General Secretary Update 26 June

Created on: 26 Jun 2020 | Last modified: 02 Sep 2020


General Secretary’s Message

Dear Colleague

This ebulletin is primarily to provide a link to the latest online version of the union magazine, the SEJ, which you can find below. Please take a look at some of the articles.

It also allows me to provide a brief update from yesterday's CERG (Covid Education Recovery Group). Essentially, the meeting agreed that CERG would convene over the month of July to consider the various mitigations being discussed around a possible full pupil return in August, including the areas referred to in the last ebulletin such as proactive testing, physical distancing, face coverings etc.

Next week the group plans to meet with the Scottish Government's scientific advisers to consider their findings and evidence. A discussion is planned around SQA matters, also.

It was further agreed that a decision on which option for pupil return was operational, full return or blended learning, would be made no later than July 30th so that everyone - parents, pupils and staff – would know what August should look like.

Scottish Government made clear its view that the final decision was entirely dependent on where Scotland is in relation to continued suppression of the virus. Although there is a planning presumption on its part that we will be in Phase 4 come August, it is not a given.

The EIS will continue to monitor the situation over the summer period and keep members informed of any developments.

We will be engaging, also, in college and higher education workstreams over the summer period on behalf of FELA and ULA members.

Finally, I hope you all manage to get a well-deserved break, despite the restrictions still in place.

Best wishes and stay safe.


SEJ Digital Edition – June

The June edition of the SEJ normally reports on the EIS Annual General Meeting – the Institute’s sovereign decision-making body. With the AGM being cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this month's edition of the SEJ reports instead on the recent special meeting of Council that was convened earlier this month.

This included speeches by outgoing President Bill Ramsay and General Secretary Larry Flanagan and from the new General Secretary of the STUC, Roz Foyer.

This edition of the SEJ also includes features on:

We hope you enjoy reading this latest online edition of the SEJ, and welcome your comments – these can be posted on individual articles or emailed to us via

Supply Teacher Webinar

The precarious position of supply teachers has been raised by members at recent events and in recent correspondence, so in response a short webinar has been recorded alongside some FAQs and a PP presentation.

The EIS has also received some emails from supply teachers about the Deputy First Minister announcement of additional money being available for the employment of NQTs, on at least a one year contract.

The General Secretary has spoken directly to the Deputy First Minister and made the point that as far as the EIS is concerned, it wasn't only NQTs but also supply teachers seeking work, who needed the additional funding to be made available for new posts.

The Institute will certainly be approaching discussions with local authorities on that basis.

We also need to seek a longer-term solution to the manner in which supply lists are maintained by some Councils, as they effectively amount to zero-hour contracts – which is unacceptable.

This will be a campaign priority for the Institute going forward.