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General Chat Thread, Strike Day in General; Originally Posted by sparkeh Urgh, I hate this moronic argument. There are lots of reasons why this is a stupid ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Urgh, I hate this moronic argument.
    There are lots of reasons why this is a stupid thing to say, not least that its not the school/teaachers fining parents and the money doesn't actually go to the school.
    It means they've missed the whole point of a strike, too. If strikes didn't inconvenience people, they wouldn't be an effective form of protest. The point is to draw attention to the problem, if the strikes could be easily ignored there would be no point in doing them.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Ok I'll say it, I agree with the teachers' grievances.
    They are overworked, over scrutinised and under valued by our society.

    What I find really sad is when a group of people look at another group and say 'Well they have it better than us so they should put up with it' when we should be saying 'They have it better than us so we should strive to improve our own conditions'. But no, the majority sit on the sidelines and snipe. This is exactly what the Government want, us to turn on each other while they drive through their own agenda of swinging cuts and changes with no one group with enough support to stand up to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Ok I'll say it, I agree with the teachers' grievances.
    They are overworked, over scrutinised and under valued by our society.

    What I find really sad is when a group of people look at another group and say 'Well they have it better than us so they should put up with it' when we should be saying 'They have it better than us so we should strive to improve our own conditions'. But no, the majority sit on the sidelines and snipe. This is exactly what the Government want, us to turn on each other while they drive through their own agenda of swinging cuts and changes with no one group with enough support to stand up to them.
    I've seen a few teaching staff in tears over the stresses of the job, I don't envy them. You're right about this government turning people against each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kernewek-sam View Post
    You're right about this government turning people against each other.
    Cameron's big society at work I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    What I find really sad is when a group of people look at another group and say 'Well they have it better than us so they should put up with it' when we should be saying 'They have it better than us so we should strive to improve our own conditions'. But no, the majority sit on the sidelines and snipe. This is exactly what the Government want, us to turn on each other while they drive through their own agenda of swinging cuts and changes with no one group with enough support to stand up to them.
    Since I got more involved in politics over the past few years I've always said it (earlier in this thread, and I'm positive I've said it in others, too) that that's half the problem.
    Specifically speaking, teachers jobs are dramatically changing. They are getting paid less, they are being told to do more, and now we're getting an entire new curriculum brought in with the addition of programming. And whilst I agree teachers ought to create their own lesson plans and mark work and such, I can't help but notice the amount of teachers that I can see are physically flustered, running about like headless chickens with too much to do. It's likely in some circumstances this is exacerbated by poor planning, but not all the time.
    I get here at 8 (ish), and there's already a fair few teachers in. I leave at 4:00 (ish) and I know for a fact a lot of them are still here, doing lesson prep, writing up reports on SIMS, covering detentions. Then after that, they take marking home and have to sit there and do that. I'd predict some staff are 'working' until 20:00 frequently, even if they're not 'at work'

    Then, when things get too much and they do stage a walkout, what happens? Joe and Jane Bloggs Public snipe at the teachers. From the petty "Don't they get paid enough already?", to the selfish "Great, now my boss isn't happy because I have to take a day off work to look after my child!". It becomes an 'Attack the strikers' mob, who pay zero attention to the reason behind the strike. They don't consider that the strike is because someone else is changing too much, or putting too much of a load on them. They attack the symptom, not the cause.

    Strikes are supposed to be disruptive. Especially when teachers or other interaction-based staff (Doctors/Nurses, etc) they have ripples that effect the entire society around them. And that is the point. So when you're having to tell your grumpy boss you won't be in because of the strike, spare a thought. Yes, this disruption is intentional. But not through malice or spite. Every worker has a right to withdraw their labour and I genuinely believe most teachers don't want to do this. They want to carry on teaching, but they feel that they can't under the conditions imposed on them. The point is, this is what would happen all the time if every teacher exercised that right permanently. And then you'd be in for a whole world of difficulty.
    (By 'you' I don't specifically mean anybody here. Just the general sense.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kernewek-sam View Post
    I've seen a few teaching staff in tears over the stresses of the job, I don't envy them. You're right about this government turning people against each other.
    I certainly don't envy them, either. I couldn't do what they do (partially because of the workload I hear about, and partially because I just don't think I have the training, nerve and psychological skills to deal with unruly children)

  7. 3 Thanks to Garacesh:

    difinity (27th March 2014), sparkeh (27th March 2014), StevieM (27th March 2014)

  8. #51
    zag
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    Been in this job 10 years now and seen many "strikes" over the years both with Conservative and Labour Governments.

    I still have no idea what the teachers actually want, or are trying to achieve!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
    My major problem with the strike is that the NUT are playing the "poor teachers" card. Underpaid, overworked and not respected.

    As a member of support staff in a school in the past I've also been underpaid, overworked and not even given token respect by teaching colleagues. If they think they have it bad, I wonder how they view TAs and the lower graded support staff?

    I'm lucky in my current school. I am paid well and respected, but we've all worked in schools where teaching staff have considered us to be something they've stepped in.
    To be fair, the the last time I was on strike with the NUT (November 2011) the focus wasn't just on teachers' pay and conditions but the whole of the public sector. We were joined by support staff from the likes of Unison who are facing many of the same issues, including pay, pensions and working conditions. This time it was just the NUT (as far as I'm aware) who are, as their name suggests, a union for teachers. Of course they will be pushing their own agenda. This doesn't mean that they don't think that others are being hard done by, too.

    While I appreciate your point that, in some schools, support staff may be looked down on by some teachers as second-class (or even lower) citizens, the same can apply to teaching staff by heads and SMTs. Over the years, I have been employed as a care assistant in a special needs school, a teaching assistant, a full-time class teacher and supply teacher in primary schools, an education support assistant and a lecturer in FE before my current role as ICT technician. I can honestly say, the ONLY time I have ever been treated badly was when I was a full-time class teacher.

  10. Thanks to StevieM from:

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  11. #53
    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieM View Post
    To be fair, the the last time I was on strike with the NUT (November 2011) the focus wasn't just on teachers' pay and conditions but the whole of the public sector. We were joined by support staff from the likes of Unison who are facing many of the same issues, including pay, pensions and working conditions.
    Just out of interest, did the last strike achieve your aims?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey-gear View Post
    Cameron's big society at work I guess.
    Don't kid yourself. This was happening when Labour were in power, too.

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  14. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Just out of interest, did the last strike achieve your aims?
    Unfortunately not. If they had, you'd know because you would be reaping the benefits too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieM View Post
    Unfortunately not. If they had, you'd know because you would be reaping the benefits too.
    We would? what benefits is this?
    Better pay? Better respect? Better treatment?

    Not asking that in the mean way but when ever some one says we too would get benefits I always ask, what benefits exactly. Worked in Education a long time at different Schools and the same problems have always existed its just a question of how severe and those problems have had little to do with the Government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    Same, Facebook is having a field day though with Teachers posting all day about how hard their job is etc etc etc (at previous job).

    There are times when I want to at the end of the day post something but I am holding back.
    Why hold back, go nuts and explain your view!

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    zag
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    I don't really believe in strikes.. I believe that if you are good enough at something you will be rewarded.

    Trying to improve things on mass, with no regard for quality of work seems strange to me.

    At the end of the day, if teachers don't like their pay and conditions, then they can move into private sector teaching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    We would? what benefits is this?
    Better pay? Better respect? Better treatment?

    Not asking that in the mean way but when ever some one says we too would get benefits I always ask, what benefits exactly. Worked in Education a long time at different Schools and the same problems have always existed its just a question of how severe and those problems have had little to do with the Government.
    Better pay? Yes! The indefinite 1% limit on pay increases (pay cuts in real terms) for public sector workers would have been removed.
    Better respect? Better treatment? Yes! From the powers-that-be, at least. For example, we wouldn't be having our pension funds reduced while our contributions are being increased. Nor would we have to work until we are 68 in order to qualify for this reduced pension.

    These are the issues that we (all unions involved) were striking about. Problems that occur at school level should be taken up with the head, SMT and governors - with the involvement of unions if necessary, but are rarely causes for strike action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I don't really believe in strikes.
    Nor do I, in general, which is why I moved from the NUT to Voice - a union that doesn't strike. However, I DO believe in a person's RIGHT to strike.

    I believe that if you are good enough at something you will be rewarded.
    If only this were true, then no-one on this forum would ever need complain about being disrespected, undervalued, etc. again. Unless, of course, we're all rubbish at our jobs.*

    Trying to improve things on mass, with no regard for quality of work seems strange to me.
    Unless, of course, you are fighting against things that are being imposed upon you that you believe will actually reduce the quality of your work.

    At the end of the day, if teachers don't like their pay and conditions, then they can move into private sector teaching.
    As can technicians move into private sector teching.

    On a serious note, this is another area of concern for public sector educators. The move towards academies and free schools moves the focus away from providing quality education to making a profit for sponsors and investors.

    *This is NOT a dig at anyone who has ever posted on this forum about how they have been treated. Just in case anybody reads it the wrong way.

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