My father was a Communist and ardent trade unionist, so I grew up knowing full well the power of collective bargaining and solidarity to preserve terms and conditions. He would refuse to cross the picket line of anyone out on strike (those were the days when secondary picketing was legal, so if the tea-lady went on strike he would support her). Were he alive today he would turn in his grave at the abject state of most unions and in terms of the EIS a few expletives would colour his language. COSLA and the SG are laughing at the teaching unions because they know that they will never opt for industrial action so they basically will take what they are given. 10 reasons for 10% is a standing joke, more like 10 years for 10% and the unions will tell us " we tried our best". Now I know what most people will say at any attempt to criticise our union leaders ... "you are the union", it's not the fault of the union leadership if they push for strike action and the membership fail to back it (fearing losing a day's wages). So what's the point of paying my £12 a month to a union where there is no underlying belief in the collective, of solidarity. Yes I know I get a nice wee diary and the occasional magazine, but is that it? What are the alternatives? Industrial insurance for legal representation? Would that be enough? If the unions don't come up with the goods this time round then quite a few (self included) will walk away, causing the monthly fees to go up for those that remain in order to preserve the lucrative salaries of our union leaders.