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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jomaimai, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Good for them... brave souls. Let's hope that the Unions are highly visible, vocal and veracious in defending and helping these teachers !
  3. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    Perhaps you know more about this than I do, but as a onetime scab during a national dispute - I've always voted against strike action - I never agree with strikes in schools as it only harms the students.

    I happened into this thread thinking it was a positive one based on the title. Very disappointing.
  4. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    I hope that is reflected in your choice of professional association Principal-Skinner.
  5. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    This should be happening at many more schools (including my last one) but the culture of fear seems to prevent many from taking such action.

    That said it does seem that there has been an increase in individual school strikes against bullying HTs.

    As for strikes harming students, does it matter to Principal-Skinner that the teaching staff are being harmed? After all a stressed workforce is hardly likely to perform to the best for the students.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  6. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    I think Principal-Skinner should eschew the gains achieved through collective bargaining. The parlous state of education today is a direct result of union members not supporting their unions. Ultimately the students and pupils will suffer as teaching increasingly becomes a profession that can neither recruit or retain teachers.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    French teachers are not shy of taking industrial action - and have better conditions of service in many ways than teachers in English schools. Go figure, as some say. ..
    eljefeb90 and notsonorthernlass like this.
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Exactly. In many ways I blame other teachers for my decision to leave the profession. They were not willing to take a stand.
    notsonorthernlass and jomaimai like this.
  9. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    Whilst I'm not a huge fan of Corbyn, I do appreciate his approach to conflict resolution. You might learn something from him.
  10. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    Unions go on strikes regardless of government or outcomes. Strikes have never helped.
    I'd rather teachers take responsibility for what goes on in their classroom rather than blame others; thankfully I have a good group right now that do just that.
  11. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    I disagree. In the late 80's there was a long, massive strike that improved greatly teachers pay and conditions. That was somewhere else but I am sure it has happened in many other places.
  12. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    So @Principal-Skinner what has helped the teaching profession by not striking? The Government has shafted us with- "Academies"and "sponsors", Ofsted, etc etc - the Unions opened the way for unqualified people teaching the children you are so worried about.
    As a self confessed scab I do so hope you declined any of the hard won benefits that the people who did go on strike won for teachers as a whole.We probably all know of the odd former "colleague" who was too tight to go on strike but happily took their increased teaching salary One in particular springs to mind, a very useful tool of the HT and a great deal of coasting through life went on with none of the unpleasantness the rest of the teaching staff had to face.
    notsonorthernlass and johnberyl like this.
  13. hogglepop

    hogglepop New commenter

    Why are the teachers striking? That will harm the childrens education, and wont set any kind of precedent which the Academy or local schools must follow.

    Surely a far more appropriate approach would be for the affected teachers to club together, each provide a few hundred pounds (far less than they will be losing by striking), obtain legal representation as a group, and start a class action against the school in the courts for constructive/unfair dismissal, harassment, etc etc? Heck, the Unions might even fund it as a test case if it got into the media (as it has...)

    They could even get some of the 20 teachers who left in the last three years in on the litigation.

    I am at a loss to understand why the teachers involved chose the option which causes the most harm to children i.e. a strike, as the way forward..?
  14. vinnie24

    vinnie24 Lead commenter

    I beg to differ. Not going on strike is the option that causes most harm to children. Every child deserves to have a happy, healthy and motivated teacher in front of them.

    Hopefully striking will enable this to happen .
  15. Sisyphus_rolls_again

    Sisyphus_rolls_again Established commenter

    That's exactly what they are doing....but they are putting their case before the court of PR rather than a court of justice.
  16. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Back in 2011(ish) just as workload was starting to increase (nothing like what it is now) the unions started to take action.

    At first, the unions were concentrating on the pension changes that were happening but the NASUWT realising that workload was on the increase, introduced Action Short of Strike Action (ASOSA) that didn't affect the students along with occasional strikes.

    I, for one, thought that ASOSA was a far better tactic than actual striking as it was continuous rather than sporadic like the strikes were (once every six months at most). We had meetings and the members agreed to follow the ASOSA instructions. I decided to follow the action to the letter.

    Sadly, despite agreeing to ASOSA many other teachers in my school (like many schools) decided to carry on as normal for a number of reasons possibly fear of retribution from SLT, scared of saying 'no' to various tasks etc. I remember thinking at the time that things were going to get far worse but many teachers seemed oblivious to what was going to happen.

    Fast forward to 2015 and this inaction by union members has resulted in bullying on a massive scale by management, punitive performance related pay, teachers working 60+ hour weeks, 50000 teachers leaving the profession in one year, many NQT giving up after a few years. I have left teaching.

    So what happens now is that teachers have little option but to go on strike against the action of their schools. Some schools are, of course, worse than others but there does seem an increase in dissatisfaction resulting in the kind of action outlined in the article highlighted by the OP.

    As a comparison, as an example, unions like the RMT on the railways and the Underground for example have a workforce that shows solidarity with their union. Strikes show 100% support and Work to Rules / Overtime Bans are also 100% supported. The RMT may be a pain in the backside for the management but the members don't have such a deterioration in working conditions as teachers. If teachers had acted the same way there would be no need to strike.

    Sadly, in many ways teachers are reaping the 'rewards' of their inaction over the past five or so years.
  17. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    An Outstanding school?
    NQTs working until midnight, seven days a week. Tears every night. Teachers contemplating suicide. NQTs blackmailed over reaching certain standards.
    Recklessly heavy demands being continually made of staff, with threats of capability and withheld references for those escaping/seeking to escape.
    Parents becoming upset that yet again, out of the blue, two more excellent teachers were leaving, for no apparently good reason. However, on this occasion the parents demanded answers from the Head and they were far from happy with the platitudes proffered. Police called to ensure the safety of the SMT.
    The business director dismissed both Head and Deputies (an Outstanding team). This was NOT undertaken lightly and was only done as a very last resort. Thank goodness for Academies and the very flexible working conditions that they provide for teachers, Deputies and Heads!
    I wonder if the strike will go ahead, now that the problem appears to have departed?
    Meanwhile, (2 weeks ago) the Head was again back on the telly again, promoting ... .
  18. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Sometimes the threat of strike action is enough. It seems that it might be here.
  19. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I used to be a traincrew member of the RMT. I really miss it. I couldn't believe it when I became a teacher and so many colleagues would say 'I can't afford to strike because it will affect my pension' etc etc. I always want to say 'yes and .....'
    notsonorthernlass and Compassman like this.
  20. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Actually, unions do not often go on strike. In the last 25 years my former school has lost fewer than 10 days to strike action.
    Between 1991 and 2010 it lost no days at all to strike action. This is partly because the teachers' pay review body, set up after the bitter action of the '80s ensured that pay settlements were sufficient to avoid inflaming the teaching profession.

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