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Large teacher strikes in the USA. The UK sucks its thumb .......

Discussion in 'Education news' started by binaryhex, May 21, 2018.

  1. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter


    TES seem to be off the boil these days. Very few posts (except from Ros) and not reporting on key events around the world of education, despite the huge amounts of money made advertising jobs. Still, the Guardian, Schoolsweek etc are a bit more on the button.

    Why do the Unions show zero leadership over pay, workload etc? So poor at getting the troops organised or what?
    -Maximilian- and tonymars like this.
  2. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Why is the membership not supporting their union? Has there been a mass membership call for strike action (or other)? How many are supporting ASoSA?
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Everyone knows why there there is never any cohesive union stuff in this country.
    hammie likes this.
  5. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    percentage voting in the ballot for ATL/NUT merger

    Just 24%
  6. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Hmmm, funny you should say that @binaryhex. The linked story below was a top story on the news homepage last week. I guess you must have missed it. Let's face it some teachers were busy with Sats last week as well:

  7. Leebeez

    Leebeez New commenter

    I’ve repeated this a number of times, but I think it is so important that UK teachers look to historical events and the evolution of teaching unions and teaching rights across the globe. Unfortunately UK teachers are far too insular and fail to take into account real events and valid indicators as to what the future of UK teaching will be like if drastic action does not take place soon.

    One only needs to look at the biggest teaching union in Latin America – the Mexican SNTE. Over the last 15 years, they have fought for teachers rights and secured a pay rise of 140% with extremely low union fees for their members. In fact teachers earn nearly three times the national average wage and get this, the average number of hours worked by a mexican teacher is 31 hours per week!!!

    If UK unions had performed as well as the SNTE we could be enjoying a basic salary of more than 55,000 GBP. There are many other examples of great teaching unions around the world, eg. Finland.

    UK teaching unions are so splintered as to be ineffectual. We have many teaching unions working against each other and playing right into the Government’s hands. You pay union fees to protect you from unfair accusations, not to improve pay and conditions. Surely this should be only classified as unfair dismissal insurance? We even have a union called Edapt that specifically states that it is against all strike action. Who founded it ? A Teachfirst graduate who burned out after only 3 years at the chalk face. Perhaps his few thousand fee paying union members plan on working in teaching until retirement (he certainly won’t).

    And if teachers feel that strike action ruins the kids’ education - they need to look at the evidence provided by the Robert M. Carini study. Studies have shown that strong unions improve childrens' performance over time. Wholesale strike action will cause short term negative effects. But teacher morale and recruitment/retention is at an all-time low – how can this be good for the students and future cohorts?

    SEBREGIS Senior commenter


    Teaching is now horribly underfunded, woefully run and not fit for purpose. Let's not spray-paint this particular turd, it's a mess. Because classroom teachers have been systematically ignored by governments who want to 'make things better for our children' but for some reason - I'll put it down to 'a Messiah complex' - would never dream of asking teachers whether things work or not.

    To get their attention, we need to have a series of full on,1979 style strikes. Locked gates, children stuck at home working on their own. But we don't. Why?

    Because we are terrified that if we did that, their grades would suffer. And parents would have to look after them.

    Have we honestly reached the stage where we can't trust children to spend a week reading books or in the care of their own parents?
  9. tonymars

    tonymars Occasional commenter

    Great post Leebeez.
    I agree totally. I'm a supply now and to some extent am only in it for the short term loot I can make, but I totally agree.
    But hold on, don't we now have a super union? I'm not aware of any changes this group has brought about. Is anyone else? Or do they share my view that the super union and its members need to grow a pair.
    topquark likes this.
  10. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    It's not just that though is it?
    There are loads of teachers who don't want to lose a day's pay and loads who fear being seen as 'radical' or 'militant' (or any other word that means having a backbone).
    hendo2015, drek and schoolsout4summer like this.
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Not sure Mexico is such a great example. Their education system in pretty corrupt with thousands of ghost teachers supposedly working a drawing a wage which ends up somewhere else. Plus the Government can be held to ransom by the teachers as they use the schools as polling stations and rely on the teachers to staff them.
  12. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    The problem is that the troops lack moral fibre.
    Too busy with red tape and bureaucracy.
  13. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    "loot" in the broadest sense of the word!
  14. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    What's not to like?
    Leebeez likes this.
  15. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    are any small teachers striking too?
  16. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    we are collectively responsible because we never support any action.
    The workload agreement came and went, undermined by teachers, no one else.
    The work to rule, came and went, ignored by teachers. In fact, I believe it is still in place but not actioned ??
    Younger teachers have largely bought the media and politicians view that all unions are evil.
    And of course with an effective pay cut of £8000 a year already, can we afford to give another wadge of our pay straight back to the government for a strike which they will ignore anyway. Can we afford not to??
    We are actually in the most powerful position we have ever been. We are taken for granted as free wrap around child care, SATS are king, GCSE results are king. So targeted strikes during key assessment periods for more than a single day would quickly cause huge disruption.
    Even just a properly supported refusal to supervise other than as per contract would have a huge affect. No more free supervision of wet breaks in many schools(contra to contract), no more clubs at lunch time or after or before schools. Teacher leaving the premises at all times other than contracted hours, teachers doing no photocopying and certainly no trimming.
    How many of you got your annual hourly "1265 budget" which you are supposed to get from your HT?

    SEBREGIS Senior commenter

    There has been a work to rule in place for years - most teachers have never even heard that it's on. And this is actually the worst way for teachers to strike because it involves 'letting the children down' for an extended period.

    I don't think the government could ignore a proper strike. Shut the schools until our demands are met. No more one day strikes to show we're serious, just a complete withdraw of labour for as long as needs be. I don't think it would even take that long.
    cazzmusic1 and Leebeez like this.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    If all the Unions became one teacher Union - then they would be heard. Too many Unions equates to too many divisions....
    Leebeez likes this.
  19. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Senior commenter

    I agree that we need something as drastic as this, but even if it is supported, what exactly are our demands? I would demand reasonable working conditions as my top priority but that could never happen overnight. What could a government say that would placate me enough to return from a strike? "We're spending more on education than ever before"?

    SEBREGIS Senior commenter

    Over Easter, the NASUWT and NEU both held conferences and agreed a range of issues to put forward to the government,These were all proposed by area conferences and put forward by union members, hopefully as a result of conversations in their schools.

    I get what you're saying but again, the more people work with their unions the more the unions will represent their needs.
    tonymars likes this.

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