I’m a member of the NASUWT, one of 29 Trade Unions which will be on strike today, Wednesday 30th November 2011, in protest of the Government’s proposed changes to pensions.
Whilst teachers appear to be bearing the brunt of the bad press by a government hell-bent on squaring them up against parents through vilification and emotional blackmail, little is said about the many other areas of the Public Sector which will also be striking.
So why so much vitriol against teachers? Well that’s simple … they’re an easy target. How many members of the public will be inconvenienced because their bins will be emptied a day later or because their local municipal golf course will be closed and let’s be honest … we’d rather hope that the Tax Inspectors stay on strike!!
I don’t hear cries in the newspapers or on TV from Government ministers vilifying the school caretaker who will be on strike, nor the pensions officer nor the librarian. No, they focus on Education; persuade parents that everything is the teacher’s fault and swiftly shoulder the blame from themselves to teachers hoping for sympathy from inconvenienced parents.
Please be assured that your child’s education will not suffer from one day’s industrial action … I do not know a single teacher that does not work relentlessly to help, advise, mentor and counsel every one of their wards and has not done a lot of soul-searching before putting an “x” in the ballot box to vote for strike action. Many, like myself, are supply staff, whose pay and conditions have been drastically eroded along with their pensions and many, like me, because they are taking a day’s industrial action, are deemed to be breaking their contract and thus forfieting their employment entitlements as well as losing a day’s pay. With the schools closed, I couldn’t work supply today so I lose a day’s pay either way!
Please do not let the government undermine what the Public Sector are working to achieve by ostracising teaching staff for their actions. This is not a Teachers’ strike … it’s a Public Sector strike!
As the Guardian states ” About 2.6 million people were balloted – across the range of public sector posts from teachers to immigration officers and care workers – with an estimated 750,000 voting yes. It will be the biggest bout of industrial unrest since the 1979 winter of discontent.”
Feel free to argue that you disagree with all strike action, or that you disagree with everyone that is striking today and I respect your views but please don’t become a Government puppet and disagree with the strike just because you needed to make alternative child care arrangements for the care of your child … the truth of the matter is, you can’t object to a teacher taking the same industrial action as a greenkeeper or a librarian just because their actions do not inconvenience you.
Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia
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Cordelia @ Balkissock Lodge