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Whither Scottish education?

Baldry, C J and Lockyer, C J (1987) Whither Scottish education? Quarterly Economic Commentary, 12 (3). pp. 88-93. ISSN 0306-7866

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Abstract

Few, if any, of the predictions for 1987 envisaged the EIS accepting a set of proposals on pay and conditions not markedly different from the Main/Rifkind package so comprehensively rejected by the profession towards the end of 1986. John Pollock's preparedness to resign if the proposals were not accepted, and the actions of the EIS executive to minimise the influence of those local associations of the Institute that opposed the revised proposals seemed a curious about-turn, given the intensity of industrial action over the past two years. A comparison between the recommendations of the Main Report and the proposals of the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee for Teaching Staff in School Education accepted by the EIS indicates some success on the part of teachers. A number of anomalies in the Main Report over salaries were eliminated, (eg. ensuring a 10% safety net, introducing a common scale and maximum salary structure and increased rewards for teachers at the top of the salary scale), and at least a deferment of the moves towards increased managerial powers for teachers. Most importantly, for the EIS, SSTA and NAS/UWT, the agreement still appears to ensure the continuation of the SJNC and full negotiating rights for teachers. Nevertheless, on balance the government has had the greater success. This economic perspective appraises the proposals and considers their impact on the future of industrial relations in the education sector.