Secretary’s Report to LA AGM – 16 February 2010
Removal of Para 8.5 – Temporary Teachers Achieving Permanency
This time last year saw the first failure to agree at the Aberdeen LNCT. From the resulting referral to the SNCT we
received advice which led to the eventual agreement at the May LNCT. Please be aware of the circular issued on 26
June 2009 entitled Use of Temporary Contracts for Teaching Staff. Reps should ensure that temporary staff, if they
have the required service, should complete Appendix 1 and send it to the appropriate service manager by 31 March
The 12 collegiately agreed secondary staffing structures which had been previously approved by the city-wide board
were job-sized during an intensive 3 week period after the Easter holidays. I am grateful to the Teachers’ Side job-
sizers Mary Matheson, Lynda Carnie, Stewart Duncan, Mike Paul and Rob Peaker for giving up so much time to
provide educational expertise and rigour to the HR team tasked with this huge exercise. It was pleasing to note that
throughout the month long process and many update meetings, very good working relationships developed between
the HR team and the TS job-sizers. The figures produced formed the basis of an Education Committee paper in
June 2009 where councillors earmarked about £850k over a 3 year period to cover the costs of a phased
implementation of faculty posts by August 2012.
Revised ACC Exclusion Policy
Sohail Faruqi, ACC Strategist for Children & Young People attended our April LA meeting to speak to the paper he
was taking to the June 2009 Education Committee and was given an intensive grilling by members. The frank
exchange of views was appreciated by all who attended and I think this is one aspect of the Aberdeen EIS LA’s work
that should be extended because it is crucial that ACC officers tasked with drafting ACC policy have a full
understanding of the impact of these policies on our classroom members.
EIS Reps Training
Rob Peaker had a very well attended Health and Safety course in May but because of prohibitive cover costs, the
Reps training had to take place as a twilight session in Summerhill at the end of May. Kirsten Foley, Principal HR
Adviser attended the first couple of items when we looked at a collegiate approach to negotiating a school working
time agreement and calendar and implementation of local agreements. The discussion amongst the large audience
was very interesting and it was encouraging to see so many Reps contribute with their experiences. I got the distinct
impression that Reps paid more regard to Kirsten when she stated that some of the practices reported by Reps went
against agreed policy and should not be taking place when the similar message had been given by LA officials for
some years now.
With over 80 probationers coming to the city, ACC had to split their induction event in two. Rob Peaker and myself
were invited to speak to the probationers during the day and then the two EIS probationer events took place in the
Illicit Still Bar immediately after the Town House events finished. I am pleased to report that our probationer
recruitment figure for this year is the highest of any of the 32 Local Authorities in Scotland and my special thanks to
the secondary Reps for signing up a remarkable 27 of the 31 secondary probationers.
In September we were given the first indications that the budget settlement for 2010-11 would lead to further cuts in
teacher numbers. In early October all public sector unions associated with ACC were served 90 day redundancy
notices. Similar notices had been served in May 2008 on support staff TUs but this was the first time the teaching
TUs had been involved. Since then Aberdeen EIS has been working with all public sector TUs to co-ordinate our
response to the prospect of 600 Council posts being removed.
In November the Protocol for the Management of Excess Teaching Staff, an unfinished piece of work left over from
the negotiation of the Job Matching Protocol in April 2008, became Policy at Education Committee. It became
apparent that support staff cuts were to be made from the start of the financial year (1.4.10) whereas education
department cuts would be part year savings matched to the academic session.
Voluntary Severance / Early Retirement
Support staff have always been able to apply for VS but not teachers. Therefore Voluntary Severance for teachers
has recently been negotiated. Management requested that all TUs look to negotiate a reduction in the early
retirement deals that ACC had been offering in recent years. Because enhancement to pension years is not an
entitlement and the evidence that the expensive deals offered by ACC is not sustainable, the teaching TUs have
followed the lead of the support staff unions and have negotiated a phased removal of enhancements to pensions.
The view of the Aberdeen EIS Executive was that we had to protect the pension prospects of our members joining
the profession rather than protecting unsustainable retirement deals for those about to retire from teaching.
The deadline for ACC staff to put in for VS/ER was January 11 2010. This deadline was set to enable full year
savings. Thus management have accepted that because the teaching TUs did not have various policies in place at
the time that there will have to be a second trawl for applications for VS/ER from teaching staff with the deadline for
signing off deals extended into May.
Now that it has been confirmed last Thursday that over 80 teaching posts are to go we’ll continue to work with the
authority to mitigate these job losses by VS/ER, bumped redundancy and redeployment. Over the next few weeks
we’ll find out if the cuts can be made by natural wastage or will the threat of compulsory redundancy become a
reality in Aberdeen. A managing Redundancy policy which mirrors national legislation was accepted at the LNCT.
However, if the managing redundancy policy has to be applied I envisage difficulties ahead because the teaching
TUs view of how redundancy selection could take place is radically different from that of management.
Essential Car User Scheme
As part of the Equal Pay and Modernisation Agreement (EP&M), the support staff essential car user scheme was
revised and new arrangements were put in place. The teaching TUs were approached by management to revise our
scheme to ensure parity across all Council staff. Under the current arrangements, all individuals were assessed as
being entitled to 100% of the allowance. Under the new arrangements staff will be assessed individually against the
new corporate criteria. Under the new arrangements, the mileage rate for users will increase, but the annual lump
sum payment will decrease.
Curriculum for Excellence
With the August 2010 implementation date drawing ever nearer, these are busy times in schools to train and prepare
staff to deliver new methodologies, cross-curricular working and new assessments. The EIS/Aberdeen University
Partnership has been used to present two very successful Saturday morning CfE CPD events with the 3 event on
Saturday 15 May looking at Health and Well-being.
Clearly another year of budget cuts will make the delivery of CfE harder for us in Aberdeen and it will be interesting
to hear how our two guest speakers Larry Flanagan and Annette Bruton address this conundrum this evening.
Aberdeen EIS Succession Planning
Rob Peaker, our Health and Safety Officer finishes his 3 year secondment associated with the 3Rs project in July
and is set to retire in the summer. Rob has been instrumental in raising the profile of H&S in the city and not just in
Education but also as Chair of the ACC Corporate H&S Committee. His retiral will not only be a great loss to the EIS
but to the other TUs Rob regularly works with.
When my predecessor as LA secretary, Rod Robertson retired in December 2007 and I replaced him at short notice,
Susan Talboys replaced me as LA Treasurer. After 2 excellent years as Treasurer, Susan has stepped down and
been replaced by Mike Paul. Your EIS Executive has plans in place to redistribute our EIS facility time when Rob
steps down and these will be announced after the May Aberdeen EIS Executive. My special thanks go to Rob and
Susan and to the Aberdeen EIS Executive for the support they have given me during my 2 years as LA Secretary.
Now that I have been elected unopposed for a 3 year as your LA Secretary, I will have to give up my post as DHT
at Dyce Academy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, pupils and parents of Dyce Academy for the
support I received during my 17 year association with the school.
We have been working hard to improve our communication with EIS Reps and all members. We have established
school Reps e-mail networks and in turn asked Reps to prepare group e-mails for the EIS members in their schools.
We have phased out most hard copy mailings to schools.
Thanks finally to all Aberdeen EIS Reps for the excellent work you do for your members throughout the year. I hope
to see as many of you as possible at the next Reps training session in May, if not beforehand on the bus down to
Glasgow for the March 6 Budget Cuts Rally.
Aberdeen LA Secretary