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Following extensive consultation with members, the NASUWT-the Teachers' Union, has decided to issue a formal trade dispute with the Government and employers not just over pay, but also on workload, pupil indiscipline and other adverse management practices affecting the health and welfare of members.
 
Notices of intention to ballot for strike action and action short of strike action on this trade dispute will be sent to employers this week and the ballot will open on 18th March 2019.
 
The NASUWT General Secretary has also written to the Minister John Swinney today lodging the formal trade dispute with the Government.
 
Ms Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:
 
“Feedback from our members has demonstrated that they are angry about the year-on-year cuts they have suffered to their pay, but they have also said they are equally and, in some cases, even more angry about the failure of Government and employers to tackle excessive workload, growing pupil indiscipline and other adverse management practices, including the culture developing in too many workplaces of bullying of staff.
 
“In the light of this and having failed to reach agreement in the current pay talks, the NASUWT National Action Committee has decided that simply to have a trade dispute and ballot over pay would mean that other issues of deep concern were not being addressed.  Our trade dispute with Government and employers will now, therefore, cover all of these issues of concern.
 
“Pay is only one part of the problem. Whatever the outcome of the current deliberations on pay, the fact is there will still be a significant pay gap between teachers’ pay and other comparable graduate professions, making teaching unattractive and uncompetitive.
 
“For the overwhelming majority of teachers (86%), spiralling and excessive workload is blighting their professional lives, distracting them from focusing on teaching and learning, encroaching on their evenings, weekends and holidays and adversely affecting their health and wellbeing.
 
“87% of teachers believe there is a widespread problem of poor pupil behaviour across schools and two thirds believe there is a problem in their own school.
 
“Well over half of teachers (57%) report being verbally abused by a pupil in the last twelve months, 16% have been threatened with physical assault and 13% have actually been assaulted. Almost half of teachers report not being supported in tackling indiscipline or being made to feel they are to blame.
 
“The toxic mix of pay cuts, spiralling workload and pupil indiscipline have led to almost three quarters (71%) of teachers saying that they have considered quitting teaching altogether in the last year.
 
“Teachers need more than politicians wringing their hands and saying they recognise there is a problem with excessive workload.
 
“They deserve better than being told that being verbally and physically abused is all part of the job.
 
“They need an end to the annual pay lottery.
 
“Over the last few years the gold standard of pay and conditions of service for teachers in Scotland, once the envy of teachers across the UK, has been dramatically and shamefully eroded away.
 
“Teachers provide one of the most important of our public services. The work they do sets the firm foundations for those who become our doctors, nurses, accountants, engineers and indeed all workers who make such vital contributions to our public and private sectors.
 
Teachers need a New Deal.”

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