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to strike or not

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by ScotSEN, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    I was all for striking but since our LA decided almst immediately to close all schools anyway I'm wondering what the impact of me staying at home will be.
    Part of me wants to strike and join in the local rally and the other part thinks maybe it would be better to wait and strike if/when we go to rolling strikes.
    The feeling I'm getting is that most of the staff in my school will be in. Although no one is putting any pressure on me either way i know that if I don't go in there will be a staff meeting and decisions take re a number of issues that I'd like to have input to......
  2. Can you imagine the media spin if we all decided to treat the 30th like an in-service day?
    It's already a given that we'll have the poor single mother forced to lose wages so that these high paid teachers can keep a pension that she can only dream about paraded out on the National News buletins.
    But can you imagine parents' reaction if they discover that schools were adequately staffed but shut to pupils?
    If you oppose the pension changes and you are in a union that has called for a strike through a democratic ballot then you have to strike.
  3. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Yes... let's just elucidate the situation for the politically naive. If you are the member of a union that has voted to strike then strike you should. This isn't some Bridget Jones's diary "Ho hum, what cardigan shall I wear kind of choice" nor should it be some test of your work ethic. Striking is a democratic right and at the moment it is most possible and powerful in the public sector.
    If you cannot stand beside your colleagues, dinner ladies, office staff and not only make a stand for the financial changes to our working conditions but also to reinforce the relevance of union action, then shame on you.
  4. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    Thanks for the response.
    I'm certainly not treating this a Bridget Jones diary choice. I am more likely to strike than not but the speed with which the authority decided to close schools seemed indecently quick - - no doubt calculating how much they will save by not having to pay us! I am too young to remember the exact details of the strikes in the 70's and 80's(from a teachers point of view) but I'm sure that not all schools closed in this way.
    I would really like not to be a minority of one or two! Despite that fact that I know many of my non teaching colleagues have had support from their union recently none of them appear to be striking. Their lack of support at an EIS march and rally which was organised to demonstate teachers' support towards the support staff in schools and to oppose local authority cuts was disappointing to say the least. Despite working in a school with more supprt staff than teachers only the HT and myself turned up. I also know that it had been noted before the blanket closure that if I went on strike then it wouldn't matter what they did as the class couldn't run if i wasn't there!
  5. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Same LA as you and I know what you are saying,we actually all said that we should all turn up at work on Wednesday when we got the email ! However,all LAs have made the same decision now,so everyone else is the same situation.
    The thing is,that both unions and government will keep an eye on the numbers of people who are declared as strikers. If people who voted for strike are turning up at school,they will be counted as non strikers and the government will declare the strike a failure.
    It doesn't matter what others are doing,you do what you think is right.
  6. Strike. You sound like you want to and all the reasons not to sound like gentle pressure exerted to get you into the building. Of course, that's only my opinion...
  7. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    That should not happen. Have you spoken to union rep?
  8. Let's just calm it withe the rhetoric, MR! Whatever decision you make on Wednesday you should democratically be allowed to make with no repercussions. If you don't strike that's no excuse for bullying and similarly if you do strike you shouldn't be frozen out of crucial in-school decision making that day.
  9. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Non striking teachers should not be doing ANYTHING on the strike day which would normally be done by striking teachers. So the scenario you mention should not happen. Re the question whether to strike or not, here's what our local SSTA newsletter had to say ...

    A 50% increase in pensions?contributions by2015 with no satisfactory evidence produced that the actuarial needs of the scheme requires this. Why is the UK government NOT prepared to wait for a revaluation of the teachers?scheme?

    The change to a career average scheme. The government has not yet provided sufficient evidence that the mechanism proposed for ?inflation proofing? the value of a teacher?s pension will do so effectively and furthermore that it will not be subject to interference by future governments.

    Members are reminded that the present government promised to protect ?accrued pension rights? before the general
    election and then proceeded to change the current pension scheme by substituting CPI for RPI for the calculation of pensions. And that at the stroke of a pen.

    The new scheme will eventually require teachers to draw their teaching pension at the age of 65 or at the state pension age. This is likely to increase to 68 in the future. This last provision will almost certainly lead to higher mortality
    rates for teachers both in service and after attaining pensionable age.

    There may be those who say that they cannot afford to take strike action. Given the changes referred to
    above and their implications for individuals and the profession as a whole, is there a teacher who can NOT afford to take strike action?
  10. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Surely the LA deciding to close the school should not affect if people are paid or not. It's a case of those who declare they're striking won't be paid and those who don't will, no? When my HT said the school was closing I joked that I wished I'd said I wasn't striking as I'd still get paid. However, in reality I'm willing to lose the day's pay as a matter of principle in the hope there will be a decent record of how many of us actually did properly strike.
  11. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I don't think OP will be asked to any work that would be done by striking teachers but I get the feeling that whoever is in charge of her department (more like a part of a school) is considering that it will be business as usual and therefore,organising their usual meeting. This is putting pressure on OP as she gets the feeling she will be the only one striking.
    I'm not sure if my Faculty Head will be striking ,as she has not voluntered the info one way or another, but she has correctly cancelled our DM,therefore acknowledging that some of us might choose to not be there on Wednesday. In my book,this is the correct way to proceed.
  12. If you voted for strike action, I do think you should strike - otherwise you are expecting others to strike for you? I understand what you mean re meetings running without you etc, but I also think they shouldn't be running any meetings where all staff can't be present due to strike and you should perhaps take that up with management/ask for it to be postponed? Am a bit confused anyway - does this mean that school buildings are still going to be open for non-striking staff? If not all schools are open, does that mean non-striking staff will have to go to open ones? All a bit confusing!
  13. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    As I understand it not all schools will be open and yes striking stff do have to go to another school. All PPI schools will open so if all other local authority schools are closed then non striking staff should go to one of them.
    thanks for the comments. There are so few folk to talk to in my place to really talk with. There hasn't been much said about the strike today. I was a bit taken aback thought when some of my support staff asked what me what I wanted them to do when i wasn't there! 'what a shame you won't be in - it would be a good chance to get together and plan etc"
    I'm not sure if my line mnager is striking or not. But as far as I can make out it if they are it will be 2 of the oldest members of staff with least to loose strking while all the younder ones with most to loose will be at work!
  14. I really feel for you being put in this position, it's a lot easier to be striking in a school where pretty much everyone is, I would think it could be uncomfortable in the staffroom if there are only a few of you striking. I would still say go with your own feelings on this - it can't be held against you (legally) and I would be surprised if it was, given how many teachers are striking.
  15. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    I've pretty much made up my mind to strike.
    I'll talk to my line manager tomorrow about the work for the support staff.

  16. Presumably, then, PPI schools that are open could be picketed? not necessarily by teachers, of course, but by other council unions, for example? Would that be legal? Stilll trying to learn how striking works here, as it's quite different from what I'm used to.
  17. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    By the volume of contradictory posts on this forum recently, I don't think many of us natives are used to it either.
  18. [​IMG] So true, kibosh. Confusion abounds everywhere, along with disinformation and fear-mongering.
  19. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Those schools are still closed to pupils just like all the other schools. Most teachers,canteen staff,office staff and technicians will be striking,just like in any other schools. However,their door will be opened because the caretakers are working for a private company and they are not employed by the LA. They cannot strike as they are not in one of the local authority unions.
  20. But all schools can be picketed, can't they?

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