LABOUR councillors have been recognised by their party for their successful campaign against plans for a shake-up of teaching hours.
The opposition councillors – together with parents, teachers, trade union officials and members of the public – fought earlier this year against a proposal to cut the primary school teaching week by 2.5 hours in Renfrewshire.
Council bosses wanted to axe 60 teachers and replace them with part-time sports and drama workers.
The campaign saw a 2,000-signature petition, protests outside Renfrewshire Council HQ, a threat to strike by teaching union members and, finally, a march and rally in Paisley Town Hall, with 1,300 people in attendance.
Eventually, Renfrewshire Council backed down and scrapped the idea.
Labour councillors who backed the campaign were given the Refounding Our Place In Our Communities Award from the national Labour Party at its recent conference in Liverpool.
Councillor Iain McMillan, Labour group leader in Renfrewshire, said: “We were delighted to receive this award.
“Although the Labour party in Renfrewshire was involved in forcing a U-turn by the SNP and Lib Dems who run the council, the parents, teachers and unions all worked hard to bring about a successful outcome for this campaign.
“It just shows that, when people work together, stupid decisions like this can be changed.
“This award is in recognition of old-fashioned politics – meeting with people, listening to what they’ve got to say, organising meetings and demonstrations.
“We also used modern technology like e-mail and Facebook. The parents’ campaign in particular, which was headed by Stephen Wright, used their Facebook page to keep people informed.
“It’s good to be recognised in this way but, although the award was for the Labour group, I would like to think it was recognition for everybody involved in this campaign.”
He added: “We haven’t got to the bottom of who actually nominated us for the award. It took us all by surprise.”