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If our head strikes?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by trinity0097, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    I doubt it! A school has deputies!
  2. Mrs_Frog

    Mrs_Frog New commenter

    I've got a feeling that the school shuts, as there is no-one on site 'in loco parentis' to be responsible for the pupils. I think its a names on documentation thing.
    Don't quote me though. My understanding is that my school will be closed if the HT strikes.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indeed. Schools don't close every time the head's out at a meeting, or off sick - do they?
  4. Isn't this quite different? Deputies often cover a head's absence but if a HT is on strike then deputies should not be covering for them.
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You might think that - but it's not a 'rule', is it?
    In any case, there doesn't even have to be a deputy in school, contrary to popular belief. Some schools don't even have deputies.
    The chair of governors will make a decision in each case, but there's no obligation to close a school because the head is on strike.
  6. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    I'm not a strong union person but I would hope that a deputy wouldn't cover any colleague's duties who is striking, including the Head if that strike has been lawfully called. And if there's no Head then there's nobody to take responsibility for H+S, etc. and in those circumstances the school has to close..?
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    1. Any deputy refusing to cover - unless they belong to the same union as the head - is ni breach of contract and subject to disciplinary action.
    2. As I said above - there does not have to be a headteacher in school for it to remain open.
  8. Mrs_Frog

    Mrs_Frog New commenter

    My understanding, and I am not 100% sure about it at all, is that if colleagues are striking, regardless of whether they are in the same union or not, we are not supposed to cover for them? In the last round of strikes, pupils were not able to come into school because those of us who were not striking were not able to cover for those who were.
  9. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    There is a world of difference between covering for the HT at a meeting or off sick, to covering for the HT taking industrial action.
    Any deputy requested to cover for a striking HT should refuse and seek the support of their own trade union.
    Or better still, support the action themselves.
  10. Heads make a decision themselves about whether they let others cover for a colleague who is striking. It is their decision, no-one else's as far as I know.
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're all making the mistake of confusing 'covering' - as in 'doing someone else's job if they're not there' (i.e. those of you who were classroom techers when colleagues were on strike would - rightly - not take any of their children into your classes or take their lessons) with the deputy's role,which is to be the head if the head's not there (it's in her/his job description). It doesn't actually involve doing anything - and the deputy, if not in the same union, would be required to report for work in the same way.
  12. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    A confusing area! Strange days indeed when Head's are striking... I wonder how many staff will not strike themselves if they know the school is shut anyway and they can therefore avoid loss of wages, and what effect, if any, that will have on the power of the action influencing decision making.
  13. Let's think about what is meant by "closing" a school.
    As I understand it schools would be closed to children. Non striking staff could be expected to attend for work as usual. Having no children in might allow them to get a lot of work done!
    We will all have to wait for further guidance from our respective associations (and possibly LAs).
  14. Good thought. Highly likely to happen. Day off, paid! Most teachers' idea of bliss. Most certainly won't be up in London or elsewhere protesting. They will be in bed or out shopping. :) By the way, the strike will have no influence on decision making whatsoever. The unions had their chance to take the new offer, but they chose not to take it. How daft.
  15. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Did you notice the contradiction between the first and second sentences here?
  16. No, no contradiction. Refusing the offer shows that the unions are simply anti Con-Dem government. Just as plain Labour lefty as can be. Probably annoyed to have a Tory anywhere near the government, yet alone the SoS for Ed or PM. Serve the unions right for not taking the revised offer. (Just great. We all suffer for their greed and short sightedness and leftiness.) If there are any further concessions to the unions, I'd be extremely surprised.

    (Being cynical here, if I'd been the gov I may well have had the offer up my sleeve anyhow, just to see the reaction. And the unions fell for it, shown up for what they are, mostly political lefty organisations, with a power complex, who like to hold all teachers - and the country - to ransom.)
  17. Walnuthead, I'll bet that you really do think that, if the Labour govt had pressed the issue when it had the chance during the last reform to the TPS, the unions would have gone along with it?
  18. <font face="Century Gothic">"Under our current contracts of employment it is normal practice for staff in school to be deployed to carry out their normal duties in different year groups and different classes and this may well be the case on the strike day."</font>
    The above is an extract from something being circulated by our HT. Given that it is a Primary School and the vast majority of teachers are class teachers with a fixed class i.e. Y3, how does this statement fit with the 'not covering for striking colleagues' approach?
    My union has only just opened its ballot for action on 30th. If my union votes against strike action I don't want to be put in a position that means I'm teaching a random bunch of children for the day (whilst having to pay for childcare for my own) because everyone else is in the NUT!
  19. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    GTP-er - I think your Head may be wrong. (I say 'may' only because I'm not as well read/briefed as many on this forum, but actually I'm pretty certain we shouldn't be expected or asked to do duties usually fulfilled by strikers.)
  20. I'm pretty certain we shouldn't be expected or asked to do duties usually fulfilled by strikers."

    That was my understanding of the situation too - I think though you may choose to refuse to do the duties, but it may be difficult in practice, depending on the size of you school.

    Otherwise, there is minimal disruption if non-strikers cover.

    I also was led to believe that "doing duties for the strikers" may be a responsibiltiy for SMT - perhaps someone can clarify?

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