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what about working to contract forever? perhaps,perhaps, perhaps

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by teachingforages, May 5, 2012.

  1. Possible future? Maybe the work to contract will take time to have an effect, and teachers in the meantime get used to the bliss of only 35 hours a week. Even now, before it's begun, I'm so looking foward to it and I'm wondering if I would like to stay on it forever. With the miserable situation we are all in, I can see a slow but steady gathering of numbers of teachers joining in, even to the extent the EIS joining in...........or it a pipedream?
  2. Possible future? Maybe the work to contract will take time to have an effect, and teachers in the meantime get used to the bliss of only 35 hours a week. Even now, before it's begun, I'm so looking foward to it and I'm wondering if I would like to stay on it forever. With the miserable situation we are all in, I can see a slow but steady gathering of numbers of teachers joining in, even to the extent the EIS joining in...........or it a pipedream?
  3. GuessWho

    GuessWho Occasional commenter

    As I see it there should be nothing to stop all teachers working to contract -unless certain colleagues have their eye on promotion and will jump through any management hoops in order to progress their careers.
  4. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    Can't see the EIS joining
    Can't see work to contract being successful
    NASUWT has been doing it forover 6 months - has anyone noticed? Even in English schools where there is much higher membership it hasn't made the media. Damp squib at best.
    Unfortunately striking (or the threat of) is the only way for teachers to get their grievances aired and cause any impact.

  5. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

  6. I suspect the teachers of the NASUWT have noticed. I for one, am going to enjoy the fewer hours, and with a smile on my face. The EIS don't have to join, its the teachers who can just chose to do it. Still I get your point, but we are all so miserable, and very few of us can afford the lack of pay a strike gets us. Things could gather momentum, and very slowly at first. If not, then at least I would have expressed how fed up I am with my pension being mucked about with.
  7. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    Let's not be kidded, the SSTA will not determine the outcome of the pensions issue, they are merely a side issue. They have already given up one of their negotiationg berths to the EIS on the committee negotiating with the Scottish government on pensions, because the EIS have the financial resources and lawyers required.
    I speak not as a great fan of the EIS, the actions taken last year by Smith et al were disgraceful, but quite simply I won't pay three or four quid a month extra for a union which like it or loath is mainly a sideline to the main event and has handed over negotiating power to one of its fellow trade unions. Despite the actions of the EIS, SSTA membership has only increased by about a thousand.
    Taking "industrial action" in the form of a work to contract is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. If teachers feel they are drowning in their workload they they should stick to their terms and conditions which state the job is a 35 hour a week contract anyway. You don't need a mandate from union leaders to do this.
    I also take issue with those who say they can't afford to strike and lose one day of pay:
    1st year of pension increases = three days pay lost
    2nd year of pension increases = another three days of pay lost
    3rd year of pension increases = another three days of pay lost
    Around a 5% pay cut by 2014 or the equivalent of working 205 days a year instead of 195. Working to contract is not going to change this. It won't inconvenience councils or the Scottish government, not a bit and these are people who need to be influenced. The CFE juggernaut will power on.
  8. I take issue with those who can't comprehend that losing a days pay can be the difference between being able to pay all the bills or not. Some of us are, for reasons you have no idea about, struggling to make the numbers work by the end of the month. Don't assume everyone is as settled with as much disposable income as yourself. I can't actually afford to strike NOW.

    I've already given up one days pay for sod all difference. Tell me why I should give up more if the end result is that I will lose the pay NOW and ALSO the pension LATER? It's going to happen and there's no reason why it shouldn't. What makes us so special when everyone else is getting ripped off on pensions? Public support? What a laugh!!! Cloud cuckoo land. You'll never get support from the people whose pensions are already affected.

    A work to rule is no less effective than a strike, in my opinion, but it allows me to protest with the advantage that I don;t have to decide which bill not to pay this month.
  9. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Yes. This is the way I am looking at things. I wish more people would look at things like this and start coming into work happier and smiling.
    Good. This is the way the job should have been done, by everyone, since CfE started thundering down the tracks towards us.
    Maybe it is going to take a work to contract over pensions to force/encourage people to start seeing the job for what it really is; a job where we are contracted to work 35hrs.
    I have at times been guilty of working silly hours to try and get things done. By and large this was because I was on supply and shunted into a timetable where for various reasons I had to cover an enormous amount of ground in a short space of time. I felt a positive job reference depended on this effort. In those situations it was a case of rise to the challenge of the additional workload or forget about a career in teaching. But for people who have been doing the job for years, with a relative amount of continuity and the ability to pace themselves, then is there any need to raise the bar so high (for all of us) by putting in way over the contracted hours?
  10. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    News to me. I think you should check your sources there. We are certainly far from convinced that these talks will actually result in any benefit to teachers. See above re Scotland's teachers having to meet the cost of any improverment in pensions. Letters exchanged between messers Swinnie and Alexander make that abundantly clear.
    Er ... Yes you do. If it is in pursuit of an industrial action.Check your facts again.
    Totally agree but the reality is that teachers are under fiancial pressure and, for most, the pension is a long way off. Strike action needs to be kept until it can be used most effectively.

  11. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    I genuinely feel sorry for your predicament if things are tight. But if you're asked to strike in the autumn will you do it? Because it's coming and teachers of all unions will need to show some resistance and togetherness.
    Don't assume that I have an abundance of disposable income either. The difference is that I am prepared to take industrial action that may have some meaning. As I have said earlier our job specification is 35 hours a week, I don't consider it to be industrial action sticking to what we should be doing anyway. The NASUWT have been doing it for 6 months - has it made a difference - of course not.
    Typical SSTA leadership stance, they don't want to strike so they take the soft option. They only did it in November (and at the very last minute) because all the other public sector unions were out. Let other unions do the donkey work.
    Not asking for special treatment for our pension, just fairness. The cap and share deal of the pensions review from 2006 stated that if the cost of teachers pensions increased, we would meet this cost. This argument has never been presented, nor have figures been published. Basically a tax on the public sector to pay for the City of London's recklessness.

  12. Absolutely. I have been working to contract since August, when I decided in my own best interests not to work for free anymore.
    I thought, look, CG, the fact is, you are giving every hour you work beyond 35 hours to your employer free of charge. How utterly unprofessional is that, to work for nothing? Isn't your "free" time precious to you, if to no-one else?
    So I scaled back gradually rather than going cold-turkey on those nasty 50+ hours a week. I eventually made a couple of common-sense rules for myself, such as, leave it all behind at 4pm whether or not the work is "done" (since when is a teacher's work ever done? If you stay until it's all "done", you'll end up living in school) and take as little as possible home on weekends. Believe it or not, these things can be done, with a little rearranging of personal and professional priorities, without affecting the quality of your teaching or the kids' learning.
    Who's noticed the difference? Probably no-one but me. And I now have a life outside of my job. So all the politics of working to contract aside---if your workload is getting you down, work to contract for the sake of your own mental health.
  13. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    More drivel, informed only by your own prejudice. A decision was made to take action along with the other teaching unions. I don't see how that can be defined as letting
    As with many of your ilk in the EIS, you'll never let the facts get in the way of your ignorance and prejudice. Just as well that the majority of EIS members are more fair minded. They might just see the sense of a long term industrial action including work to contract and occasional strike action.

  14. Are you sure you have lost 10% of your pension?
    If I retired this year my pension would not be calculated on my £34,200 salary but on £37,080 as that is what the average of the best 3 years out of the last 10 would be.
  15. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    What's prejudice got to do with it? I work and get along fine with many SSTA members and there are no issues. If people want to join the SSTA that's their call, we live in a democracy after all.
    The SSTA is a union that historically doesn't like taking strike
    action. I was involved with the EIS for a considerable time and am well aware of those who
    left the
    EIS, joined the SSTA during a period of industrial action to
    avoid striking, then
    returned to the EIS when a pay rise was secured.
    You can't deny it was very much a last minute decision to take strike action back in November by the SSTA. I think they were secretly hoping it would be called off.
    I chose to stay in the EIS after the sell out, simply because it's £50 a year cheaper than the SSTA, and I had came to the conclusion that although all unions were pretty much useless the EIS was still the best chance of fighting the pension issue.The fact that the SSTA has given up representation in negotiations in favour of the EIS backs up my point.
    If SSTA members are happy with a work to contract to fight against pension changes, then that's their prerogative. In my view a work to contract is not real industrial action. If I worked in Tesco on a 35 hour a week contract but decided this week that I am going only to do my 35 hours, what difference does this make to Tesco's profits?

  16. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    But everyone did it would it not have some impact?
    If you normally put in a 70hr week then they would have been getting 2 employees for the price of one.
  17. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    More drivel. When I started as a student teacher, the schools I was on placement in were closed because of strike action by the EIS AND SSTA. The action was organised such that one union went out on particular days and t'other on other days.
    Both unions took action in the 1980s during the Clegg campaign. There's been no industrial action since. Jeez, to hear some EIS members talk, you's think they were the shock troops of the working class. Horny handed sons of labour etc etc. We're teachers ***! All teachers are reluctant strikers at the best of times.
    Maybe so, They could equally have stayed in the EIS and not struck as many did, One swallow doth not a summer make nor one scab a scab union. Lots of EIS members (and many SSTA for all I know) did not take action in November. I criticise the scabs not the union.
    It was indeed last minute. The meeting of SSTA Council took place in early October and AT THAT STAGE, there was still some reason to believe that further changes might take place in the negotiations in London. They did not happen. Personally, I'd have preferred an earlier decision but the important point is that we had enough time to organise a ballot and take action along with our NASUWT and EIS colleagues.
    I think that point has been answered above.
  18. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    Disagree totally. There was absolutely no reason to suspect, Cameron, Osborne and Alexander were going to back down.
    The SSTA hadn't even a mandate for strike action until ten days before the strike started to allow for the seven days notice required by law. They could quite easily have balloted members well in advance as all the other public sector unions had.
    This was either incompetence or wait to see if we really have to go on strike; after all all the schools were going to be closed once the EIS was going out.
    We'll see what the SSTA stance is the next time strikes are called. I fear this is the only action we have left.
  19. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I may be entirely wrong but is there not a significant financial outlay involved in balloting? If there is, then I can see why a smaller Union (in terms of member numbers) might wait and ensure any expense is going to be worthwhile.
  20. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Established commenter

    Fair comment, ballots can only be done over the post
    Although the same outlay would be required on balloting on a work to contract. I'm glad my union didn't spend my contributions on something totally pointless.


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