Who is/isn't striking among the NUT members here?

(338 Posts)
lifeissweet Thu 03-Jul-14 18:51:27

Facing a dilemma. My beliefs about unions are based on the fact that united we have a voice. People fought to have the right to unionise. If a union calls a strike, then I believe all members have a responsibility to stand up together. Otherwise, we come across as divided, not united and it weakens us all.

Not for a long, long time has the teaching profession been under so much threat and we need to be united now more than at any time. Our terms and conditions are facing changes which will make teaching a far less stable and desirable profession (and not really a profession at all if unqualified teachers are allowed to take classes all over the place).

However, I am currently the only member of staff at my school who is prepared to strike on Thursday. Half of the other staff are NUT. Lots of the support staff are in striking unions, yet no one is striking (including the NUT rep). The Head has told me that if I strike I will be the only one and that he will have to close only my class that day and keep the rest of the school open, so everyone will know it is only me withdrawing my labour and am I 'prepared to take the flak for that?'

I'm not sure I am, but I believe really strongly in supporting the union. The thought of ignoring deeply held principles and breaking a strike sit uncomfortably with me.

My DS's school is closed on Thursday. Other local schools are too.

So is it just my school where there are no striking staff at all? And if you are NUT, why are you not striking? Is it just so as not to disrupt end of year activities, or because you think striking isn't helping? (I don't, incidentally, but will vote with my feet on that one and change unions when this is done.) How do you square that with yourself?

Not preaching. People have all manner of reasons for not striking. I just think I want to feel a bit less out on a limb!

rollonthesummer Thu 03-Jul-14 18:56:06

I am striking. About half of my school is and those classes will close-the others will remain open.

Some of our teachers aren't NUT and some are out on a residential. Most NUT members are out on strike.

Justtoobad Thu 03-Jul-14 19:31:07

I'm nasuwt, am not striking.

lifeissweet Thu 03-Jul-14 19:52:26

Yes. I just meant among the NUT members. I was really shocked when I was told that out of 10 NUT members at school I was the only one striking. I was wondering how common the willingness to break the strike was.

alwaysonmymind Thu 03-Jul-14 21:39:35

I am NUT and have gone on strike every other time since I've been teaching. However I am currently working in an inner city nursery class. It is very deprived and we have fund raised for ages to go on our trip, next Thursday. All the children and just over half the parents are coming. Knowing what this will mean to so many little ones means I have decided not to strike. Some teacher friends have given me a hard time.

I am on maternity leave, but would be striking if I wasn't.

At my last school a strike day fell during a residential trip. The teachers in the NUT didn't take their pay for that day as numbers of teachers striking need to be sent to someone or something and they wanted to count as striking, but actually just worked! Now that is dedication to the cause...

WiggleGinger Thu 03-Jul-14 21:51:32

OP Have you heard from other staff that they aren't striking or is this just what your head teacher says. It's not unknown for some to make this comment to all staff in the hope that no one will strike ( I've seen it before sadly!)

As a PP has discussed, trips are happening for my group on that day & although it goes against my beliefs to not stand with my union, I can't let the kids down on trip day!

lifeissweet Thu 03-Jul-14 22:13:42

I totally understand if there is a trip or a play or something like that. I know I would struggle were that the case. I know for a fact that I am the only one because the NUT rep (who is not striking herself) told me so - then added 'are you SURE you want to strike?!' There are no trips out that day or events that are not being run by NASUWT members. I am baffled and was beginning to worry that if my school reflects the country, that would mean only 1/10th of the union was agreeing to strike, which is massively undermining to the union exec, who are trying so hard to negotiate on our behalf at the moment.

clayspaniel Thu 03-Jul-14 22:19:15

It doesn't matter that you are the only one, as you will still count - even if you school doesn't close. Several of our GMB members are striking putting the majority of our NUT members to shame as very few will strike. You'll be part of a much wider event than just your school as PCS, GMB, FBU, Unite and Unison are also striking on Thursday. Set your pupils a good example by standing up for your beliefs!

clam Thu 03-Jul-14 22:25:20

I don't think it's right that pressure should be brought to bear upon you in this way.
But if it helps, none of the striking teachers in my school (just under half the teaching staff) has been given any flak by parents at all. And the kids were thrilled - well, those who got an unexpected day off. Their siblings and mates in classes who had to come in weren't so happy!

toomuchicecream Thu 03-Jul-14 22:51:02

I am on strike and I am the only teacher at my school who will be. My class will be the only one not in. (very small school - 1 teacher signed off sick, 1 is NASUWT and 1 is NAHT).

I know 2 parents from the class are teachers who will be on strike so in a funny way I'd feel guilty if I worked while they were off, rather than feeling guilty that I am the only one on strike.

sanfairyanne Thu 03-Jul-14 22:53:17

Your head sounds a dick

'Divide and rule'

Maria33 Thu 03-Jul-14 23:01:33

I am striking. You do not have to tell your head whether or not you are striking - that is a courtesy. He really shouldn't give you a hard time. Sounds like you need a better union rep.

I'm striking but I think I'm one of 2 this time. It's hard when there isn't solidarity in a school. It kid if defeats the point if being in a union...

MsInterpret Fri 04-Jul-14 18:33:38

Am striking. Only one again.

One Other NUT member is on a trip so not striking. Don't know about support staff but be v surprised if any do. All our school know it's just me as always only my class closed. In the default Rep!

tethersend Fri 04-Jul-14 18:41:17

I'm NUT but as an advisory teacher who does not undertake any teaching work in schools, I am exempt from the ballot and therefore exempt from strike action.

KinkyDorito Sat 05-Jul-14 10:40:44

How is your NUT rep not striking????!!! That is shocking! I would be contacting the union about that.

Striking here. Wouldn't care if I was the only one. Your head, who directly stands to gain from any improvements in pay and conditions whether directly or through happier staff, should be ashamed.

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Sat 05-Jul-14 10:42:45

Confused am NUT but did no get balloted for this - when was the ballot?

Bananasandchocolatecustard Sat 05-Jul-14 10:44:39

I'm NUT and on strike on Thursday. Your HT sounds like a bull. You have the right to take action to protect your conditions of service.

Bananasandchocolatecustard Sat 05-Jul-14 10:45:01

Bully not bull!

Hulababy Sat 05-Jul-14 10:53:01

At my school the teachers in NUT are all striking. 5 classes are closed. 4 are open - all non striking unions.

All of our TAs are in unison, myself included. Only one isn't striking. She has cited financial reasons. Rest of us are out.

We have no trips or events on that day. I'd have found that harder to deal with and not sure I could have brought myself to let down the little ones tbh. But the potential strike dates been known a while and we were able to arrange it for a different day before dates were sent to parents.

chubbymummy Sat 05-Jul-14 11:02:50

I'm in unison and will be striking. None of our teachers are at all. There are about 5 or 6 support staff striking and our head is closing 4 classes because of it. She's actually very supportive of strike action and could easily have kept 3 of the 4 classes open if she had wanted to. Those of us striking are going out for a nice lunch!

KinkyDorito Sat 05-Jul-14 11:28:16

TheLate as far as I know, they balloted ages ago for a 'yes' to all strikes in the near future, rather than ballot at each one. You might want to look at their site for a better explanation as I'm not clear.

chilephilly Sun 06-Jul-14 14:40:28

I'm an NUT rep. I'm striking (obvs) but not all of my members are, mainly for reasons which are petty and annoying. I won't repeat them as they would out me.

HT hasn't asked for numbers, but is remaining open to Y7 and Y10. She has asked me for advice several times - I told her to join the NUT!

The non-striking rep mentioned upthread is pathetic and should be sacked, especially as the biggest reason for taking strike action is to act in solidarity with the Union, if you're not prepared to do that you shouldn't be in a Union!

KinkyDorito Sun 06-Jul-14 15:32:53

Sums it up nicely I feel, chilephilly.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 06-Jul-14 21:22:15

We have several who are not striking, strangely enough they are the ones who make the most noise about striking.

I'm with the OP. If the union calls for a strike then you strike, (there are hardship funds if you need them) otherwise join a non-striking union.

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