Commenting on the announcement of the draft Scottish budget for 2013/14, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the fastest growing teachers’ union in Scotland, said:
“While the Scottish Government has been placed in a difficult position by the Westminster Government’s imposition of its austerity measures, it is deeply disappointing that the Scottish Government has chosen to follow the Coalition’s flawed economic policies by imposing another year of pay freeze on public sector workers.
“Teachers and other public servants are being made to foot the bill for the economic downturn at a time when their pensions are also being attacked and the cost of living is accelerating.
“In a recent survey of NASUWT members in Scotland over two thirds of teachers felt the pay freeze was unfair and was undermining morale.
“This survey demonstrated the growing anger and resentment being felt by the profession at the attacks on their pay, pensions, working conditions and professionalism. This budget will do little to alleviate this frustration and risks jeopardising the progress which has been made in recent years to raise educational standards and develop a world-class teaching profession.”
Jane Peckham, NASUWT Scotland Organiser, said:
“While the announcement of funding for early years education and new and refurbished school buildings is much needed and to be welcomed it is disappointing that there is nothing in the budget aiming at supporting the development of the schools workforce.
“In the last 18 months teachers have had their working conditions attacked and downgraded, with the threat of further reforms to come. This is at a time when they are coping with continued rollout of the Curriculum for Excellence and facing the introduction of a new qualifications structure.
“At a time of major reform, investment in and support for the schools workforce is essential if we are to ensure that standards can be maintained and improved and if children and young people are to benefit from the skills and knowledge of a well resourced workforce in schools.
“It is to be hoped that this issue can be addressed when the finer details of the budget are ironed out.”
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