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What happens if my union strikes but I don't?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by fkneg1, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. I'm an NQT and have joined a union but don't feel that strike action is really ever the right way of getting a change to happen. What happens if my union strikes and I don't?
  2. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Nothing. You go to work and get paid - assuming your school opens.Your striking colleagues don't.
    Did you not research the different professional associations' stance on striking before joining, as you are opposed to strike action on principle?
  3. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    You can go to work as normal and enjoy any longer term benefits your colleagues' action leads to, you could also donate your day's pay to a teachers' benevolent fund but not lose a day's pension and NI contribution.
    You might spend part of the day reflecting on the democratic principle of majority decisions ......
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Nothing, except that the more pro-strike posters here will give you a hard time.

    You could leave your union and join Voice, which won't be striking.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    When I was 'young and innocent' , I too queried the efficacy of strike action, especially when it affects innocents, but experience has changed my mind.
    You might not feel personally that striking is the correct course of action, but you are part of a community, your school and your union. If democratically they decide on a course of action, you need to think about how you can best support them, in this case by joining in with their strike.(You will benfit in the future by any changes after all.)We are fotunate to ive in a country which lets us 'query the status quo' without worry of being put in prison or even be put to death, so be grateful we live in a democracy, evn if sometimes we might not like the results of the decision of the many!
    If however you decide NOT to strike, as someone else suggested you could donate your day's pay to a teachers' benevolent fund and seriously look at the different unions and find one which doesn't strike.

  6. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    So far I've been pretty restrained in terms of saying what I think of the OP.
    Of course, it's entirely possible that the OP will get a hard time at school too.
    I can't understand why s/he didn't do that in the first place.

  7. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Will those on strike do that I wonder?
  8. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    we already will have...
    surely if you join a teaching union in the current climate, you KNOW there are likely to be strikes?
  9. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    and . . . . ?
  10. miss may

    miss may New commenter

    I joined ATL specifically because they didn't strike - look where that got me!!

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    I guess that tells you something about the seriousness of the issues!
  12. OP, is it the issue re pensions to which you object, in that the changes proposed are something with which you are happy or is it the action of striking?
    If it is the action of striking then you should consider all that has gone before reaching this point and that for many this is seen as the last resort action for their voice to be heard and to protect something which was assured to them at the start of their teaching career. As another poster said it is about supporting the community of which you are a part. Sure, you can tell your colleagues that you feel uneasy with strike action - as many do - and that you'd have preferred a different approach, but if you do take that line I think you will need to offer some viable alternatives that could have the effect a strike may have.
    Believing in your principles is a fine quality, being prepared to stand up and be counted is another, but perhaps this is one of those occassions where you may find that standing alongside your colleagues is an ultimate gift you can make and I'm sure if they understand your depth of feeling over striking they will indeed respect you for giving them their support.
    A difficult choice for you perhaps and gathering a range of perspectives will no doubt help you arrive at your decision as to what you will do.[​IMG]

  13. Strikes rarely happen and when they do , they are a last resort. It is not a decision made by Unions lightly. Please think carefully, you will lose a a days pay but will be making a point. The Miners went out on strike in the 1980's and suffered far greater hardship during that time than we will by losing a day's pay. I lived in a mining town during that time and there were frequent house to house collections for spare food to make up food parcels for striking miners famillies. I hold my hat to them when I think back. What back bone they must have had to stick it out for what they believed in. The strike is about things like additonal pension contributions and working longer. Both of these things will have a long term impact on our own futures. The additional contributions won't mean more pension for us but go towards paying off debt which we are not responsible for. If you imagine a single teacher paying another 3 % (well almost) of their pay, a couple will pay an additional 6%. This could mean another £160 which could tip the family budget over the edge. I am sure others will have more accurate figures.
    As for not thinking strike action helps, I know of schools which teachers have gone on strike to support a fellow teachers. You may one day need the support of those you work with.
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Or perhaps be prepared to stand up and be counted as one of the many who do not support strike action (Or possibly not have a problem with the issue either) and refuse to go along with it just because the union says so? Your colleagues, I would hope, will respect you for making your own decision whether or not it is the same as theirs.

    Just do what you believe to be right and ignore any pressure to do something different.
  15. lightningconductor

    lightningconductor New commenter

    Such as the 'majority' decision that resulted in a change of government to one that wishes to make 'unfavourable' changes to public sector pensions?
    In case you weren't aware, the Conservatives got 36.1% of the votes cast in the 2010 general election while Labour achieved 29%, the LibDems 23% and the 'others' 11.9%. Therefore the coalition govenment that was formed represents a majority of the people who voted.
    You may not agree with the formation of the coalition and say that neither the Conservative voters nor the LibDem voters elected this govenment as it stands, but it was formed as a result of our 'democratic' system where there is a choice of more than two options.
    As far as the forthcoming NASUWT strike ballot is concerned, I hope that 100% of members vote so that we can see exactly what percentage of teachers in that union actually want to strike over this set of issues. That never seems to be the case, though: apparently many teachers never express their opinions. This was in the Telegraph on the 14th June this year (referring to ATL):

    The union, which has never taken national strike action before in its 127-year
    history, said that 78,342 members were eligible to vote in the ballot.

    Of the 27,563 who voted (35 per cent), 83 per cent - 22,840 - voted to strike
    and 4,653 voted against.

    Officials said that of teachers and lecturers working in state-funded schools
    and colleges, 62,369 were balloted.

    More than a third (36 per cent or 22,230) voted and of those 18,396 (83 per
    cent) voted to strike, and 3,785 voted against.

    Almost 16,000 teachers and lecturers working in independent schools and
    colleges were balloted. A third (5,333) voted and of those 4,444 (83 per
    cent) voted to strike, 868 voted against.

    Results from the NUT's ballot show that 92 per cent were in favour of strike

    Turnout was 40 per cent among state school members of the union and 27 per
    cent among private school members.

    So what of the 65% in ATL and approximately 60% in NUT who never voted? Were they in favour of strike action? We will never know. So is this truly a 'majority decision' when fewer than half of the union members eligible to vote actually did so? Surely, the majority, by definition, did NOT vote for strike action since they never voted at all.
  16. By the same definition though, most people didn't vote Tory in the last election. 35% didn't vote at all. While the system (of both the general election and the Union voting system) is as it is, both results stand as a majority.
    If you plan to abide by every decision of the democratically elected Government, then do so - and don't join a union whose very purpose is to challenge those decisions where its members deem it necessary.
  17. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    What are you on about?
    There wasn't a majority of union members who voted for strike action last time round. There is no way around that little fact. The government will make laws. A union doesn't. You cannot compare the two when it comes to abiding by the decision.
    Also, just because you might have been in a union that did decide to strike doesn't mean you have to. Why do people feel the need to force everyone into thinking the same way they do.

    As for the miners strike in the 80s. A lovely story was told a few posts up, but I ask you this. Did the strike actually help the miners in the long run?
  18. I didn't at all say you need to strike. What I said was, if you are against strikes per se, then you should join Voice. No problem at all with people not striking - as long as they aren't hoping to benefit from the strike action of others, and are actively seeking to belong to a non-striking union for their own professonal protection.
    The point about the lack of a clear majority I made was in response to the earlier poster who compared the lack of a majority of voters ticking the 'yes' box on the ballot paper, to the lack of a majority of voters in the election voting Tory. No clear majority in either case, yet the votes still provide a 'decision.
    I never mentioned the Miners' strike..
  19. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Strike action isn't the only reason you should join a union. There are other benefits being a member of the NUT.

    Somebody esle was talking about the mibners strike.
  20. Believing in the validity of strike action is rather a fundamental aspect of belonging to most unions, and certainly of belonging to a vigorously campaigning union such as the NUT. Voice will offer all the benefits you need for your professional protection, should you need it, without requiring you to strike - ever. That is why those who are against strike action - under any circumstances - should join them.


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