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To Strike Or Not To Strike Again? March Strikes Proposal.

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by morrisseyritual, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Many of the unions are talking of another day of industrial action over pensions/retirement legislation in the coming month. Striking flexes our muscles and sends some message to government while we still can. I appreciate the loss of a day's pay and what that meant to many in the cold light of day in January - but striking could reap more dividends than we immediately see.
    Your thoughts?
     
  2. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Many of the unions are talking of another day of industrial action over pensions/retirement legislation in the coming month. Striking flexes our muscles and sends some message to government while we still can. I appreciate the loss of a day's pay and what that meant to many in the cold light of day in January - but striking could reap more dividends than we immediately see.
    Your thoughts?
     
  3. Can it? What did the last strike achieve?
    What was the impact?
     
  4. I fear that the numbers striking will drop. Striking only works if the govt knows we'll strike if they don't listen and will continue to strike until they do listen. If we only strike once then accept it all we've achieved is a loss of pay (which saves them money!)
     
  5. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Failure to support a strike call will be taken as a sign of weakness by the UK coalition. I am not for unlimited strike action but it seems to me that losing a couple of days' pay is pretty small beer compared to having to work until you're 68 or a career avaerage penson without guarantees to protect it from inflation!

    The consequences for teachers AND for future school students learning conditions are just too horrendous to contemplate. I would add that I have nothing to gain personally and can only lose financially by going on strike. However, it's not about self interest, it's about the future of the profession.
     
  6. I understand that. What I don't understand is the impact of the strike in November. Nothing from the unions on what effect it had on the governments proposals. In fact, the unions really should have maintained momentum after the strike to (a) keep the pressure on and (b) to convince the members that it's all going to be worth it.
    At the moment, I'm not convinced the strike had any effect whatsoever. That may be because there was no actual impact, or it may be because the unions are not advertising the impact well enough.
     
  7. We absolutely have to strike. If we roll over and let the government get away with changing our pensions what will they take next?
    Remember a day's lost wages is pretty much what we will loose every month if the government changes our pension.
     
  8. You miss my point. An occasional strike, which the authorities can easily cope with in terms of spin, does not really make a difference. If you want to give the impression you are not going to roll over then it has to have more impact. The strike in November looks pretty weak in light of the lack of follow-up.
     
  9. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    The impact of the November strike was significant. It raised awareness about teachers' pensions among the public and particularly among parents whose plans were disrupted for the day. It led to further negotiations on the UK teachers' superann group and a clarification of the issues which teachers objected to in comparison to the other public sector unions. The UK govt strategy has always been to try to split up the public sector unions for obvious reasons. For obvious reasons the public sector unions avoided this. However, in the end game, splits were always inevitable and we've reached that stage now. Some public sector unions are less concerned about the impact of the retiring age for example. In my view, this is the ne plus ultra for teachers. We have to show the public by our determined action that we will not under any circumstances work beyond 65 for reasons of efficiency of the education service mainly.

    If the govt does not make acceptable changes after the next strike day then we are in a battle of attrition with a strictly enforced work to rule being our main weapon.
     
  10. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Agree 100%. We're thinking of the immediate. A lot of our calculations about how much we would lose the following payday may have fell short of what was taken - I had a wee shock in my paypacket at the end of January - but there's the rub.
    I have a family that depends on me and I did feel that financial hit after Christmas, believe me. It should be less felt in April by me, I don't know about the rest of you. I sympathise with folks with young families - Easter is almost the same expenditure as Christmas for the weans now - but we can't think that way when we could end up missing the same hundred-odd quid EVERY month after govt. pension legislation.
    I accept it is a difficult decision this time around, but if we don't strike when we can we're lambs to the slaughter for anything the UK and Scottish government want to do to teaching in the future.
    Things are already in the offing that don't bode well. CfE, as it was after ten years or so in Australia, is the first step towards school system performance-related-pay and privatisation.
     
  11. "What did the strike achieve?"
    Umm... how about some serious concessions by the Government to form their "final offer"?
    Exactly the reason we need to do the same again.
     
  12. And you knew this 1 month ago? ;) :rolleyes:
     
  13. Do tell us exactly what those "serious concessions" are.
     
  14. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    All out
    Unions are scared to make these decisions, but you'd better believe it would bring things to a head and have a positive result.

    This indecisiveness of all trade unions does no good at all.

     
  15. What makes you think the unions have any choice?

    With over 10% of EIS members voting No and 62% not bothering to vote at all, what makes you think that teachers would simply follow an All Out cry from their union?
     
  16. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Fixed it for you. EIS members didn't vote because they're either apathetic members of a union which ignores them for years and then, when it needs their support, berates them for not being active enough. Or, like supply teachers, Chartered Teachers or conserved PTs / victims of FacHead reorganisations, they're sick of being humped by the leadership of their own union.
     
  17. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    No excuses needed .

    In the only formal ballot we held, we achieved a response of 66.3% with 79.19% in favour of action and 20.81% against.

    That' s the ballot that mattered. If other unions had not bottled out, we'd have taken action based on that mandate.

    The recent e mail consultation had the following result and yes, there was only a 46% turn out. That's because we don't have all 8500 members on the email list , yet ...

    The responses were still interesting though ...

    Q1. If the UK Government?s final offer on pension arrangements were also to be made in Scotland, would you be in favour of accepting?

    Yes: 10.6%
    No 89.4%

    Q2. Are you willing to undertake a second day of strike action in support of the Association?s opposition to the Governments pension proposals?

    Yes 61.6%
    No 38.4%

    Q3. Are you willing to undertake a work to contract in support of the Association?s opposition to the Government?s pension proposals?

    Yes 87.5%
    No 12.5%

    So, now that the EIS is trying to do a deal with the SG, we'll be balloting on a work to rule as an alternative to strike action. (Strike action is still available as an option though.) Given the figures above, I am confident there will be a resounding majority. The work to rule will continue until the membership agree to whatever changes evolve out of these discussions, at which the SSTA will be represented also.
     
  18. holdingon

    holdingon Occasional commenter

    can't understand why we are not already on a work to rule ?
    have thought this for the last two years
     
  19. Never understood it either. I get the impression that people feel it takes too much effort. Strikes are easy to do. Work to rule involves being very aware of your working time agreement and having the confidence to say no.
     
  20. So instead of making your own decisions, you base your action on what other unions are doing? yet you decry the EIS for doing exactly the same thing in response to the NUT suspending national strikes?
    That's not what your website says.It says the Association is consulting all members.
    It also says we achieved a 46% response which I would assume means of those consulted.
    Sounds very much like you are making excuses.
    Yes they were interesting. A much bigger majority in favour of a work to rule than a strike.
    The EIS has also stated that further strike action may still be required if negotiations fail.
    However I am glad that they are choosing to hold talks rather than jump straight in with a strike. What hope of public support would there be if parents got wind of the fact that the union wouldn't even discuss the situation despite offers of talks by the Scottish Government.
    Of course the SSTA should be represented. All unions should be talking.
     

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