Scottish teachers to vote on industrial action

The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) has set a date for the start of the formal postal ballot on industrial action on reducing teacher workload.

The ballot will run from 14-30 September and the wording on the ballot has been confirmed as: “Would you be prepared to take ‘action short of strike action’ to reduce teacher workload?”

The SSTA is calling for the intervention of Deputy First Minister John Swinney to work with Local Authorities, employers and the SQA to refocus teachers on teaching and learning and take urgent action against excessive workloads.

Announcing the ballot, Seamus Searson, SSTA general secretary said: “The National Executive is very much aware of the efforts of the Deputy First Minister to address teacher workload and promote teacher professional judgement but teacher workload needs to be reduced in the current session.

“The SSTA wishes to acknowledge and welcome the Deputy First Minister’s determination to declutter the work of teachers and allow them to focus on teaching and learning in our battle of ‘closing the attainment gap’. However, the SSTA view is that teacher workload has and is unlikely to be significantly reduced in the current session, especially in the area of national qualifications and therefore, a formal ballot is necessary to protect its members.”

Euan Duncan, SSTA president said: “Much of a teacher’s time is now taken up with SQA assessments and verification of assessments within their school and local area. Should any teacher decide to keep their working week within the ‘working time agreement’, the reality is that they would be unable to develop the necessary resources for learning and teaching.”

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