The largest teaching union in Scotland has decided to support efforts to reduce the standard workweek to four days. Delegates at the EIS annual general meeting overwhelmingly supported a resolution asking for the union’s council to advocate for a four-day week, together with other trade unions and the Scottish Trades Union Congress.
Ella van Loock, a delegate from Glasgow, said that a four-day week might potentially make a “huge difference” to the health and wellness of teachers. This had “changed my life,” she said, since she was already working four days a week.
Additionally, she said that women in the teaching profession were “disproportionately impacted by caring responsibilities” and, as a result, would gain the most from greater flexibility in the work environment if the five-day model was abolished. Additionally, Ms. van Loock argued that a four-day work week would make teaching more appealing to graduates.
Shauna Richardson, a delegate from Glasgow, stated that the notion may seem radical, but in fact, Scotland was behind the times, having given successful four-day weeks in New Zealand, Sweden, and Utah. However, EIS council member Andrew Fullwood said that the four-day workweek will take some time to implement and that support for the concept of a weekend initially appeared to be an unrealistic notion.
Reports have surfaced this week that the United Kingdom is planning to implement the world’s biggest four-day work week trial.