One of the numerous teaching unions, the NUT; is holding a ballot of its members to see if they want to hold a one day strike.
This is the sort of approach that we always see in teaching:
When there is a problem, first have a meeting, then get everybody's opinion.
Then do something that is completely ineffectual, but which is designed to make everyone feel like they are making a tough stand and taking firm action.
The main problem in teaching nowadays isn't the money, it's the working conditions. The low status, the mindless paperwork and weak leadership. The constant dumbing down of exams, the stifling PC culture and the fact that there are brilliant and inspiring teachers working alongside utterly useless ones for exactly the same pay. Most importantly of all; the appalling behaviour of so many pupils and their parents, which ruins what should be the best job in the World.
If you want more from your employer, then you either have to convince them that you are worth it, or threaten them sufficiently that they have to capitulate. A one day strike by a minority of teachers does nothing except irritate a few parents.
when i see the adverts on tv asking us to become teachers i always think about your blog and smile.
good luck john gibson
You mentioned the Herefordshire Peoples Revolt a couple of blogs back. The support for the local schools and teachers from the parents and wider community has been exceptional and taken the local politicians by surprise.
Teachers must sometimes feel they have no support from parents but, at least in Herefordshire, when the call went out the parents supported the teachers against the politicians. Civil disturbance was only narrowly avoided.
Agreed Frank. I have teacher friends in Australia and there they only have 2 unions and, as I understand it, you have to join one of them. Interestingly, when one union goes on strike so does the other in solidarity. Also, they stay on strike for as long as it takes them to win and get exactly what they want. They don't do bargins. As my friends tell me, their stance is "It's our way or these kids don't get taught." Consequently, the government very very rarely messes with the teaching unions.
If only we had that kind of strength in this country, in stead of a typical British attitude of trying not to upset the apple cart too much. When will this nation develop a back bone and become a hell of a lot more militant?
at least the NASUWT had the option of "more than one day", but I don't see much happening. noone seems willing to fight for what they deserve and the ones who do decide to strike will be let down by those who only semi strike (i.e. still help out/set cover etc...)
Change a few words and it sounds like police work
Better still - show what you're really made of and make the whole thing even more effective by striking for a whole month - August!
"... and the fact that there are brilliant and inspiring teachers working alongside utterly useless ones for exactly the same pay"
This isn't unique to teaching - you'll find it in all walks of life. If you can find a solution I'd be very happy to hear it! (Actually, I have a solution, but for some reason firing everybody that is totally useless doesn't seem to be an option - why is that?)
If you want to get reeeeeaaaalllly angry, look at the comments here
Overpaid desk monkeys, the lot of them.
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