News Archive

Scotland’s future uncertain – workers must organise.

Posted on Friday, December 21, 2001

Dundee member Rikki Beattie reported to the NEC on another difficult time for community learning in Scotland.

Although a three or four year degree is required for the generic community education qualification, workers in Scotland remain worse off in terms of pay than their English and Welsh counterparts.

The 1996 local government review led to the fragmentation of the service and moves out of education into other departments.

The creation of the Scottish Parliament has not helped the Service either. It now comes under the aegis of three government departments and there is a lack of co ordination. The Service is still not on the statute books and not regarded as a profession. It has particularly fallen behind teaching in the latest 28% pay increases awareded to teachers.

Community Learning Scotland the main support body for the work in Scotland is currently under review and is likely to be split into three or four agencies supporting the different occupations. Rikki felt that by the nature of this organisation it had not supported workers, and Rikki was equally critical of other unions for not supporting the workforce either – hence joining CYWU.

A professional association for workers exists in Scotland but this did not have the clout needed to support staff and needs to organise across a wider field.

Rikki presented to the NEC the vision of a well organised workforce in CYWU in Scotland capable of political influence and of creating some kind of registration body on a par with the General Teaching Council and fully integrated JNC terms and conditions.

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