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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 31 May, 2000, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Pay rise call for Scottish teachers
Prof. McCrone, Sam Galbraith
Prof. McCrone presents his report to Sam Galbraith
An independent inquiry into the working conditions of teachers in Scotland has recommended large salary increases and sweeping changes to the way they work.

The proposals are contained in the report by the McCrone Committee, which calls for a new career structure and a longer working year, as well as new dismissal procedures for staff who fail to make the grade.

The biggest pay rises would go to graduate teachers, with the aim of making the profession more attractive. Their wages would go up by 19% over two years.

Those in the middle grades would receive about 15% and the top end are in line for 13%. The increases are designed to recognise the major changes proposed and take the place of next year's annual pay round.

If accepted in full, the pay package would cost 190m, with all the recommendations costed at more than 260m.
Education Minister, Sam Galbraith
Sam Galbraith: "Cost needs to be considered"
Professor Gavin McCrone, the retired civil servant who headed the committee, told the BBC: "It's up to the Scottish Executive to decide what its priorities are.

"It's over to them now to see how they implement this."

Scottish Education Minister, Sam Galbraith, said: "We will need to consider the recommendations carefully in the light of what is needed and what can be afforded.

"The ultimate aim is to deliver higher standards and better education for our children."

A twin-track career structure will mean the best classroom performers earning the highest amounts, with the creation of a "chartered" teacher post.

There should also be additional money for teachers who take on more responsibilities outside the classroom.

'Flexibility' call

Overall, the conclusions call for big changes in teachers' contracts, creating a streamlined, more flexible profession.

Professor McCrone wants more time to be spent on "continuing personal development", which could mean shorter holidays for teachers or non-class time having to be found during the school week.

This would require a commitment from teachers to use more of their own time.
Teacher at blackboard
Teachers face shorter holidays
But he added: "We think that's something that is in their own interests, to enhance their own career prospects to enable them to realise their full potential as teachers."

A row over pay last year almost led to strike action by teachers and prompted Education Minister, Sam Galbraith, to disband the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee.

As a result, the McCrone Committee was set up by the Scottish Executive.

Publication of its findings starts months of negotiations involving teachers' unions, local authority employers and the executive.

Funding demand

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said the Scottish Executive must confirm that it will fully fund the cost of the recommendations.

"Without clarification that the recommendations are to be fully funded, any negotiation on the detailed proposals on pay and conditions, as promised recently by Sam Galbraith, becomes a fruitless exercise.

"Even a cursory glance at the budgets of the 32 local councils in Scotland which employ teachers shows clearly that they are in no position to meet the cost of the recommendations."

Danny McCafferty, Education Convener of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said the overall bill was likely to be twice that estimated by the committee.
Judith Gillespie
Judith Gillespie: "Recruitment problem"
He said: "Continuing professional development, possibility of early retirement, classroom assistants, there is a whole plethora of things.

"Cosla's own people have costed these elements which Professor McCrone has said he has not costed, so we're not questioning his figures, we're just saying that the overall package is 500m."

Judith Gillespie, of the Scottish Parent Teachers Council, said: "The big problem is recruitment and we have to look at what is actually happening in England where trainee teachers, for example, are going to be paid 6,000 whilst they are training.

"For Scottish graduates who are going to come out with a lot of debt that is going to look like quite an attractive proposition compared to getting nothing but more debt if they stay in Scotland."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Professor McCrone, talking to BBC Radio 5 Live
"The Scottish Executive must decide its priorities"
Education correspondent Ken Macdonald
"The committee took eight months to draft the proposals but the real talking has only begun"
Ronnie Smith, EIS General Secretary
"There now has to be a period of discussion, reflection and negotiation"
See also:

31 May 00 | Scotland
01 Dec 99 | Scotland
15 Sep 99 | Scotland
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