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NUT strike- if i do day to day supply can i still just choose to work on this day!?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by jan36, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. If you want to work that day you should change union. However, no union member should cover for a striking colleague and the head teacher should know that. I'm not in the NUT, so will have to go in to work, but even if there are children in that day, wouldn't cover a class for someone on strike.
  2. supplybychoice

    supplybychoice New commenter

    I'm not working that day and i'm in the NUT.

    I wouldn't do it if I were you as they have told you, you are covering a striking teacher.

    I will probably tell my agencies that I am 'busy' on that day !
  3. Thanks for your replies :)

    I've just been reading up about the strike on the NUT website..and it says in a number of places that "You have a legal right to decline any call from your Union to take industrial action." It does say in a number of places that a non NUT member should not be expected to cover for a striking member of staff. It also says that employment businesses which supply teachers (i assume this means supply agencies!) are prevented by law from supplying teachers to cover the absence of regular teachers who are striking.

    So am i right in assuming that no supply teachers can therefore legally work on April 24th if its to cover a teacher who is striking? or is this just agencies? The work i have been asked to do will be paid through the LEA..are they included as an "employment business?"

    i'm confused now! It says i have a legal right to refuse to strike..but i cant work as a supply teacher legally if its to cover a striking teacher? (have i got that right..please correct me if i've got it completely wrong!)

  4. haj


    know what you mean about the confusion, i do dayto day supply like you, not with nut, had a booking for the day which my agency said that I should really refuse to do as they can't guarantee whther I would or would not be covering striking staff at the school. But I wouldn't want to cover striking staff anyway, its just not worth it, in my opinion, think will go shopping that day!!
  5. I don't think it's a legal thing, it's up to your conscience whether you cover striking classes.
    Personally I consider it scab labour but of course that's just my opinion!
  6. shalala according to the NUT website (i quote!) :

    ?Employment businesses? which supply teachers are prevented by law from supplying teachers to cover the work of regular employees taking industrial action. Any infringement should be reported to your NUT Regional or Wales office.

    so i guess it is a legal issue! i just dont know whether my LEA is considered an "employment business"..or do they just mean supply agencies?

    personally i have to think of myself whether people think thats morally wrong or not..i really need the money and if its possible for me to work that day (even if i'm covering for a striking teacher!) then i will probably say yes and work! (even though i am with NUT!)
  7. I thought it was against the law for headteachers to have supply teachers in to cover striking teachers, as this goes against the other union. Otherwise the strike will have no effect surely!!!
  8. Don't forget to resign from the NUT and join a non-striking union if you're going to be a scab.
  9. its up to me whether i resign or not. It clearly states in a number of places on the NUT website (i quote!) :

    "You have a legal right to decline any call from your Union to take industrial action. As an NUT member, you won?t need to rely on that legal right because we do not instruct you anyway. If you decide not to take action however, the Union respects your right to make that decision and continues to value your membership of the Union."

    so i do not HAVE to resign. It is MY choice. If you disagree then thats fine but to be honest it has absolutely nothing to do with you!

    Thanks Mrst1985...i have just emailed my LEA to ask for clarification anyway. From what i have read i think you are right and as supply teachers we legally cannot accept work..in which case i will obviously tell schools this and not work :) (that should keep you happy Shalala..i wont be a "scab" as you like to call it!)

  10. Agencies are not allowed to send in teachers to schools to cover members of staff that have chosen to strike.

    However schools may very well approach supply teachers directly, as I am sure many do so already on a daily basis.

    Any supply teachers that get calls form Schools to work that day may want to ease their mind a little by following something like the following.......

    "Hello there, is that Mrs supply Teacher, Its Mrs Head teacher here, are you free for work on the 24th?"

    "Oh, the 24th you say, let me check my diary....I presume this will be covering sickness or planned leave rather than a striking teacher?"

    "Ooo, I hadn't thought of that, yes of course it is definitely covering planned absence and absolutely nothing to do with the strike at all, honest"

    I can envisage many conversations like the above taking place very soon. Just depends on the scruples of the Head Teachers i suppose.

  11. I think HTs can ask for someone to cover striking teachers classes, i mean what happens to the students for those in classes, as far as they are concerned it is child welfare, anything happens and the school would be in deep do do.

    haj summed it up that you don't know who you will be covering at times until you accept and get to the schools. Basically supply teachers should just not work seems to be the message unless you are covering maternity leave etc.

    Feel like i am being penalised beacause of a union i don't belong to got no vote on.
  12. One of the reasons supply teachers pay less for union membership is that they don't get a vote on issues like this.

    If you're not party to the decision, I don't think you should feel bad about working.

    Crossing a picket line is a different issue. If you do then the people there will remember the next time you do supply in the school.
  13. Are agencies obliged to tell you if some or all of the teachers in a school are striking?I was booked for the 24th before the strike was announced.Now I'm wondering what to do.I'm not an NUT member but I wouldn't like to cross a picket.
  14. I'm not NUT but I just plan on not being available for work on this day - I think they've picked the wrong thing to strike over but at the same time I see that the way unions and union support is so fragmented across teaching is the reason that they manage to get away with so much garbage where education is concerned.

    Plus I can imagine any school being utter chaos on strike day and would rather not have the stress so I shall be supporting things from the comfort of my bed :D
  15. thanks for your input everyone. I e-mailed my LEA today to ask how i stood legally..as the NUT website seems to imply its actually illegal to work as a supply teacher if its covering a striking a teacher. I got a reply from the education man at the county council ...saying this was not his specialised area and that he would forward my email to his more specialised colleague! so hopefully i do get some sort of response from someone before the 24th!!

    it just seems very confusing..i cant seem to find out whether LEGALLY i cant work to cover a striking teacher..or whether its just MORALLY i shouldnt!

    Coronel its nice to know that some people don't think its totally unacceptable for me to consider working this day :) i wouldnt be crossing any sort of picket line (its a very small 4 class village school where only 2 of the teachers are with the NUT..and neither particularly wanted to strike anyway!)

    i will let everyone know if i ever get a response from the LEA!
  16. "..and neither particularly wanted to strike anyway!" - strange if the NUT leaves the decison up to the choice of individual teachers.

    However, 'working normally' (which under normal circumstances wouldn't affect other striking union members directly) and taking the place of another member of the NUT who is on strike are really not the same thing. I think you should check with the union directly for their viewpoint.
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I e-mailed the NUT about the position of daily paid supply teachers. This is part of the reply I got:

    "However,if you are employed by an Agency and your contract of employment is with the Agency then you definitely should not take the action"
  18. I personally think striking over pay is a waste of time, but should we get a pay rise I will accept it with gratitude. Will you refuse any pay rise if you work on 24th April?

    Teachers went through the same issues re 'to strike or not to strike' in 1986. Many joined a new union called PAT, which was against strikes. Don't remember many of them then refusing the pay rise that resulted from the strikes.

    As teachers we are treated very badly. Doctors get sympathy for their workloads, and lots of money. People just assume we work from 9am to 3pm and have lots of long holidays.

    If we don't stick together we will never change this stereotyped view and will continue to work ridiculously long hours, with terrible working conditions, for little pay.

    Rant over.

  19. i got a reply from someone at my LEA...he said:

    "The question of using external/non union Labour during a strike is one with a long and turbulent history. I obviously cannot speak for Agencies but as far as the County Council is concerned we will not recommend that schools use this mechanism due to the huge and damaging tensions it creates. I understand that the NAHT is giving the same advice to its members."

    So it appears that county councils are against schools using supply teachers to cover for striking members of staff.

    Oldernotwiser..obviously i would not turn down a pay rise..but i think the situation is different for supply teachers. You may think it selfish..but at the moment i need to think of myself and my financial situation at this precise moment. If it is possible for me to work on the 24th..then i probably will because i need the money!

    I also dont think that striking for the odd day will change peoples stereotypical views of teaching (just my opinion!)

    Raylec..the NUT site repeatedly states that it is individual choice whether you strike or not and that they still value your membership if you choose to work. I just cant really see that there are going to be any terrible consequences if i work on this day to cover a striking member of staff.

    After the response i have just got from my county council then i will probably not be working anyway.

  20. I've been wondering about the strike because I'm on long term supply. Checked with my brother who works for the TUC and he says that as we're not employed by the business taking action i.e. the school we have no legal rights icw striking. He also said that the school could ask for cover for striking teachers but as the NASUWT won't cover those lessons, it could be perceived as 'breaking' the strike if we do. I would never cross a picket line but apparently there are no plans for picketing. His advice is to speak to the school's NUT convener and voice your concerns so that if you do work that day colleagues know you are not willingly breaking a strike. He feels that agencies will be unsympathetic to supply teachers wanting to honour the strike because to them it's loss of business. I'm getting more info tomorrow from my mentor who recognises my dilemma. Will keep you all posted as and when I know more.

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