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(146 Posts)
jamdonut Thu 10-Jul-14 08:13:17

I am a TA.I am not striking today,because I don't believe it will achieve anything,although I do believe in the right to strike. But what really annoys me is the people on the news saying "why don't they strike in non- educational time?". Well....because then it wouldn't be a strike,would it? Strikes are meant to cause disruption so they are embarrassing to employers/government,precisely because it causes inconvenience to others,thus drawing attention to their cause.

Or am I being unreasonable?

Sirzy Thu 10-Jul-14 08:15:55

People making comments like that are just showing their ignorance about the idea of striking IMO.

Our bins aren't being collected today because of the strike - should they wait until Sunday when they don't work and 'strike' then?

Hopefully a strike of this scale does make government sit up and start to listen to the people they are supposed to represent.

callamia Thu 10-Jul-14 08:18:46

There are different ways to disrupt, but I'm not against striking per se. I assume teachers have gone through 'work to hours' and less disruptive methods before escalating? I don't have a school age child, so I don't know what procedures have been followed so far, but I work in HE, and our strikes affecting direct teaching occur after other methods fail. Striking is not usually a first base. You're not being unreasonable.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jul-14 08:21:06

To be honest I think a work to hours would have a much more disruptive effect on children's education than one day off.

If teachers said they were just working 8.30 - 4 then pretty quickly there would be no marking done, no lessons planned, no resources made etc etc.

creekyknees Thu 10-Jul-14 08:25:18

I dont understand why teachers do 1 day strikes when its pointless and achieves nothing.

They might as well strike for a week, at least Gove will have to take notice and not just irritated parents who have no power to change anything.

Binkyresurrected Thu 10-Jul-14 08:28:00

Maybe this will help to alleviate some of the annoyance.grin

JohnnyBarthes Thu 10-Jul-14 08:28:05

I don't imagine many people can afford to lose a week's pay, creeky.

noblegiraffe Thu 10-Jul-14 08:28:12

Teachers in the NASUWT have been working to rule for what, two years now?

Our contracts say we having to work as many hours as required to discharge our professional duties, so we can't just pitch up at 9 and leave at 3:30.

NotNewButNameChanged Thu 10-Jul-14 08:31:03

I'm with Sirzy on this. I think a sort of "working to rule" might be far more conducive to a result. No breakfast clubs, no after school clubs.

I DO believe there is an issue over working hours and conditions. However, I think they are on a hiding to nothing and being unreasonable regarding pensions. General Secretary of the NUT said "Expecting teachers to work until 68 for a pension will not only dismay teachers but also parents and pupils. Teaching... does require energy and fitness to cope with classrooms of 30 young children or teenagers."

LOTS of jobs require energy and fitness and now have pensionable ages of 68.

I'm afraid I also think the Govt may have a point on restricting strike action unless greater numbers back it. I don't believe a strike should be legal unless 50.1% or more of members vote for it. You have to assume that those that don't bother to vote don't back the action. Today's strike by the NUT is based on a second vote where 82.5% of members who bothered to vote voted to strike. But turnout was only 27%.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jul-14 08:33:06

LOTS of jobs require energy and fitness and now have pensionable ages of 68.

And two wrongs don't make a right. I fully support the rights of others to protest against expecting them to work until they are 68 too, can you picture many 68 year olds being fit enough to run around after 4 year olds or work as a fire man?

JohnnyBarthes Thu 10-Jul-14 08:38:16

I don't imagine many people can afford to lose a week's pay, creeky.

JohnnyBarthes Thu 10-Jul-14 08:38:17

I don't imagine many people can afford to lose a week's pay, creeky.

JohnnyBarthes Thu 10-Jul-14 08:38:41

Er, blush

NotNewButNameChanged Thu 10-Jul-14 08:40:37

Sirzy - what I meant was that they are on a hiding to nothing using that as the reason for not wanting their pensions changed because people will say precisely what I said as an argument against. The fact is a great number of us will now have to work until 68, possibly longer. So you have to be very clever in the arguments you use to gain support. Clearly, the public might find the idea of a fireman working until 68 possibly dangerous. But the public will probably not see any reason why a teacher can't work until 68 as they often equate it to a 'normal' office role.

Not saying it's right, just saying I think that was a foolish statement the Gen Sec made if they want to keep public support.

spiffysquiffyspiggy Thu 10-Jul-14 08:43:56

I wouldn't necessarily assume that those who didn't vote don't support the strike. I didn't vote, neither did my husband. That's because we were both so busy working in excess of our working hours (as usual) that we missed the deadline, same for many of my colleagues. We are both out today though.

MidniteScribbler Thu 10-Jul-14 08:49:28

Strict work to rule just isn't possible in teaching. You try standing up in front of 30 expectant faces and having nothing prepared. You might get away with it for a few hours, but after that it would be chaos. No teacher is going to not plan their lessons, regardless of any union action. It's just not possible.

NotNewButNameChanged Thu 10-Jul-14 08:52:09

Squiffy - just out of interest, how much notice did you get of the vote? I mean, did you have a week to get a ballot paper back? Three weeks?

Igggi Thu 10-Jul-14 08:54:05

Nope, can't assume not voting means a "no" vote. Could we try that with general elections, if you don't vote it means you really support...? We would have some different governments if that were the case!
Not my union but just to say best of luck to anyone striking today. Have cake for the picket lines.

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 10-Jul-14 09:05:43

I last went on strike in 1968 and decided never to strike again, it was simply counter-productive. I worked as a teacher until 65, but what exhausted me was not teaching the children, but the endless paper-work: assessment, collection of data, meetings, reports, all of which escalated out of all proportion to their usefulness, and were constantly changed before their possible effectiveness could be evaluated.

It would be far more effective to refuse to collect and forward all data, done out of teaching hours, thus attacking ill-thought out and unproductive government policy, instigated by both governments, but not harming children's education.

callamia Thu 10-Jul-14 09:10:13

There isn't a number of working hours prescribed in teaching contracts? You just work until it's all done? Who negotiates those contracts?

I know I work many hours more than my contract states, but I know I have the option of working to rule.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 10-Jul-14 09:22:46

There is a set number of hours directed time (1265 over 39 weeks I think) which is what teachers are paid for but that's for things like parents' evenings, meetings, INSET etc. You can opt out of any of those activities as part of working to rule once you've hit that time as part of working to rule.

Planning, preparation, sourcing resources, writing reports etc is not included in that and like noble says you would be expected to be fully prepared in order to teach your classes. And that normally comes out of the teacher's own time.

This is the action short of strike document from 2012, notsure if it is still current or has been updated.

AuntieStella Thu 10-Jul-14 09:28:14

OP: are you a member of a non-striking union? Or a union where there is a "conscience clause"?

Or have you decided as an individual to undermine collective action by ignoring your own union's strike?

spiffysquiffyspiggy Thu 10-Jul-14 09:34:17

I honestly don't know when the ballot paper was posted but it is still sitting in the pile of post by the front door that I haven't been able to go through. Good job all my bills are by direct debit!

To give you an idea of the extra work we have been doing- we have not had a single day we haven't worked for a month. before that we might have 1 day of the weekend that we got off. we are both supposed to work condensed hours-9 day fortnights. We have worked every non working day and weekend. We work after we put the children to bed. I gave up counting my flexi leave when I got to 3 weeks that I was never going to be able to take. That was 18 months ago before I got promoted to a job with even more responsibility and an awful lot of travel- which I do on top of my "normal" hours. We don't get overtime or the opportunity to take time of in lieu.

This job combines what used to be 3 jobs. Dh is doing 2 jobs.

Dd was admitted to hospital last week. I was sorting out my work from the hospital. Once she was back home and had gone to bed, I logged in and did some work.

The reason we do these stupid hours is because we have responsibility for delivering a particular service to the public and we take that responsibility seriously. If we don't do it, no-one else will and the people who will suffer are the vulnerable people we help. But we are at breaking point, I'm not sure that we can carry on much longer.

When dealing with all that, and 3 children, filling a ballot paper in was not top of my priorities. Especially when I knew it would be a vote in favour.

(not meant to be an aggressive answer, I think all the stress had just come out!)

jamdonut Thu 10-Jul-14 16:00:59

My ballot paper came about 2-3 weeks ago,but I didn't send it back.Only 3 TAs decided to strike so there was no real problem at our school. I really couldn't afford to lose a day's pay,and I just think parents don't get what the strike is about. All I know is I'd rather have a job,than lose it because the council WILL make cuts to give a bigger pay rise! 1% is better than nothing ,I suppose. hmm

ilovesooty Thu 10-Jul-14 16:36:59

jamdonut are you planning to resign from your union then?

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