The SSTA National Executive has sanctioned a formal ballot for Industrial Action to cut teacher workload. The National Executive considered the recent SSTA Indicative Ballot and are of the view that it had no option but to move to a formal ballot to protect its members. The Indicative Ballot showed that members were unhappy with the current proposals, with 91% of respondents prepared take industrial action short of strike action and 64% prepared to take strike action if necessary.
Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said “Teacher workload has a been the major issue for teachers for a number of years. The recent guidance from Education Scotland and SQA has not addressed teacher workload and SSTA cannot let the overload of teachers continue. In the short term SSTA members across Scotland are asking for some action to be taken to address the workload that is demoralising teachers in the 2016-2017 qualification cycle.
“The SSTA acknowledges the statements that John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary, has made on cutting teacher workload but teachers in schools have had promises made in the past which have not come to fruition. The SSTA hopes action can be taken quickly to resolve this dispute”.
Seamus Searson added “Teachers have insufficient time to carry out the over-bureaucratic arrangements set out by Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The SSTA is requesting that the Cabinet Secretary John Swinney together with Local Authorities, as the employers of teachers, take control of the situation and impose limits on teacher time being spent on such activities that are taking teachers away from teaching and learning”.
Euan Duncan, SSTA President said “Much of a teacher’s time is now taken up with SQA assessments and verification of assessments within their school and local area. Should any teacher decide to keep their working week within the ‘working time agreement’, the reality is that they would be unable to develop the necessary resources for learning and teaching”.
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