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EDITIONS
Friday, 12 January, 2001, 19:38 GMT
Approval for teachers' pay deal
Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell welcomed the deal
Unions and local authorities have backed a 21.5% pay deal for Scotland's teachers.

The 800m package was formally agreed on Friday at a meeting of the McCrone Implementation Group - which includes teaching unions, the Scottish Executive and council employers - on Friday.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) said they were preparing to recommend the deal to their members.


We have a unique opportunity to deliver a radical framework of modernisation

Education Minister Jack McConnell
The deadlock was broken on the lengthy pay talks on Thursday when the salaries committee of the EIS - which has 80% of Scotland's teachers on its books - voted to accept the three-year package.

On Friday, Education Minister Jack McConnell described the breakthrough as a turning point for Scottish education.

He said: "With our agreement here today we have a unique opportunity to deliver a radical framework of modernisation which will place teachers at the heart of schooling and children at the heart of education.

"Scotland's parents expect it of us and Scotland's children deserve no less."

EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith told the BBC every member of the union would be receiving a 50-page document outlining the proposals, which will be put to a ballot.

"I think it's a very good offer," he said.

Ronnie Smith
Ronnie Smith: "It's a very good offer"
"When teachers see the detail and are able to appraise it in the round, they will see it's a good investment in them, and good for Scotland's kids and Scotland's education.

"This is an investment in professionalism, and that is exactly what we want to see."

Cosla's Danny McCafferty said the deal marked a great date in the evolution of Scottish education.

"It is positive proof of the benefits of evolution - providing a Scottish solution in a Scottish context," he said.

"Cosla's position remained clear and consistent throughout the whole process - that the Scottish Executive must fully fund the package - and I am pleased that it has now committed itself to the necessary funding."

New teachers

It will now recommend the agreement to the leaders of Scotland's 32 local authorities.

The package offers teachers 21.5% over three years, 10% of which will be in the first year. New teachers will start on 18,000 per annum.

There will also be 4000 new teachers, and additional support staff to help reduce the burden of paper work.

More money will be available for new chartered teachers, who will have to get extra qualifications but will remain in the classroom.

Mike Russell
Mike Russell welcomed the deal
A new winding-down scheme will also be introduced for those approaching retirement, while the probationary period for new teachers will be reduced to one year.

Scottish National Party education spokesman Mike Russell MSP said the agreement offered the prospect of peace and stability in Scottish schools.

"The deal does, at first sight, appear to restore the standing and reward of Scottish teachers in the way that has been so long looked for by so many within education," he said.

Liberal Democrat deputy education minister Nicol Stephen MSP hailed the agreement as a "major breakthrough."

'Very good deal'

"For the first time in a generation we have the opportunity of a new start in our classrooms," he said.

Professor Gavin McCrone, who chaired an independent committee of inquiry which reviewed teachers' pay and conditions last year, also welcomed the breakthrough.

He said: "I think they have got a very good deal here.

"What the government have actually offered goes some way beyond our own proposals in our report in terms of pay."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay reports
"It appears that the negotiators have done well"
Education Minister Jack McConnell
"It is a turning point for Scottish education"
Professor Gavin McCrone discusses the deal
"What the government have actually offered goes some way beyond our own proposals in our report in terms of pay"
EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith
"I don't think we should be suspicious because there is a commitment to invest significantly in our education"
Chief political correspondent John Morrison
"It looks very, very good on the face of it"
See also:

12 Jan 01 | Scotland
09 Jan 01 | Scotland
10 Jun 00 | Scotland
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