work, lessons and resources.

In the best interest of Scotland's pupils and teachers congress therefore calls on Executive to call a ballot on industrial action if the government does not announce a delay in the implementation of these new qualifications in the immediate future.

During debate, the Immediate Past President, seconded by Robert Macmillan, successfully moved remission to Executive.

Motion B

On behalf of West Dunbartonshire, Alex McEwan, seconded by Maggie Nesbit, moved:

Teachers' return to work interviews should be conducted only by suitably trained senior line managers who should receive support from qualified H.R. personnel. School business managers, not being the line managers of teachers, should be removed from participation in absence management meetings. Any such participation would constitute a clear breach of the confidentiality which the teacher is entitled to expect.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Motion C

On behalf of Ayrshire Area, Catherine Nicol, seconded by Andrew Batton, moved:

The Association calls on the SNCT to change existing Grievance Procedures concerning teaching staff. This change would add the requirement for a person independent of the local authority to be present at all meetings concerning the outcome of a grievance. This would lead to a greater degree of objectivity in the grievance procedures currently applied.

During debate, Gordon West, seconded by John Gray, successfully proposed amending the motion by changing “change existing Grievance” to “change its existing guidelines on Grievance” in the first line.

The substantive motion was carried nem con.

Motion D

On behalf of Renfrew Area, Val Liddell, seconded by John Guidi, moved:

This Association calls on the SNCT to hold a thorough review of supply teacher contracts to ensure that they receive an appropriate remuneration for the essential professional service they provide in our schools.

After a number of contributions in support, the motion was carried unanimously.

Motion E

On behalf of Aberdeen City, Joe Wallace, seconded by John Gray, moved:

The SSTA acknowledges that workload is seen as a major problem by many teachers. The SSTA should, in addition to raising workload issues at every available public forum, remind members as to the detail of their contracts of employment and encourage members, for their own health and wellbeing and for the long term future of education in Scotland, to take control of their own workload.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Motion F

On behalf of Fife, Robert Macmillan, seconded by the President, moved:

Congress calls upon all local authorities to abandon attempts to merge Teachers' Conditions of Service with those of Single Status Staff.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Motion G

On behalf of Fife, Anne O'Kane, seconded by Alison Karalar, moved:

The SSTA deplores the axing of the Chartered Teacher qualification and requires that the Scottish Government commits to an assurance that the accrued rights of existing Chartered Teachers be protected.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Motion H

On behalf of East Dunbartonshire, Sally Shearer, seconded by Graham Robertson, moved:

This Association demands that the Cabinet Secretary agrees a delay to the implementation of National 4 and 5 in the light of research showing that most schools are expected to implement these courses from June 2012 when assessment material will not be available until April 2012.

The motion was largely carried.

Motion I

On behalf of Perth and Kinross, Rob Hands, seconded by Val Stewart, moved:

We call on the association to authorise and manage a "mail the minister campaign" to demand the setting up of national writing teams for each secondary subject that will also provide guidance and support on all forms of assessment relating to CfE.

The motion was carried nem con.

Motion J

On behalf of Fife, Anne O'Kane, seconded by Stuart Letham, moved:

Congress instructs the General Secretary to seek representation on the National Partnership Group which has been established to implement the recommendations contained within ‘Teaching Scotland's Future'.

The motion was carried unanimously

Motion K

On behalf of Fife, Robert Macmillan, seconded by Stuart Letham, moved:

The Association welcomes the publication by GTCS of revised advice to teachers engaging in social networking and applauds those teachers using online tools to enhance the learning and teaching of their pupils, as well as enhancing their own CPD.

Congress believes that not only do the benefits of such technologies far outweigh the pitfalls but also that all teachers should have access to them and be supported in using them effectively. We call on all local authorities to ensure that this support is in place.

Congress recognises the societal move away from desktop computing to mobile computing and calls upon the Scottish government and all local authorities to facilitate the appropriate adoption of such technologies in our schools as aids to learning and teaching.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Motion M

On behalf of Fife, Robert Macmillan, seconded by Anne O'Kane, moved:

The SSTA calls upon all local authorities, GTCS and providers of online platforms and social networks to ensure that teachers, as well as pupils, are protected from abuse online.

Congress instructs the Association to develop appropriate advice to members.

The motion was carried nem con.

Motion L

On behalf of Lothian Area, the Immediate Past President, seconded by Monique Dreon-Goold, moved:

Congress reasserts the SSTA's willingness to engage with other teaching unions who have members in Scotland's schools, to discuss possible routes to unity in defending Scotland's teachers' working conditions and the educational, social and economic progress of our young people. This Association further believes that professional unity among Scotland's teaching unions would be best achieved via a federated structure of sector based organisations.

The motion was carried nem con.