A tenth of Scottish teachers are stuck in “precarious” temporary contracts for years on end, Willie Rennie has said.
The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader raised the issue of teachers on short-term contracts at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday.
Some teachers are having to take extra jobs to make ends meet, he said, referring to an open letter from temporary teachers earlier this week.
He said: “The First Minister takes all the credit for recruiting 3,500 extra teachers, but is nowhere to be seen when their terms and conditions turn out to be shoddy.”
He continued: “One in 10 teachers are now on short-term contracts, bobbing from one precarious job to the next for years on end.
“This is no way to treat those responsible for educating the next generation.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the government would provide funding for permanent teaching opportunities while it discussed education with local councils.
Local authorities had the ultimate responsibility for hiring teachers, she said, but she expected permanent jobs would be a priority.
She said: “If (Willie Rennie’s) position is that he wants the Scottish Government to take away from local authorities the responsibility for the employment of teachers he should say so.
“In which case it would run counter to everything he has said up until now about opposing the centralisation – in his words – of the Scottish Government taking powers away from local authorities.”