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Can we ask teachers if they are striking?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by pineappleyoghurt, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. pineappleyoghurt

    pineappleyoghurt New commenter

    I asked staff to let me know but in another forum I see that some say we are not allowed to ask. That seems illogical what guidance is there?
     
  2. pineappleyoghurt

    pineappleyoghurt New commenter

    I asked staff to let me know but in another forum I see that some say we are not allowed to ask. That seems illogical what guidance is there?
     
  3. You can ask, but they don't have to tell you since, legally, they can make the decision when they get out of bed that morning.
    In theory, a member of a non-striking union, or no union at all, could fail to show up to work that day, having signed up to NUT/ATL on the internet the evening before.
    I would imagine that most teachers would have sufficient goodwill to their school to make their intentions known if you did ask. We've been asked by our HT, and I did tell her.
     
  4. I think you will find that unions are required to give employers (HTs), 5 days notice of strike action. They don't have to say who will be on strike, but they do have to say how many. So, NUT / ATL members will have to decide earlier than 30th whether or not to have a lie in.
     
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    You can ask - ie for information to allow you to plan - but not attempt to disuade staff from striking. This advice is typical of what most LAS are telling heads:
    [Apologies in advance if this looks weird when it appears, pasted documents tend to lose all their formatting when posted here]

    <font size="2" face="Wingdings-Regular">? </font><font size="2" face="Verdana">Headteachers need to know in advance who will be taking strike action and</font><font size="2" face="Verdana"> plan for any shortfall in staff numbers. In order to ensure the provision of
    essential and statutory services, Headteachers may need to ask employees to
    accept temporary changes to their duties on the days of the strike. These
    changes to duties need to be reasonable and ones that they can do
    competently without risk to their health and safety or the health and safety of
    others.
    </font><font size="2" face="Wingdings-Regular">? </font><font size="2" face="Verdana">Headteachers should ask employees &ldquo;</font><font size="2" face="Verdana">Are you intending to take Industrial</font><font size="2" face="Verdana">Action?</font><font size="2" face="Verdana">" Trade Union members should not feel in any way harassed by such a</font><font size="2" face="Verdana"> question. It is reasonable for Headteachers to be able ask who will and won&rsquo;
    be at work on the day of the strike.
    </font><font size="2" face="Wingdings-Regular">? </font><font size="2" face="Verdana">Headteachers should not say to employees: &ldquo;</font><font size="2" face="Verdana">Please do not take industrial</font><font size="2" face="Verdana"> &rdquo;or make any sort of threat of the consequences if an employee takesindustrial action.
    </font>
    </font>
     
  6. It's a free country. Anybody can ask anybody else anything.

    They don't have to answer of course. If you ask them nicely they might. If you come across as a bully they are well within ttheir rights not to.

     
  7. You can ask (I presume you are a headteacher) your NUT and ATL reps. to arrange to give you an idea of numbers so that you can plan as necessary. As someone stated, five days notice minimum should be given.
    You cannot ask for names.
     
  8. sweetie1

    sweetie1 New commenter

    What does a head do if one of the unions has no rep? Ours has asked one of the unions how many staff will be out as they have a rep. According to said rep, the school cannot legally ask the rest of the staff individually. Should I inform SLT of my intentions as my (unrepresented) union has called for strike action?
     
  9. N
    The advice on this changed yesterday - what you say was the case, but not now. Here's the advice below that ATL gave me as a rep. I think paras may not work so I'll separate with dots....................................................................................................................

    We have received a number of calls to the ATL Pensions Dispute Hotline from members in schools being asked to indicate by their head whether or not they intend to strike on 30 June. We are especially concerned that some are feeling pressurised into providing that information. Reps contacting the hotline have also expressed concern that providing names may cause heads to keep more schools open than would otherwise be the case, thereby undermining the effectiveness of the strike action itself. ....................................................................................................

    Accordingly we would like to emphasise our previous advice that that there is no legal obligation for members to notify their head or Principal in colleges about their intentions on 30 June. As the ASCL guidance to their head members says, ?it is not unreasonable to ask for the names, but it should be done in a non-threatening or harassing way and if it is refused, this should be accepted.?.......................................................................................................................................

    Action: Please advise members that they should not provide information to their head or Principal about whether or not they intend to strike on 30 June, but that if they wish to do so as a matter of courtesy, to do so collectively via you......................................................................................................

    The more schools which close on 30 June the more effective our strike action is likely to be........................................................................

    Action: So our advice to reps is that you should only share the names of strikers where your members are happy for you to do so, where you believe that not doing so would severely undermine industrial relations, and ideally where NUT/UCU reps plan to do so too. ......................................................................................................................
     
  10. Our HT asked again today for names of those intending to strike saying that payroll needed to be informed and deduct their pay, I pointed out and showed the HT the advice from NUT that this was not 'procedure' but the he asked everyone anyway. The HT stated that the information was also needed as he felt staff were reluctant to commit hoping the school would close and they would get a day off with pay ( these are NUT members!).
    I have noticed that many staff are sitting on the fence waiting for others to make the decision and it to not cost them.They also feel that as we are in a deprived area (not many of our parents work) the strike will have little or no affect on parents. I for one will be striking and have said so, I am appalled at the staff who are not prepared to show their support, even though they agree with the cause.
     
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    To strike for something which you believe is your right is eminently sensible.
    To fail to advise your employers of your intentions, particularly in a school where child safety and security is at issue, is bloody stupid.
     
  12. When the NUT took strike action a few years ago non-NUT members at our school (which was closed) had to turn up for directed time otherwise our pay would also have been docked. We had strict instuctions about not taking a longer lunchbreak than usual and weren't allowed to say that we had worked through lunch and so leave early.
     
  13. Same thing is happening at my school. Many members of staff seem reluctant to commit to striking in advance, saying that if the school is shut and they are told to stay at home then they will technically be on strike (!). Er, yes- and they'll getting paid because it is unofficial.
     
  14. Surely you close the school to students but expect the staff to turn up to do admin work?
     
  15. I know it isn't fashionable but I don't agree with this strike. If you see what people are striking and rioting for in Greece at the moment it puts this into perspective. We live in a country of plenty and have good jobs and prospects of pensions. We have had it too good for too long. A few less people getting fat on cabaret cruises in their mid 50's and being dragged around M&S by their orange wives bored senseless is a good thing. I'm not a Tory or a Gove fan. They anger me with their ruthlessness and coldness to society but this strike is wrong. Parents who struggle in life don't get it and it appears to them as greed. Just vote the *** out next election and we can get some human decency back into politics. Pensions have to change though.
     
  16. R13

    R13 New commenter

    I've been paying into my pension for 27 years with a very clear understanding of what I was doing and why. Now I'm told I will have to start paying in twice as much to get a smaller pension - If this was with a bank I would be entering into legal action for mis-selling. there is no way this can be accepted.
    If pensions need to change then they should start to change for people who don't effectively hold a 27 year old contract.
    I'm not striking because my pay has been frozen for two years.
    I've told my Governors that despite an Outstanding PM I won't take any points as the school can't afford them BUT this to me is theft of my pension
     
  17. You have given excellent service to education and continue to do so. Your pension will have accrued value in the time you have already contributed and the state has also contributed to the total. Why does the tax payer owe us higher pensions than they often receive themselves in similarly paid employment? Before the recession there was talk about public sector pensions being unfair and due for reform. This was coming. I recently looked at the pension a Caretaker, TA and administrator were going to receive after 25+ years of service and contributions and it is shockingly low. They will all have to get other jobs to make ends meet beyond 65.
     
  18. R13

    R13 New commenter

    I wasn't talking about an indication of change from before the election - that only gave me a choice of who to vote for. I know enough about politics to know who I wanted to vote for already and also that my vote wasn't going to change the outcome
    I made my mind up on my pension when Thatcher was Prime minster because even she didn' want to take that away. Your caretaker and AO are having their pensions cut too and we should be standing together to save theirs not saying we're middle class so we should look after the working class whilst the wealth of the supe rich has just got back to over the level it was at before the rcession. If as a country we want to better look after people on lower wages we need t tax the better off more - not steal it off pensions. I'd happily pay 50% tax as a Head if it meant better conditions for lower aid colleagues
     
  19. You seem to have little understanding of the current situation in Greece or the long history of endemic corruption in the public sector which has contributed to the present unhappy state of affairs.
    As far as teacher pensions are concerned you would do well to take on board the fact that the scheme has already been "reformed". Younger teachers are already having to work longer than they expected. Benefits have been reduced already through the change from RPI indexing to CPI - which will cost pensioners several thousand pounds over the duration of their pension.
    The contribution rate to TPS is one of the highest in the public sector.
    The hideous Mr Gove admitted in a speech in May that this was the case. He also stated that many in the profession have given up opportunities for better paid careers in other sectors for low salary now, but with a decent pension at the end of it.
    Further, there is absolutely no published evidence that TPS is unaffordable. The govt won't publish the actuarial data for TPS for the past 3 or so years, maybe because the figures could destroy their position?
    Teachers are not asking for the restoration of recent changes, but are saying enough is enough.
     
  20. This is not a 'middle class' or uneducated political view! It is just in opposition to your own. The situation for other people outside the public sector, in this and other nations and those in education with no Teacher pension is very different. Only looking at this situation from inside the teaching profession is insular and the sounbites from the more vociferous unions are not convincing the public at large. People are seeing selfishness. Where was the passion from this profession when a national curriculum was introduced, KS2 tests or when much needed vocational courses for post 16+ were criticised? Who is standing up to question academies? No evidence to suggest these work. The pension deal may be uncomfortable but I still can't see why tax payees have to subsidise pensions for teachers. We have good salaries compared to many and fairly secure jobs for now. The analogy with Greece is that there people are having to fight for their lives for basic needs. We are not in that position and are owed nothing by anyone.
     

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