Friday, 18 April 2008


I am not going on strike. My union did not ballot its members as we have accepted the lower than inflation pay rise that the "independent" pay review body recommended. The NUT on the other hand rejected the proposal, balloted its members, received a majority response and are withdrawing their labour next Thursday. The issue is a bit less clear however. Firstly although 75% of people who responded voted to strike the turnout was just 32% so 68% did not vote. The leader that organised the vote has since passed away to confuse matters even more.

Some of my colleagues are in an awkward position as they don't support the strike and did not vote for it. Do you go on strike supporting the union or do you cross the picket line and be a "scab". It is a tricky decision but if I had had a vote I would have voted against a strike but if I lost I would strike. I rely on my colleagues to back me up (for instance if a kid attacked me and the school refuse to permanently exclude the kid then all the teachers would act together) so need to back them up if there was a fair and legal vote on the matter. Unions only benefit if they stand together.

In the school there are very few NUT members (the reason I did not join was it is always best to be in the biggest union in the school) so we are going to open but only teach Yr 7, 11,12 and 13. The head can't ask me (or anyone in a different union)to teach a lesson that should have been taken by a NUT due to union rules. Supply staff will be in short supply so the senior managers will need to teach the lessons which should be amusing to watch as they dust of their atrophying skills.

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