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Head Teacher has asked for names of those striking

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by docendo discimus, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. docendo discimus

    docendo discimus New commenter

    My Head Teacher has asked for names of those staff that will be striking on 30th November so that he can send a letter to all parents in the school telling them which classes mustn't come in. Thoughts?
  2. Standard procedure. Why shouldn't he/she?
  3. docendo discimus

    docendo discimus New commenter

    I thought that legally I didn't have to inform him? So why should I answer his question? Why not simply tell him that of 12 NASUWT members, 8 will be on strike and leave it that?
  4. No, you don't have to tell him, but it would help the school if you did, so that they could forward plan.
    Fair enough if you want to go on strike, it's your right, but you don't have to make it difficult for the Head to make plans on whether the school is going to be closed or not. IMHO that is just petty.
  5. docendo discimus

    docendo discimus New commenter

    zimon - I understand what you're saying. But, why should I inform the teacher in advance so that he can name and shame me to the parents? I want the strike to have the biggest impact so if he is told that 8/12 will strike, isn't he forced to shut the school as he can't make provision? Surely disruption is the objective as unpallatable as that sounds?! Why would I do him a favour by telling him if I am then going to get singled out?
  6. So that the Head can differentiate between those who are absent due to being on strike and those who are absent for other reasons.
    I had to sign a register to prove that I was at work and not on strike a few months ago. Ok, I was slightly annoyed about this but understood that it was for my own benefit.
    I also don't understand your point about naming and shaming. If you're peed off enough with the current issues going on in Education to go on strike, surely there's nothing shameful about admitting it?! Also, it's not just you but 8/12 teachers going on strike. If this number is most of the school staff as you say, the Head will have far more important things to worry about (namely, the problem of educating the children in your absence which is why he wants to know who's on strike) than 'naming and shaming you to the parents'.

  7. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    speak to your union rep - the head should ideally liaise with him/her rather than approach individual teachers
  8. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    this bit is actually not relevant - this "signing in" will only happen on the DAY of the strike - the OPs question is about whether the head should be notified in advance.
    And I believe the answer is "no" -there is no requirement to have to tell them before the day itself.
  9. docendo discimus

    docendo discimus New commenter

    I have broad shoulders and I will go on strike regardless of the backlash I receive. My concern is that it could be perceived as putting pressure on individual teachers not to strike. Look at these extracts from the NASUWT FAQs page:

    <a name="30Myheadteacherisproposingtowritetoparen">[/URL]30. My
    headteacher is proposing to write to parents about the strike action, naming
    the teachers who will be taking action. Can s/he do this?

    This would be unacceptable and could be deemed to be discrimination on
    the grounds of trade union activity which is against the law.

    All your headteacher needs to do is to inform parents about whether the
    school is remaining fully open, partially open or is closed.

  10. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Surely this advice is ridiculus. i.e school is open except for Year 2,3 and 6. Surely the parents will then know the teachers!
  11. I totally agree, if you wish to strike be proud. Like I shall be genuinely proud that I am not striking. I am sure parents will know exactly who is striking or not (I'd tell them).
  12. The reason for not telling Heads in advance whether you're srtiking has nothing to do with 'protecting' strikers' identities. Having advance notice of which staff are coming in on the day (or not) allows Heads to plan to keep schools open, which is what strikers and unions want to avoid happening. Giving advance notice, weakens the action. The Head receives an advance list of, say, 8 teachers at his/her school who are members of the NUT and so will be expected to strike. They should base their decision about whether to close, on that alone.
    I do recognise though, that in practise (myself included) many teachers agree to let their Head know whether or not they will be in on the day.
  13. docendo discimus

    docendo discimus New commenter

    Milliebear1 - this is exactly my point. I am striking and I want it to have maximum impact. Therefore I want the school to close. So why would I give my Head advanced warning, thereby allowing him to keep the school partially open and name and shame staff to parents. If we withhold the info, he has to close the school surely?!
  14. You really are missing the point here. Headteachers and teachers are all in this together. Secondly, whilst there is a need to cause disruption by the strike, there is also a need to try and retain whatever public support teachers may have in this matter.
    Legally, unions do not have to name teachers who will be on strike, they simply have to say how many members will be striking. They do not have to give this information until the day before the strike. However, in small (primary) schools this is laughable. There are rarely union reps as such and heads deal directly with staff. Most schools in my area are already able to make decisions whether to stay open, partially close or fully close to pupils. It is not, as in the case of secondary schools, situations where children can be left at home alone, they ar etoo young. A school not being able to make a closure decision until the last minute would put a good many parents in a difficult position and lose us support. There is no naming and shaming as this is a legitimate industrial dispute.
    If you withold the info the HT will not not know until the last minute whether or not to close the school. You might well lose his / her goodwill. which will do you no good at all.
    Quite frankly docendo, your attitude astounds me. I'm glad you don't work for me.
  15. docendo discimus

    docendo discimus New commenter

    I have am not advocating waiting to tell him until the last minute. I am suggesting giving the Head a week's notice that 8/12 members will be taking strike action but not actually divulging names. Is this unreasonable?
  16. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    This "naming and shaming" thing sounds like nonsense to me. First, if I was striking, I'd be proud. I'd be more ashamed if I was in a striking union and didn't strike. (I'm in the NUT and wasn't balloted as I'm on supply - not sure where I stand here? I think if I'm offered work on 30th I'll probably say no cos I don't want to be inadvertantly undermining another teacher's strike action).
    I was a student in June, but at the school I was at the parents got a letter saying "Reception and Year 1 will be not be in school due to strike action. There will be no assembly" or something like that. That gave them a fairly strong hint that the Reception and Year 1 teachers and deputy head were striking!
    Also, not all parents will be angry about it. The teacher I was working with was the only one to strike in the whole school the time before (2005?) and some parents came up to her and said she was very brave and they really respected her for standing up for what she believed in. Yes, some were angry as they had to take a day off work or organise childcare, but that's to be expected I guess. School isn't childcare, it's education and THAT'S what they should be angry about the child missing, if they want to get angry.
  17. I rather think it's you that's missing the point. The Head can send out a letter NOW stating the school will be closing. There is no onus on him/her at all to wait until the 11th hour to make that decision. That is the purpose of not giving advance notice of intention to strike - so that schools are forced to close to all classes.
    As I said, I'm not advocating not giving notice - I do recognise that goodwill is a factor, but that works both ways, and some Heads seem to want to keep schools open at all costs, even resorting to the kinds of strong-arm tactics being described here.
  18. docendo discimus

    docendo discimus New commenter

    milliebear- thank you for your balanced view. As most people appreciate, these are difficult decisions and a forum like this gives people an opportunity to explore all of the options. There is no need to start calling people that you don't know for their attitude or to say that you are glad you are not working with them. If people want to come on here and criticse people for having an opinion or asking questions, I wish they'd find somewhere else to go!
  19. milliebear, I don't understand your point.
    A HT can't make a decision to close or not close unless he / she knows how many staff are taking action. Imagine a head making a decision to close a school based simply on not knowing the number of strikers. Then the majority of staff turn round and say they are not striking. It sounds to me that they might be seen as looking for a days paid leave on 30th.
  20. Why keep tippytoing round this?
    It's clearly thinly veiled intimidation by this HT
    The multiplying breed of "them and us" HT -is s/he already looking into a massive pay increase by going for academy status?
    It wouldn't surprise me.

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