Teachers face ‘unreasonable’ workload, says union boss

Bill Ramsey, outgoing EIS president, says teachers are having to work longer hours due to blended learning.

Teachers must be protected from ‘unreasonable’ workloads under proposed blended learning, the outgoing president of the EIS will say.

Bill Ramsay is expected to use his final speech as EIS president to warn that teachers are having to work longer hours due to the government’s plan for blended learning.

The proposal for pupils to have a combination of home-learning and in-school teaching “has been found to be both challenging and time consuming”, Mr Ramsay will say.

In his speech to an online meeting of the EIS Council, he is expected to argue that the next few months “will be among the most crucial” in the union’s history as schools return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The immediate challenge is ensuring that our members are protected from unreasonable levels of workload that may arise from some of the approaches being suggested by Government at all levels,” he is due to say.

“Pre-Covid, our workload campaign was a key focus. The advent of lockdown has presented new workload challenges.

“That will make working time agreement negotiations in schools and at local negotiating committees for teachers (LNCTs) level even more important than ever.”

Mr Ramsay will also say that the Covid-19 crisis should not force a return to government austerity, comparing the situation to the aftermath of the Second World War.

“We must plan for the future now particularly in the area of funding for public services,” he will say.

“We are already being told that the post-Covid world will be one of austerity. It need not be. It must not be.

“The post-Covid world must be one of regeneration, as it was in 1945: in Scotland; in the UK; in Europe; in North America; and in other countries across the world.

“It is this 1945 economic legacy of positive transformational change that we and all other trade unions everywhere need to promote in 2020.”