Successive SNP Education Secretaries have repeatedly ignored a teachers campaign group representing thousands of unemployed and temporary teachers.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today written to Shirley Ann Somerville to ask the Education Secretary to urgently respond to the concerns of thousands of teachers battling unstable employment.
The Scottish Temporary Teachers campaign group, who represent thousands of qualified Scottish teachers struggling to find secure employment, wrote to Ms Somerville on 6 June. They wrote:
“There are thousands of teachers who cannot secure mortgages or car loans, plan maternity leave or make long term commitments due the uncertainty of our employment. Those of us unlucky enough to be on temporary part time contracts, we have had to seek additional employment elsewhere just to pay our bills and put food on the table. Sadly, many of our colleagues have even had to leave the profession due to the instability of employment.”
As yet, the group has received no reply. John Swinney previously failed to follow up on their inquiries when he was in charge of education.
Commenting, Willie Rennie said:
“Teachers are sounding the alarm on the workforce planning crisis. But the Scottish Government are treating the profession with contempt, and the Education Secretary hasn’t even dignified them with a response.
“The Scottish Government brandish promises, while teachers on the ground are left jobless. Many more are battling precarious employment, and having to work as though they are in a gig economy.
“School staff have put up with a lot from the SNP. But the working conditions are becoming so hostile that people are being pushed out of the profession. Children and young people would be impacted for years to come.
“The Education Secretary has a responsibility to make sure local authorities are empowered to make use of every teaching talent available. The creeping casualisation needs to be stopped, and more permanent contracts need to be created. No qualified teacher should have to battle for a job like this.
“As well as making sure no teacher is left unemployed come August, we need to see a full review of teachers’ terms and conditions to make sure they are given the support they need and help keep the profession going. The Scottish Government cannot keep plugging their fingers in their ears on this crisis.”