Created on: 18 Apr 2023 | Last modified: 21 Apr 2023
As the Pay Attention campaign comes to a successful end and the struggle for fair pay in Further and Higher Education continues with statutory ballots underway in both sectors, I want to take the opportunity to thank each and every EIS Rep for this contribution to our campaigns to win decent pay settlements for Scotland’s teachers and lecturers, so far.
Your skills in organising, in keeping members informed and engaged, and your relentless trade union commitment and leadership, continue to ensure that the backbone of our union is strong as we strive to protect and advance the interests of our members and of our professions.
Reps in Further and Higher Education can take heart from the victory that has just been won in the school sector; Reps in the school sector will doubtless continue to ensure solidarity from the teachers to the lecturers, for as long as it takes, until a fair settlement is won for them too. A victory for one must lead to a victory for all!
A number of local authorities have indicated that they will not pay backpay before the end of the current financial year, which will mean that arrears will be paid within those local authority areas in the next financial year, resulting in higher payment of tax by some members.
The EIS has little expertise in this area and each member’s circumstances will be different but we have prepared some broad advice on how overpayment of tax can be reclaimed from HMRC and some worked examples demonstrating the amount of tax you may have overpaid.
Action for Reps: If your local authority is not paying backpay until the next financial year, please speak with members about the effect on their tax payment and share EIS advice on how to claim this back.
Training is available for all EIS Reps and activists who are thinking of becoming a Rep. The 4-day courses are offered in 2 x 2-day blocks and are aimed at Reps who are relatively new in the role or those who have had no formal union training.
Action for Reps: If you are a Rep, Health and Safety Rep or are a member interested in becoming one, then please visit the Meetings and Events section of the EIS website for all the latest courses and contact your Local Association to be nominated.
The EIS has a commitment to high standards of education rooted in equality and inclusivity. Over recent years, the EIS has observed a rise in misinformation around the proposed changes to the process available for people who are transgender to update their legal documents, and understand that some members, therefore, may be unsure what the implications of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill are.
The original version of this briefing, published in March 2022, gave an overview of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA), the proposed reforms, and the EIS position. The briefing has been updated, and is enclosed, following the passing of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill by the Scottish Parliament and the later announcement of the UK Government’s intention to halt its implementation. The EIS has also produced a series of visuals which can be shared online or printed and displayed, which contain useful information about transgender people, and the GRA.
Action for Reps: Please make members aware of the new briefing. The EIS has also produced a series of visuals, which contain useful information about transgender people, and the GRA, which can be shared online or printed and displayed where members can access them.
The informal EIS Equality Networks aim to connect EIS members who are underrepresented in the profession and keep them up to date with equality news and initiatives. These are spaces to meet others, make connections and find out more about the work of the EIS. The Networks advise the EIS Equality Committee on equality issues, and thereby also give members the chance to shape EIS policy.
Action for Reps: Please share and display the enclosed flyer, and share details of our Equality Networks with relevant members.
The EIS is committed to providing all members with high quality professional learning opportunities that support career-long professional development. Members interested in attending courses, should contact Rob Henthorn or Pauline McColgan EIS Professional Learning Coordinators, to register interest.
Action for Reps: Please advise interested members in your establishment to visit the Professional Learning section of the EIS website for upcoming professional learning opportunities.
Applications are now open for the EIS Action Research Grants programme 2023-24. EIS members can access £500 of funding to facilitate both learning and pedagogical action and, in doing so, offer teaching professionals the opportunity for personal and professional development. Researchers are further supported by regular peer-support meetings and guidance from academic partners to enhance their projects and wider professional learning. EIS Action Researchers go on to present at conferences and events across Scotland and share their findings with the wider sector. If you are interested in finding out more, see the link above for details of a forthcoming information session for members.
Action for Reps: Please let members know about the Action Research Grants offer and direct those interested to the EIS website for a list of possible topics and information on how to apply, or email the Professional Learning Co-Ordinator at email@example.com.
New Probationers - There may still be probationer teacher colleagues who have not joined the union. EIS membership is free for all current probationers until December 2023. 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. EIS members who joined as students should update their membership details, for example school details, at the start of their probationary year.
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 2022). 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 current probationer teacher colleagues to join for free online today and speak to your colleagues who were previous probationers about continuing their membership.
If you have new colleagues who are EIS members, they should update their school base or personal contact details on the MyEIS section of the website as a matter of priority. Remind them to log on using their EIS number. It is quick and simple to set up a password. Alternatively, as a Rep, you should have access to member lists for your establishment and you can update details on their behalf.
Action for Reps: Visit the EIS Website to update member details.
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 Local Association’s Committee of Management. Several Local Associations also have their own websites with useful information.
Action for Reps: Contact your Local Association Secretary to find out what meetings and events they are running over the coming months and how to get involved.
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: Visit the organisers page.