Council responds to misleading and inaccurate SSTA letter

The Depute General Secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) has written to members about the Council's implementation of changes to secondary school management posts.

The SSTA have been fully engaged in this process and, in light of what we see as inaccurate and misleading suggestions about the Council's position at this very late stage, we have made the following clarification:

  • Jim Docherty, The Depute General Secretary of the SSTA, wrote to the Director of Children and Families on 14 December raising for the first time a number of issues about the matching process and threatening to ballot for industrial action on 21 December. Senior officers met with Mr Docherty on the 20th December in an attempt to resolve these issues. At the end of that meeting Mr Docherty confirmed that sufficient progress had been made to enable him to withdraw the threat of industrial action. He agreed to send the officers more detail regarding the issues raised and to meet again in January. He confirmed that he would take no further action until further discussions had taken place.
  • However, contrary to this, Mr Docherty has written to members advising them not to participate in the matching process and in our view he has provided misleading and inaccurate information about the process.  The letter suggests that staff are being "forced to apply" for new posts, that failure to do so may mean that they have "dismissed themselves" and that their salary conservation may be adversely affected.  None of this is true in any way and this was made explicitly clear to Mr Docherty at the meeting on 20th December.
  • Matching to the new curriculum leader posts has started and will continue throughout January. A protocol for the matching process has been agreed with all the teachers' unions, including the SSTA, following detailed discussions over the last four months. The Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers, the LNCT, which comprises Senior Officers from the Children and Families Department and representatives from the EIS, NASUWT and the SSTA have agreed the procedures for implementing the review. This agreement was reached on the 22 November 2011 and Head teachers have shared the details, including the protocol with their staff. 
  • Mr Docherty states that there were "errors in the job sizing and re-job sizing procedures".  The job sizing process was fully scrutinised and then signed off by teachers and management as per the recognised SNCT procedures.
  • The Director of Children & Families will contact all Head Teachers when schools return after Christmas to confirm that the protocol agreed with the unions will continue to be observed and that no teacher has been or will be forced to apply for a new post. For teachers not matched into any of the new posts conservation arrangements as per the SNCT agreement will apply.
  • Senior Council officers are making urgent attempts to contact Mr Docherty to establish why he has chosen to send out inaccurate and alarming information to his members on the final day of term despite assuring senior officers that he would take no action until further discussions had taken place in January.

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