Thanks Meditrina. I had some kind of idea that indie teachers were part of a separate union but not something I've ever given a great deal of thought to! I also have some kind of notion that indie school teachers are prevented from striking but hell knows where I'm getting this idea from!
It is indeed true that atl does not compel its members to strike. This is a clause that appeals to a lot of people. I believe that the situation may be difficult for teachers in independent schools as they are employed by the school not by the government. It will depend on what the union members in each particular school decide.
DS is worried becaue its his penultimate day at the school, and they are supposed to be going on a paintballing trip that day that they have all been looking forward to for ages If it gets cancelled there will be a lot of very disappointed children but hey ho - why would the strikesr give a hoot?
I'm a teacher at an independent school. My school is still debating the strike, but it's unlikely. However, most teachers are very passionate about this as the independent sector is under threat of losing the pension scheme altogether. The decision to strike is not taken lightly as we know the consequences for parents and students and do weigh the options quite heavily. If the pension scheme is cancelled for independent schools this will put at great risk teacher recruitment and retention and could ultimately lead to poorer overall education and school closures. We're aware of this very real threat. Teachers don't go into education for the amazing benefits and excellent pay (especially in the independent sector where wages are significantly lower than our state school counterparts), but many stay because of them - once they realise the job is so difficult no matter what kind of school you work in. I'm a member of the NUT and I am not compelled to strike. Unions, especially teacher unions, are aware of the implications and could never penalise a teacher for choosing to go to work that day - however, any teacher that does not at least do SOMETHING has no right to complain or rejoice at the outcome, whatever it may be! And Mrs Guy of Gisborne - if you feel that the teachers at your son's school "don't give a hoot" then I would consider changing schools. I haven't met a teacher who doesn't care about their students, independent or state.
I'm a parent at an independent school in absolute support of any action teachers take to protect their pensions. The teachers are terrific people, who I have effectively outsourced a massive part of my daughters upbringing to. They are lovely, dedicated people, and the thought of them watching their pension contract torn up in front of them makes me very sad.
Another mum has proposed a strike day party at her house. All the stay at home parents in the year are coming over with their kids, and all the parents who have to work are dropping their kids off with a couple of pounds to fund squash, sandwiches, craft materials, etc. It should be fun, if exhausting.