Thursday, April 24, 2008

In or Out?

Today was the first nationwide strike by teachers since the 1980s. During those strikes, I was on the receiving end as a student. This time, I was at the sharp end, but although people who know me well know I have socialist leanings (much to A's horror - how Social Girl ended up marrying Tory Boy baffles both of us at times) I wasn't on strike. Much as I am an admirer of the Trade Union system, I decided a long time ago that I didn't agree with teaching strikes and this influenced my choice of union when I joined the profession.

Part of me feels uncomfortable about this now though. After all, if the action is successful, I will benefit. But (whisper it quietly) I don't think the wage is that bad. I do agree there does need to be some consistancy on which index the profession uses to decide on inflation and it's obvious that pay rises should be in line with inflation. I also think if we want quality in the profession, we do need to be able to compete with other industry sectors to attract good candidates. But on balance, I made my choice on this issue over 12 years ago and I will stick to it. I support my colleagues in their action and made use of today, when the school was closed to pupils, to review whole school assessment data and try to pull together identification criteria for Gifted and Talented pupils. At least one good thing has come of this strike, after all.

1 comment:

Mrs T said...

I felt similar last time Unison went on strike. Crossing a picket line for me is a similar crime to eating my own child, but I didn't agree with the strike.

It turned out I had a half day tutorial in Reading for the degree course I was doing, so went on strike just for the morning. How's that for a compromise :-)