Tackle teacher stress or pay, says union
Schools must tackle soaring teacher stress, Scottish teaching union EIS has said. The union says excessive workloads and poor management are causing physical and mental injuries to teaching staff. EIS was speaking out after revealing the union had settled a six figure out-of-court compensation claim for a member who suffered a stress-related psychiatric injury after the employer failed to act on a series of warnings about excessive workloads. EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith commented: 'The fact that this record compensation award arose from a workload related case, which was compounded by a lack of management support, is no coincidence. This clearly illustrates just how serious such injuries can be, and the heavy price that employers will have to pay if they fail in their obligations to protect their staff.' He added: 'Employers should be using the Health and Safety Executive's stress management standards and trying to reduce and control the levels of stress caused by work activities. Stress-related illnesses are extremely serious and can take a huge toll on the individual concerned. The long-term effects can be significant, and recovery can take a long period of time. While the EIS supports members in stress-related claims, our preference would always be for such cases to be avoided completely.'
Issued: 13 January, 2012