Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Millitant NUT leadership and it's selfish teacher strike

Before you criticise all teachers from the NUT(national Union of Teachers) , lets get one thing straight , the strike wasn't voted on in a democratic way . The strike was passed by a majority who were there to vote on the issue , but there was only one third of the people in the NUT vote. In other words a minority of a majority have voted for this strike -the rest are apathetic. This doesn't sound much like democracy at all . In fact it just seems a way the leadership led by trotskyist Christine Blower can force through its ludicrous strike. Lets not criticise all teachers either. After all the NUT represents only about 1/3 of teachers , the NASUWT and the ATL , the other Teacher's unions , know as the more moderate unions are not striking -as A -they think the public dont support it , and B -they dont see the point .

Then the reasons for the strike , teachers dont get enough pay. OK the pay is below inflation, but so is everyone's at the moment be it in the public or private sector due to the UK being in the economic downturn , at least unlike the police the government accepted the independent arbitration pay rise given to teachers of 2.5%. Where do you think the government is going to get the money from to pay for an above inflation pay rise ,people are already highly taxed so not much manouvre there , the national debt is way to high so they cant borrow to much , to spend for teachers to get an above inflation pay rise. Im sure any maths or economic's teacher could tell you this , the NUT leadership though it seems , thinks you can get pay rises in an economic downturn from thin air. Also what other job , guarantees you 14 weeks Holiday a year - not any job i can think of . As part of the public sector they get an extremely good pension deal - much better than their counterparts in the private sector. Another reason given for the strike is that teachers work incredibly hard. Ok yes it's true ,and it doesn't help the amount of bureaucratic measures from a centrally controlled National curriculum telling them what to teach .However at the end of the day , the government has increased regulations for nearly everyone bar bankers in the public and private sector in the last 10 years ,and all people who are working generally work hard - because if they didn't , they would get sacked -thus the argument that teachers work too hard is null and void. The teacher strike also handily doesn't mention that over the past fifteen years , they have been receiving above inflation pay.

Even if you agree teachers get a raw deal , i thought teacher's job was to help and teach children. This strike is at a time when students are coming up to GCSE'S , AS , and A-Levels , when they need all the teaching they can get , they can't afford a day off school right now. How can they still claim to be commited to childrens' education. It is not the children's fault for teacher's pay , or the amount they work , yet they are the one's who are getting punished and to me this seems incredibly unfair and detrimental to their education. It is expected 1/3 of schools across the country will be thrown into chaos by the teacher's strike , the chaos doesn't effect the government who they are trying to pressure , it effects students and children. This makes people across the country less likely to support the teacher's position. It's not often i agree with Ed Balls , the government's education secretary , but he got it correct when he said "I'm on the side of parents who will be disappointed if their children's education is disrupted on Thursday because we have decided to accept an independent pay review"

As the Daily Telegraph says "The only way that substantially more cash could be made available for teachers' salaries would be through the introduction of the sort of structural reforms that the NUT has consistently fought: cutting out expensive central and local government bureaucracy, and allowing schools to control funding and determine their own pay levels".

Here the times , have what the other teaching unions think of the NUT strike - not a lot really . John Dunford, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Lecturers, said: “I am disappointed that the NUT has voted in favour of strike action over a pay award that represents a good deal for teachers in the present climate.”
Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The majority of members recognise that, compared with other public sector workers, they have fared relatively well.” Maybe just maybe if you've not got the support of the general public or even a majority of teachers , you should realise the strike is pointless.

The acting secretary of the NUT said the strike is a last resort .All the above suggests it isn't , after all the other 2 unions , with teachers in the same boat , dont think that it has got to a position where they need to strike. The NUT leadership are known as the nutters , there latest action is living up to this name.

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