Teacher's strike - small question...

(80 Posts)
MerryMarigold Mon 07-Oct-13 14:54:49

Don't want to get into ins and outs (I agree with it).

Just wondering why we have had letters home from both my kids' schools saying there will probably be a strike on the 17th, but they don't know which classes will be open or not. It sounds like some classes will be open and some closed depending on whether the teacher is striking or not. Do the head teachers not know what unions their teachers are affiliated to? Are the teachers involved just letting the schools know that week or when?

Just wanting to plan really and wondering why the schools don't appear to know what's happening.

juniper9 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:20:22

I firmly believe in unions being about unity. That's why I'm in NASUWT- they support unions and union workers world wide, for example in Bahrain, Columbia, Iran and Burma. Lots of these workers die, are tortured, or imprisoned simply for being part of a union.

Listening to the teachers from the Bahrain Teachers' Association talk at this year's conference was humbling. It does put out plight in perspective...

Incidentally, if you want to read their International Solidarity magazine (someone might!) then it's available online here

Littlefish Thu 10-Oct-13 07:05:19

I agree with both Merry and Juniper. Thank you for your support Merry.

gottasmile Thu 10-Oct-13 07:13:44

I have 1 in school and 1 out. Our school let us know last week so we could plan child care.

meditrina Thu 10-Oct-13 07:14:51

I know there is no legal obligation to inform of strike intentions.

But as teachers want support (for aims and for the strikes) they are scoring a totally unnecessary own goal by not giving parents adequate notice. Yes, parents have to make ad hoc emergency arrangements when there is eg illness. But this needn't be short notice.

englishteacher78 Thu 10-Oct-13 07:28:35

Indeed which is why our union rep asked us our intentions two weeks before the strike and informed the head. It turned out our biggest disruption was to registration which they did in the hall for the 7 forms concerned.
A friend's school only let her know 2 days before, so I ended up having a lovely, educational day with her two daughters.

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Oct-13 10:21:58

As predicted, I have 2 out and 1 in - although not actually the ones I thought would be in/ out. The 2 out are in YR so they're not that bothered (whole of Infant school is closed). The 1 going in, is in Y3 where the vast majority of school is closed. He is GUTTED! His teacher seems a real militant type. She's also a workaholic. Maybe she's a Gove supporter. Are there actually ANY teachers who are Gove supporter? Poor woman, I will be doubting her integrity for the rest of the year.

We got a letter from DS1's high school last week saying they were definitely going to be shut, and a letter yesterday saying that DS2's primary school is going to be shut too.

I'm all for it, even though I've had to take a day of annual leave.

Merry: she might just not be a union member, rather than a gove supporter!

I honestly can't imagine anyone involved in education who supports that fool.

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Oct-13 10:34:30

OK, I will give her the benefit of the doubt. I can't imagine her not being part of a union though...maybe she voted against the strike and so isn't striking. Ooooh, I'd love to ask! <nosy>

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 10:35:53

Some teachers are just broke Merry and cannot afford a day off. It doesn't mean they sleep with a picture of Gove under their pillow every night!

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Oct-13 10:37:54

grin. Yes, I think she got married over the summer so she may be broke. Her new dh may have something to say about the pillow picture!

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Oct-13 10:38:59

Another qu. Since the infant school is entirely shut, does this mean every teacher is striking or that a majority are striking and they don't want to open. I was wondering if any teachers did want to work, how that would be managed.

I really hope that both my dd's classes are shut. Save having to cart ds around after his op. A duvet day sounds lovely.

It's likely that the school will be shut to children, but any non-striking staff will be expected to be in work. It's not like they'll be struggling for stuff to do.

RustyBear Thu 10-Oct-13 12:00:57

Not all the teachers' unions are striking, so she may belong to one that isn't.

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Oct-13 12:02:15

Oh ok, thanks arbitrary, that makes sense. A day of catching up, brilliant!

juniper9 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:44:08

If the school is completely closed (as in locked up) then a non striking teacher has to report to the LEA and can be placed in another school for the day.

People don't strike for lots of reasons. ATL aren't on strike, so if she's in that union then that might be why. It could be personal choice re finances, or gove loving.

I don't know anyone who likes gove, but I know plenty of teachers who don't know the first thing about his policies and how they're going to affect us all. I find it strange that people have no interest in something so close to home.

chicaguapa Thu 10-Oct-13 13:54:18

I agree. I find it equally as strange that there are teachers prepared to lose a day's pay and don't fully understand what they're fighting for.

DD's secondary school is closed but the HT said parents struggling for childcare can still send their DC in for supervision but no learning or activies will be taking place.

DS's primary school is open. I don't know how I feel about the strike, but I did feel disappointed for those striking that no-one in DS's school is as it does undermine what the strikers are trying to achieve. Last time they just opened it for classes whose teachers were going to be in. So all the teachers must be in next Thursday for no class to be affected as other teachers/ TAs etc aren't allowed to cover.

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Oct-13 15:44:20

Wow, chica, that's odd. Seems like nearly all those round here are closed or v few classes open. I guess depends where you live. We are in East London.

chicaguapa Fri 11-Oct-13 07:15:37

It's a 2 form entry school too so that's 14 teachers all not striking, confirmed by DS's teacher. She's in ATL anyway, so can't strike, but apparently she joined them because they're not strikey. Tbh DH's thinking of jumping ship and joining ATL too for the same reason.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 07:18:24

I know many teachers are disheartened by the attitude of press and some parents towards the strikes. When we just get called lazy and people ignore the genuine issues within education, it's a difficult decision to make.
For example, I'm amazed at the number of people on here who are unaware that free schools don't have to hire qualified staff.

Jaynebxl Fri 11-Oct-13 07:25:40

Totally agree English. The strikes aren't all about teachers' pay and pensions but also aboit the terrible changes in education so it annoys me when people just think teachers are being selfish.

mrz Fri 11-Oct-13 07:38:39

chicaguapa I'm a member of ATL and was on strike last year so jumping ship because they aren't strikey may be a mistake. (Last year the NASUWT didn't support the strike alongside the NUT & ATL this year the role has reversed)

mrz Fri 11-Oct-13 07:55:44

I think the fact that traditionally non strikey unions like ATL & NAHT took action says a great deal about the situation

Retropear Fri 11-Oct-13 09:23:41

We've been told which classes will be open and which not.

So I have 2 off and 1 in within the same school.

The one going in is understandably livid but that's tough.

However after having told her it's a school day so she's going in she came home saying several kids told the teacher they were having the day off as siblings were and the teacher said that's fine.

Several parents are a bit hmm as they're basically being punished for doing the right thing and you try and teach them how important it is to go in every day even when under the weather(not always easy)Will we get fined if we keep them off too as sending them in now seems unfair and rather pointless?

Was a tad unfortunate as the letter we had from school saying they were striking to save the UK system as it's the best in the world was the day we got the news re how low we come in world rankings in the same term we've had letters saying absolutely no days off will be authorised. Soooo I feel it's a tad hypocritical and sending out very mixed messages to kids.

Having said that I disagree with it for a whole host of other reasons too.

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