Speaking in Edinburgh today, Ann Ballinger, General Secretary of the union said, “The SSTA accepts that local authorities are in a state of financial stringency imposed on them by both the Holyrood and Westminster Governments.
“Regrettably certain local authorities have suggested or imposed cuts without regard to the consequences. The people of Scotland deserve better. The SSTA is prepared to discuss with every local authority mechanisms which can be used to reduce the impact of cuts or at least to soften the effect. One meeting between unions and COSLA (the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) did take place at which COSLA did make it clear that no area of local services was being excluded from the cuts. Meetings have also taken place between unions and certain local authorities. There has, however, been too little discussion between the employers and unions representing local authority employees.
“Within education it is of particular regret that many authorities are significantly reducing their spending on services for pupils with additional needs. Most obviously classroom assistant posts are being lost. This action targets the most vulnerable and does little to inspire confidence in the ability of certain authorities to do other than attack the soft targets.
Ms Ballinger referred to the legal position saying “All authorities should be aware of the implications of their proposed cuts in terms of the effects on the delivery of a sound, modern education system. The SSTA questions whether certain authorities will continue to meet their legal obligations under the terms of current legislation and in particular the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act.
For further information, please contact:
Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association
West End House
14 West End Place