Fair Pay For Teachers! All Out! All Out!
I’m sure readers will forgive the hyperbole in my title, but I think something like it had to be written to reflect the ever increasing urgency and dire predictions of BBC headlines as the NUT strike approached. Originally, it was some 1,200 schools across 58 local authorities were to be affected. Then it went up to around 4,000; then six thousand, finally eight thousand schools are closed or partially closed.
I’ll be popping up to Medway or Sittingbourne to support the NUT rallies there, haven’t decided which yet. Medway is where I teach but Sittingbourne is closer and cheaper to get to. What’s reassuring either way is that support for the strike appears to be strong across the public sector. I’ve had several UCU and PCS members say to me that they’re really relieved we’re out on strike.
For the government, it’s a bloody miracle that NASUWT didn’t come out on strike as well. The National Association of Schoomasters and Union of Women Teachers seem to have several members, even in the South East, who think that their union should have come out alongside the NUT. Still, the closure of over 8,000 schools (probably more, in the other local authorities that haven’t been sampled) represents a strong move by the NUT.
Naturally, of course, the government has been taking its usual strike-breaking line. Parents will be “frustrated and inconvenienced” by the strike, said Jim Knight. “Oh noez! Think of the children!!!!111″ said Ed Balls. They even pushed that reactionary bugger Ivan Ould out on to centre stage to scaremonger about exam classes suffering. These people are unbelievable.
Literally thousands of teachers up and down the country run exam revision classes outside of school hours – both after school and during the holidays. Do they get paid for it? No, most of them don’t. So Mr Ould and the rest of his motley “Employers Association” should piss right off. One day of strikes measured against the many, many days which teachers spend tutoring out of school hours for no pay?
Evidently plenty of teachers agree, since the NUT has received many new phone calls from teachers trying to join up.