March 2022

Created on: 17 Mar 2022 | Last modified: 21 Mar 2022

Covid Update

The latest Scottish Government guidance in relation to schools has been published – this is due to come into effect after the Easter break (slightly later than the originally planned phased approach). Although the update enables the removal of many of the current mitigations it also states that it is not “a recommendation for schools to return to previous practice” and highlights the need for discussion at LNCT and school level so that any proposed changes take account of operational difficulties and avoid increased workload.

EIS guidance to school reps
(and members) has been updated accordingly, particularly in relation to the ongoing need for updated risk assessments to be in place.

School branches will need to decide collectively the approach to be taken in their own establishment e.g. parent evenings remain subject to WTA agreements. Collective action may be required, also, to support members with additional vulnerabilities.

Support and guidance in relation to all matters are available from LA Secretaries and from Organisers and Area Officers.

As indicated in member bulletins, there has been an exchange of letters between the EIS and the Cabinet Secretary which can be read here. In the absence of any concession in relation to the removal of free Lateral Flow Tests to school staff, members are being urged to object to this decision by emailing the Cabinet Secretary. A template letter has been produced and can be found here

Action for Reps: Please consider holding a branch meeting to discuss the update guidance. Please revisit risk assessments. Please encourage members to support the email lobby campaign re LFTS.

Consultative Pay Ballot

EIS Council recently agreed to ballot members on the pay offer received for 2021 with a recommendation to accept and to start building a campaign around the 2022 claim of 10%. Details of the offer can be found here alongside FAQS. 

Action for Reps: Share details of the latest offer with members and encourage them to vote to accept. Emails containing details on how to vote are currently being issued, please also remind members to check their spam folder as sometimes the email can end up in there.

Local Government Manifesto

The EIS has launched its manifesto for the 2022 Local Government Elections. The manifesto will be shared nationally with political parties and used locally by Local Associations for campaigning on the key issues in Education. You can view the manifesto in full here

Action for Reps: Please share with members where they can view the EIS Manifesto.

FELA Open Statutory Ballot for Industrial Action over 21/22 Pay Offer

The Further Education Lecturers Association (FELA) opened a statutory ballot for industrial action on Thursday 10th March over a sub-inflation pay offer for the current year 21/22. The ballot will run until 31st March and the FELA Executive are urging members to vote yes to strike action over a derisory pay offer that amounts to £850 consolidated and a £150 unconsolidated ‘Thank you’ payment in recognition of lecturers work over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Action for Reps and Branch Secs: Support FELA colleagues during their ballot by following @EISFela and sharing online campaign content.

Education Scotland Recovery Visits

New EIS advice on Education Scotland Recovery visits can be accessed here

Action for Reps: Reps can share their school’s experiences of Recovery Visits by returning the relevant monitoring form to (lmeechan@eis.org.uk). Your feedback will inform future discussions with Education Scotland about these visits. 

Care Inspectorate Inspections of ELC Settings

With the announcement that the Care Inspectorate will extend its inspection programme from 7th March 2022, the Education Department has produced Advice on Care Inspectorate Inspections of ELC Settings and would welcome feedback in our Monitoring Forms from EIS reps, on members’ experience when inspections have been completed. 

Action for Reps: Reps can share their school’s experiences by returning their monitoring form to lmeechan@eis.org.uk

Hunger and Food Insecurity

The EIS continues its anti-poverty campaigning with the launch of a new briefing on Hunger and Food Insecurity, providing vital advice for teachers on breakfast clubs, school meals and snacks. 

Action for Reps: Please make use of this briefing to raise relevant issues within your school and make members aware of it also.

Dundee LA Oppose Faculties Imposition

The EIS are calling for Dundee City Council to stop an unnecessary and costly restructure of secondary schools. The council is planning to bring together multiple, unrelated departments into "faculties". And they will remove vital Principal Teacher roles in departments and replace them with "Faculty Heads".

If the council’s plans go ahead, there will be fewer teachers in their already under-resourced schools and yet more disruption to students’ learning. That means a higher workload for teachers and less one-to-one time with students. 97% of secondary school teachers in Dundee have voted against the changes. 

Action for Reps and Branch Secs: Support EIS members in Dundee stop the introduction of faculties in Dundee secondary schools and ask your members to add their name and show your support.

EIS PACT Professional Learning

The next phase of the EIS PACT Professional Learning offer designed to support teachers to further mitigate the impact of poverty in the classroom and the wider school starts later this month.

The refreshed programme of online professional learning comprises a series of three short PACT modules which will be delivered by small teams of EIS members - EIS Equality reps, Learning Reps and other interested activists - who have been trained as PACT trainers during the first half of this academic session to share equity-related learning on school policy, ethos and practice with fellow teachers across each of the RIC areas.

The delivery schedule for the EIS PACT professional learning offer, including details of how to note interest, is available here

Action for Reps and Branch Secs: Please highlight this professional learning opportunity to members, directing them to the relevant section of the website.

Professional Learning

The EIS is committed to providing all members with high quality professional learning opportunities that support career-long professional development. As a member, any of the various training courses and professional learning seminars organised by the EIS are open to you. More information ca be found here

Action for Reps and Branch Secs: Please promote these opportunities within your local areas. For more information, or if you would like leaflets to circulate at meetings and events, please contact Pauline McColgan (pmccolgan@eis.org.uk).

TUC Training Courses for Reps & Activists

Training is available for all School Reps, run in conjunction with the TUC. The 4-day EIS TUC Reps’ Training and H&S Reps’ Training courses are offered in 2x2-day blocks and are aimed at Reps who are relatively new in the role or those who have had no formal union training. Details of training dates can be found here

Action for Reps: If you are a Rep, Health and Safety Rep or are a member interested in becoming one then please contact your Local Association Secretary to be nominated, who will then register with Jennifer Cook (jcook@eis.org.uk).  LA Reps and schools should also share information regarding these courses and encourage members/reps to attend one of the H&S training courses advertised.

Probationer Teacher Recruitment

New Probationers: There may be current probationer teacher colleagues who have not joined the union. EIS membership is free for all current probationers until December 2022. After that, probationers can get a further 50% discount on full membership for the following nine months if they update their direct debit details with us by the end of their 18-month free period. If they joined the EIS as a student then they should update their membership details, for example school details, at the start of their probationary year. This will assist us in continuing to offer support.

Previous Probationers: There may still be teachers in your school who are no longer in their probationary period but did not join at the end of their free membership (ended Dec 2020) - please check and follow up, if they did not set up a direct debit with the EIS they are not members. 

Action for Reps: Encourage probationer teacher colleagues to join for free online today and speak to your colleagues who were previous Probationers about continuing their membership

Your EIS Local Association

If you have an issue that you need help resolving contact your Local Association Secretary. EIS Local Associations also meet regularly to discuss local issues and members are welcome to attend and stand for positions on the committee of management. 

Action for Reps and Branch Secs: Visit your Local Association website to discover what meetings and events they are running over the coming months and to get involved.

Updating Member Details

If you have new colleagues in your establishment who are EIS members, they should update their school base or personal contact details on the MyEIS section of the website. Remind them to log on using their EIS number. It is quick and simple to set up a password. 

Action for Reps and Branch Secs: Alternatively, as a Rep you should have access to member lists for your school and you can update details on their behalf also using the MyEIS section which you can access here.

Contact your EIS Organiser about a branch meeting

This is the ideal time to set up an EIS branch meeting. We are still working and living in challenging times and having an active EIS branch is essential. Your EIS Organiser can offer support with this by attending and speaking on a specific topic or answering member queries. 

Action for Reps and Branch Secs: Contact details for EIS Organisers are available here.­­­­