ONE aspect of the current dispute that will be irritating the SNP Government is the repeated comparisons to the Thatcher era, when teachers walked out over pay.
Between 1984 and 1986, the EIS led a sustained period of industrial action in protest over pay.
John Pollock, the union’s general secretary at the time, said that if the “grocer’s daughter was going to be made to listen”, the EIS had to be prepared for a long battle.
Action included “work to rule” and a series of national one-day strikes, which included targeting the constituencies of Tory government ministers. Malcolm Rifkind, the then Scottish Secretary, responded by announcing an “independent review” into teachers’ pay and terms and conditions, after which an agreement was accepted.
Over 30 years later, teachers are poised for another strike over pay and opposition politicians are calling for a root-and-branch review of remuneration.