STRIKE THREAT LIFTED FROM SCHOOLS The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association today announced that it was suspending its ballot on Strike Action pending further talks with the Government.

“Although it is clear that SSTA members were extremely angry about the proposals to change pensions, we are a union which is always prepared to seek to reach a resolution through negotiations rather than coercive action,” said David Eaglesham, General Secretary.

“The Pensions Minister has asked us to talk about how to take the issues forward and our Executive has decided to accept the invitation to this meeting.”

“However, from the correspondence to date, there is no indication of any concrete plans to make changes to the proposals already issued, and it is not clear whether the Government really intends to make radical changes or whether it is only seeking a temporary relief from the pressure ahead of a General Election. Events over the next few days and weeks will reveal the truth of this.”

“What I can predict is that if the Government has not had a genuine change of heart on its policy, then there will be a considerable backlash from the profession about the use of a cheap political trick to buy time for electoral purposes.”

“If members are angry just now, it will be as nothing compared to their reaction if they find they have been duped into calling off their proposed action.”The Association will review its position on pensions at its Annual Congress on 13 May by which time it is expected that a General Election will have been completed.

In the meantime, the ballot for a one day strike on 26 April has been cancelled and as a result, no strike action will take place on that day. Members and employers will be informed of this decision in the next few days.

Further details from David Eaglesham

General Secretary