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Support Union Action??

Discussion in 'Serious' started by st00dent, 26 Sep 2012.

  1. st00dent

    st00dent Member

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    Hi Folks!

    For those unaware, the two big teaching unions have joined forces and we (teachers) have been asked by them to take part in "strike action" to make the government realise how much teachers already do above and beyond their remits and that Wilshaw's and Gove's comments and plans are poorly thought out and detrimental to the profession.

    Completely irrespective of whether you agree with the action or not (don't want this to turn into a slagging match), but what do you folks feel about taking action because your union believe its the right thing to do? Should I be supporting or should I be making up my own mind?

    I'm neither nor at the moment, I can't see how the action will help the cause, but if I don't support then how can I expect support from the union should I need it?

    Helpful advice on if I should/shouldn't support would be appreciated!

    Random flaming about how teachers are lazy/long holidays blah blah blah can go start their own threads...

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Fishlock

    Fishlock .o0o.

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    This.

    I don't know any teachers, nor do I know much about the profession, but I can fully appreciate that it must be a bloody hard job at times.

    Best of luck in tough times.
     
  3. Er-El

    Er-El Member

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    Damn! :(
     
  4. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    At the end of the day its your opinion.

    You can belong to a group or party and not believe in everything it says and does.
     
  5. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    Im a teacher too and I tend to stick with the unions, even if its something I dont necessarily support.

    The reason is that Unions are only ever as strong as how they act - if a union takes strike action and nobody strikes then the government will take no notice of what that union says.

    Our profession at the moment is coming under fire from the government, and the people - the problem with us striking is that it becomes inconvenient for parents, and parents would rather get paid that extra day (or not have to pay for child care) than support teachers working pay and conditions which are diminishing every day. Interestingly (and sadly) when you hear people talk about teachers strikes on the news, I never hear them talk about their child losing a days education, always them losing a days pay :(
     
  6. st00dent

    st00dent Member

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    I suppose, in a way supporting a union i may not support 100% is not different too different to voting...

    Bogo - what's morale like at your school? how do u guys feel about the action? our last union meeting was mixed apprehension and fence sitting until next weds...
     
  7. Carrie

    Carrie Well-Known Member

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    Sorry - double post
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2012
  8. Carrie

    Carrie Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting point you raise - if a union takes strike action and nobody strikes ... If no-one strikes then surely the union elite aren't representing their members' stance. So shouldn't this come under the auspices of a formal ballot where the majority of members, not voting %, are counted?

    Will strike action actually change anything? The plain fact is it can't because there simply isn't enough money to go around at the levels it used to.

    Unfortunately most professions these days are under attack and being put upon by one controlling body or another, be it government or private industry. And there is precious little that can truly be done about it. We are all paying the price of years of comparative "good times" and no amount of strike days will fundamentally change the course we're on. And the majority of us are on it together, paid up members or no.

    Edit: and I don't entirely agree with you as to why people have a problem with teachers striking in this climate. I think it goes much deeper to the level that they are suffering so why should [teachers/fill in any occupation you choose almost] be the exception?

    Should the OP strike? It should be a matter for his own conscience, whether to stand up for his own opinions or not, regardless of the fact that I believe no actual change in path can be achieved.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2012
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  9. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    Morale is poor - the problem we have is that being an outstanding in all categories school, which we work hard to be, and then told by the government that teachers don't work hard enough, is fundamentally demoralizing. With Gove saying exams are a race to the bottom which is why results are going up, he is really saying that teaching has gotten no better since OLevels, its just that the exams get easier. I did a hell of a lot less work for my exams than my kids do now, for the same result - and im not gifted or anything, just a bit clever.

    Whilst I realize that many industries are suffering as a result of the recession and financial problems, I don't recall the last time someone was on the national news, who represented the agency responsible for maintaining standards in that industry, and basically saying they are not working hard enough. I know he wasn't saying we are all not working hard enough but the sentiment is there.

    The problem with teaching and gaining any support though is the distinct lack of understanding that people have of what we do. In term time I might often work 4-5 extra hours a day, and sometimes weekends (occasionally whole weekends unpaid if I am taking kids on a DofE weekend). Whilst we have holidays which are awesome in length, I have a hard time convincing my non-teacher friends to go on holiday with me in them as its much more expensive. So I have 6 weeks to play computer games and plan for next year, boring after the first week I can assure you. The public dont understand the training courses many teachers go on in the holidays- which while we don't get paid for, sometimes do get paid for us by charitable organisations intent upon boosting teachers professional development. Finally, and this is the hardest part, is that teachers have invested emotion in children whose life are sometimes in turmoil, and we see vulnerable people struggle to even get an education- at the end of the day my computer programmer housemate can switch off about work, but that isnt always something you can just put aside.

    Education is, in my opinion, the most important factor in allowing someone to succeed at life, and I do not mean succeed as in have stacks of cash, but provide them with skills to make the best of what they have and be a good member of society. This is not recognized well enough, and the people that provide it are not even treated particularly well by the government that employs them. The people that built the roads the companies run on, the doctors that heal the people who work in business, the teachers that train people how to work in industry, the people who ensure that as many people as possible have a roof to sleep under are the people being attacked over and over in terms of pay and in terms of conditions, and them lambasted in the press when we stand up and fight it. This is why we strike.

    My last point. I had to pay £3000 of my own money last year to do my Masters in Education because the government turned me down for funding, the school couldn't afford to, and tuition fees at Universities had gone up to £3000. Teaching has no perks for additional qualifications, and I wont even start on it costing £9000 to train to be a teacher.

    P.S. Im not complaining about the job, I love the job - I just don't like the politics that is played off our backs.
     
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  10. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    I'm a teacher (and union rep for my school) - I'm of the opinion that you can make up your own mind about how you whether you want to support the action or not, however many of my colleagues will show solidarity regardless. I rarely find myself not agreeing with union policies but as a member of the NUT I feel like I have a say in creating them, more so than with the NASUWT.

    This action is actually 'Action Short of Strike' which means that it won't result in any loss of pay etc - it's actually meant to tackle workload issues that can cause untold stress on teachers. The list of actions would actually be irrelevant in a 'perfect' school - things like not being required to submit all your lesson plans to senior management for the week on a Monday morning so they can scrutinise them or not being observed and graded (i.e. told how to teach) by unqualified teachers.
     
  11. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    I find that an odd interpration. Exams getting easier does not equate to teachers working less or putting in less effort imo.
     
  12. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    More about quality than effort- they don't recognize that the raise in attainment is in part due to better quality in teaching, they think its down to easier exams.

    Teachers who work less, i.e. dont mark books or plan properly, are likely to get poor results as they arent using the educational research properly, or teaching properly - reading and copying out of a textbook is so 1970 :)
     

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