"Pay zero-hours workers equally"

Posted by Scottish Supply Teachers on August 25, 2013 at 6:25 PM
A very good letter written by Donald Macdonald in Herald Scotland.

"It is heartening to see that the Scottish Government has suggested that it could bar companies from lucrative public procurement contracts if they have staff employed on zero-hours contracts ("5000 post staff have contracts with zero hours", The Herald August 22).


Unions have also railed against staff being uncertain of when they will be offered work, and then being paid less than the staff they work beside. Perhaps we can now expect the Scottish Government to look closely at the decision taken by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities along with the Educational Institute of Scotland to slash the pay of daily supply teachers who are on zero-hour contracts.


Supply teachers are the perfect example of the benefits to both sides when flexibility allows for fluctua­tions in staffing due to continuing professional development (CPD) or sickness. Young teachers look at supply teaching as a way of building experience and their CV. But cuts to the rate of pay now mean young teachers trying to start their adult lives are restricted in earnings and the ability to secure mortgages. Business Secretary Vince Cable has ruled out banning these iniquitous contracts. I suggest that the first reform is that zero-hours staff never work at a pay rate any less than that being paid to the staff they work beside or replace.


Donald Macdonald"

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1 Comment

Reply Beth
6:08 AM on August 26, 2013 
What a totally right-on letter. We should organise a big meeting between supply teachers and other zero-hours staff. As supply teachers, we benefit from at least knowing that we're being paid less - often agency workers have difficulty finding out what their colleagues are being paid. I work at another zero-hours job as well as supply teaching and I don't even know who else does my job - I've only met other workers by pure chance. There is huge scope for organising here and as an informal network rather than a union bound by crushing anti-union legislation we are well-placed to take advantage of it.