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September 2019

Time to Tackle Workload

EIS Council met on Friday 20th September and approved a strategy for the Time to Tackle Workload Campaign - focusing on two key approaches.

The first strand will be through national negotiations at SNCT level around a 20/20 Campaign – class size maxima of 20 and a reduction in class contact time to 20 hours per week.

These are big-ticket issues and immediate progress will be challenging but the evidence to support these demands will be developed and publicised, with a view to making incremental progress on the targets and influencing future manifesto commitments from the political parties.

Alongside that approach, and with more immediate effect, the EIS will be seeking to tackle excessive workload through the development of greater professional autonomy and teacher agency, under the banner of the school empowerment agenda (which is being consulted upon over this session).

This will be progressed through rolling out training for school reps and activists to enable auditing of school practice, ensuring that activities which don’t impact on teaching and learning are set aside. National guidance will be made available on identified drivers of workload such as forward planning and excessive recording of assessment.

Building on the collective momentum of the pay campaign, members will be supported to say a collective "No" to excessive workload, identified in the VEVT survey as the second biggest contributor to a lack of well-being amongst teachers. 

A dedicated page has been established on the website and this will be populated further over the course of the campaign with tips, suggestions, and success stories.

Time to Tackle Workload

The Difference is Striking - ULA Campaign

EIS-ULA has opened a statutory industrial action ballot for its members in Scotland's Higher Education sector.

The EIS is working with other unions representing staff in the University sector across the UK to campaign for a fair pay rise for our members. The EIS-ULA postal ballot will run until the 30th October.

The EIS believes that staff in Scotland's Universities have been let down by this bargaining process and that it is now time for the employers to show that they value Higher Education and value lecturers.

Please look out for your ballot paper arriving by post. If you have not received your ballot paper please contact ballot@eis.org.uk.

The Trade Union Act means that over 50% of eligible members must take part in the vote before legal action can be taken so not voting is effectively a vote for no action and seeing the value of your pay drop even more, whilst workload increases. Use your vote - Vote YES!

Find out more

Additional Support for Learning - Evidence Bank

Additional Support for Learning (ASL) provision has been the subject of intense scrutiny in Scotland in recent years; and the theme of many discussions and debates at the EIS AGM.

This scrutiny is likely to be sustained as the complexity of needs among the learning population grows, against a backdrop of under-invested public services. We are deeply concerned about the gap between theories of inclusion and daily practice in our schools.

We have gathered significant evidence of the crisis in ASL provision. Reports on a wide range of matters, from mental health training to the workload created by GIRFEC, have now been added to the website. These may be useful to members in taking forward local discussions or campaigns on ASL resourcing.

Read ASL Reports

Pensions Update

As members may be aware there have been legal developments regarding public sector pension schemes. This is as a result of the successful appeal by Judges and Firefighters against the transitional arrangements put in place following the pension scheme changes which were a consequence of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

The English Court of Appeal has held that the transitional arrangements which gave full protection to those within 10 years of the Normal Pension Age (NPA) (60 years at the time) and either tapered or no protection to other members are unlawfully discriminatory on the basis of age.

The Supreme Court has refused permission for the UK Government to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal and the judgement that the transitional protection afforded to firefighters and judges was unlawfully discriminatory is the final outcome.  The Government and Treasury now accepts that there will need to be changes to all Public Sector Pension Schemes to address this discrimination.

The EIS Salaries Committee is monitoring the ongoing situation and has been taking legal advice to assist with our approach to any proposed changes. Further updates will follow as the legal position develops and as Treasury's approach to scheme changes becomes clear.

Members who wish more information on pensions should see the newly updated pensions section on our website.

Visit the EIS website

EIS Poverty Survey

The first-hand experiences of teachers have been instrumental in driving the high-profile EIS Face Up to Child Poverty Campaign so far.

Once again, we need your views on how poverty is affecting the lives of the children that you teach, and on what's being done in schools and local authorities to counteract the impact of low income on children's education.

Please take 15 minutes or so to complete the latest survey of EIS members on the impact of poverty on children’s education.

Take part in the survey

EIS Diary and SEJ Opt-Out

Members can opt out of receiving an EIS Diary and a printed copy of the SEJ by post.

If you no longer wish to receive an EIS diary please contact the Membership Department at EIS HQ.

To opt-out of a printed copy of the SEJ please complete the form on our website. Members opting out of the printed version of the SEJ will instead receive an email with a link to each new online edition of the SEJ upon publication.

SEJ Opt-out form

EIS Professional Learning opportunities

A selection of free, one day Professional Learning courses will take place throughout October and November.

This includes seminars on:

  • Mental Health
  • ASL
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Equality Issues

Visit the EIS website to book your free place on one of our courses and for updates on any future courses.  

Book your place now

PL Blog: Developing Awareness of Mental Health in Young People

The Institute has recently been offering professional learning on the topic of the mental health needs of young people and children.

Members have been learning about the warning signs of mental ill health, early intervention practices, and how they can build partnerships to support young people's mental health.

For key learning on this topic, additional resources and future development opportunities for EIS members see the latest EIS Professional Learning Blog.

EIS Professional Learning Blog

Shakespeare's Globe

EIS is continuing to work with Globe Theatre Education to offer three workshops hosted at EIS HQ in Edinburgh. The two hour long workshops will equip practitioners with techniques to engage with Shakespeare and enhance their teaching through active and creative approaches.

  • Thursday 10th October: 4.00pm – 6.00pm is aimed at primary school teachers and early years practitioners
  • Friday 11th October: 1.00am – 3.00pm and 3.30pm - 5.30pm are aimed at secondary school teachers and college lecturers. 

Please note, each workshop costs £25. Please discuss with your school or employer to arrange cover of costs.

More information

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