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Teachers’ union launches OIC election manifesto

Orkney’s branch of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) in Orkney has launched its own manifesto for the upcoming Orkney Islands Council (OIC) election, calling on candidates to back increased investment and enhanced support for schools, teachers and students.

The union has claimed that such additional resources will be vital when it comes to education recovery following the COVID pandemic. Its members have also urged OIC to sign up to the national bargaining terms and conditions for college lecturers.

The EIS is challenging all election candidates to make clear commitments which provide improved support for Scottish education.

Jo Hill, EIS local association secretary, said: “There is a very clear and urgent need to address shortages within the teacher workforce to support education recovery. This must include the employment of additional teachers, on permanent and secure contracts.

“Additional measures must be taken to address any recruitment and retention issues which exist, including further in-house leadership training, rent caps, building more social housing, better public transport, improving job opportunities across the authority and delivering faster and more reliable broadband to regenerate local communities.”

EIS-FELA branch secretary for Orkney College UHI, Oliver Gibb, said: “The head of education, leisure and housing has now given a commitment that the council will sign the national recognition and procedure agreement, which all other colleges have already signed, ensuring Orkney College UHI lecturers are treated equitably with all other lecturers across the country.

“Ensuring this happens as soon as possible is a key priority for Orkney’s lecturers and will be foremost in our minds when electing councillors on May 5.”

The EIS will continue campaigning on these issues after the election, but are calling on candidates to pledge their commitment to the manifesto ahead of the elections next week.