This is where Scottish teachers go to let off some steam. Join the debate in the Scotland Opinion Group and chat about the key issues affecting education in Scotland.
Possible future? Maybe the work to contract will take time to have an effect, and teachers in the meantime get used to the bliss of only 35 hours a week. Even now, before it's begun, I'm so looking foward to it and I'm wondering if I would like to stay on it forever. With the miserable situation we are all in, I can see a slow but steady gathering of numbers of teachers joining in, even to the extent the EIS joining in...........or it a pipedream?
Can't see the EIS joining
Can't see work to contract being successful
NASUWT has been doing it forover 6 months - has anyone noticed? Even in English schools where there is much higher membership it hasn't made the media. Damp squib at best.
Unfortunately striking (or the threat of) is the only way for teachers to get their grievances aired and cause any impact.
EffinbankersNASUWT has been doing it forover 6 months - has anyone noticed?
I suspect the teachers of the NASUWT have noticed. I for one, am going to enjoy the fewer hours, and with a smile on my face. The EIS don't have to join, its the teachers who can just chose to do it. Still I get your point, but we are all so miserable, and very few of us can afford the lack of pay a strike gets us. Things could gather momentum, and very slowly at first. If not, then at least I would have expressed how fed up I am with my pension being mucked about with.
teachingforagesIf not, then at least I would have expressed how fed up I am with my pension being mucked about with.
The teaching equivalent of "outraged of Tunbridge Wells" writing to the local paper. While were having our quiet protest,our pension will be changed forever and it soon be all signed,sealed and delivered.
The pensions issue is going to raise its head again.
Up til the last few months Cameron and Osborne (and Clegg) were getting away with murder, using the fiscal crisis as a trojan horse to impose their rich boys ideology.
The Tory boys honeymoon is now over. Things are now starting to unravel as more and more evidence comes to the forefront on tax avoidance and political ineptitude, not helped by a ridiculous tax cut for their rich pals in the city, which we are paying for. Austerity isn't working. Government isn't doing its job.
The GMC is considering strike action and GPs have never taken strike action before not condering the unrest with the civil service.
I can forsee the SSTA will be made to look a wee bit foolish - I suspect their members will be out on strike again in the autumn with the other teaching unions
So you feel that we should go on another strike, catmother?
teachingforagesSo you feel that we should go on another strike, catmother?
Yes,I feel that another day of action ,like the one in November, would have been more effective as a protest.
I've held back from replying up to now. Here's some thoughts so far ...
1. Just to reinforce the pointI made previously, the work to rule is part of an ongoing campaign. Part of ... as in one element. The SSTA still has a mandate for strike action based on the ballot carried out before the November strike day. Further strike action has not been ruled out.This could be targeted but bear in mind that the enemy is the pensions policy of the UK government. It's not like the 80s where the strike action was in pursuit of a salaries' hike. Targeted strike action would , I suspect, lead to a huge loss of public support.
2. Re Get's point. SSTA has informed employers as the law requires. If members heed the advice given, there will be no question of any legal action re breach of contract.
3. Frankly, I'm getting to the point where, having lost 10% or more of my actual pension (I'm in my last few years and this is the impact of the pay freeze and inflation) and , considering the likely impact of these "reforms" (more accurately "attacks" or maybe, even more accurately a "tax"), I am simply not prepared to put in these additional hours any more. I will work my 35 hours. No more, no less. I suspect, many of my colleagues will feel the same.
4. Any time the EIS want to get involved to boost the campaign, fine by me. There's only a handful in my school but I do accept that they are the majority union across Scotland. Seems to me a work to rule would suit their members too and would bring more pressure to bear.
5. What's the alternative to a long term work to rule and possibly selective strike action? I can't see any. The EIS think they can negotiate a better deal with the SG. I just don't see that. The SG has made it perfectly clear that the pension deal in Scotland will have to meet the same net financial criteria as the one down south. So we could have a slightly better deal but would have to pay for it with cuts in teacher numbers / larger class sizes etc etc.
As with point 3, this is what I particularly relate to. I think that many teachers will not be prepared to put in additional hours any more and it will make a big, positive, personal difference to every one of them, even if it doesn't end up changing political will about pensions.
DominieAny time the EIS want to get involved to boost the campaign, fine by me.
Let's not be kidded, the SSTA will not determine the outcome of the pensions issue, they are merely a side issue. They have already given up one of their negotiationg berths to the EIS on the committee negotiating with the Scottish government on pensions, because the EIS have the financial resources and lawyers required.
I speak not as a great fan of the EIS, the actions taken last year by Smith et al were disgraceful, but quite simply I won't pay three or four quid a month extra for a union which like it or loath is mainly a sideline to the main event and has handed over negotiating power to one of its fellow trade unions. Despite the actions of the EIS, SSTA membership has only increased by about a thousand.
Taking "industrial action" in the form of a work to contract is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. If teachers feel they are drowning in their workload they they should stick to their terms and conditions which state the job is a 35 hour a week contract anyway. You don't need a mandate from union leaders to do this.
I also take issue with those who say they can't afford to strike and lose one day of pay:
1st year of pension increases = three days pay lost
2nd year of pension increases = another three days of pay lost
3rd year of pension increases = another three days of pay lost
Around a 5% pay cut by 2014 or the equivalent of working 205 days a year instead of 195. Working to contract is not going to change this. It won't inconvenience councils or the Scottish government, not a bit and these are people who need to be influenced. The CFE juggernaut will power on.
EffinbankersI also take issue with those who say they can't afford to strike and lose one day of pay:
teachingforagesI think that many teachers will not be prepared to put in additional hours any more and it will make a big, positive, personal difference to every one of them, even if it doesn't end up changing political will about pensions.
Yes. This is the way I am looking at things. I wish more people would look at things like this and start coming into work happier and smiling.
DominieI am simply not prepared to put in these additional hours any more. I will work my 35 hours. No more, no less.
Good. This is the way the job should have been done, by everyone, since CfE started thundering down the tracks towards us.
Maybe it is going to take a work to contract over pensions to force/encourage people to start seeing the job for what it really is; a job where we are contracted to work 35hrs.
I have at times been guilty of working silly hours to try and get things done. By and large this was because I was on supply and shunted into a timetable where for various reasons I had to cover an enormous amount of ground in a short space of time. I felt a positive job reference depended on this effort. In those situations it was a case of rise to the challenge of the additional workload or forget about a career in teaching. But for people who have been doing the job for years, with a relative amount of continuity and the ability to pace themselves, then is there any need to raise the bar so high (for all of us) by putting in way over the contracted hours?
EffinbankersThey have already given up one of their negotiationg berths to the EIS on the committee negotiating with the Scottish government on pensions,
News to me. I think you should check your sources there. We are certainly far from convinced that these talks will actually result in any benefit to teachers. See above re Scotland's teachers having to meet the cost of any improverment in pensions. Letters exchanged between messers Swinnie and Alexander make that abundantly clear.
EffinbankersIf teachers feel they are drowning in their workload they they should stick to their terms and conditions which state the job is a 35 hour a week contract anyway. You don't need a mandate from union leaders to do this.
Er ... Yes you do. If it is in pursuit of an industrial action.Check your facts again.
Totally agree but the reality is that teachers are under fiancial pressure and, for most, the pension is a long way off. Strike action needs to be kept until it can be used most effectively.
CheesyWotsitsI can't actually afford to strike NOW.
I genuinely feel sorry for your predicament if things are tight. But if you're asked to strike in the autumn will you do it? Because it's coming and teachers of all unions will need to show some resistance and togetherness.
Don't assume that I have an abundance of disposable income either. The difference is that I am prepared to take industrial action that may have some meaning. As I have said earlier our job specification is 35 hours a week, I don't consider it to be industrial action sticking to what we should be doing anyway. The NASUWT have been doing it for 6 months - has it made a difference - of course not.
Typical SSTA leadership stance, they don't want to strike so they take the soft option. They only did it in November (and at the very last minute) because all the other public sector unions were out. Let other unions do the donkey work.
Not asking for special treatment for our pension, just fairness. The cap and share deal of the pensions review from 2006 stated that if the cost of teachers pensions increased, we would meet this cost. This argument has never been presented, nor have figures been published. Basically a tax on the public sector to pay for the City of London's recklessness.
Absolutely. I have been working to contract since August, when I decided in my own best interests not to work for free anymore.
I thought, look, CG, the fact is, you are giving every hour you work beyond 35 hours to your employer free of charge. How utterly unprofessional is that, to work for nothing? Isn't your "free" time precious to you, if to no-one else?
So I scaled back gradually rather than going cold-turkey on those nasty 50+ hours a week. I eventually made a couple of common-sense rules for myself, such as, leave it all behind at 4pm whether or not the work is "done" (since when is a teacher's work ever done? If you stay until it's all "done", you'll end up living in school) and take as little as possible home on weekends. Believe it or not, these things can be done, with a little rearranging of personal and professional priorities, without affecting the quality of your teaching or the kids' learning.
Who's noticed the difference? Probably no-one but me. And I now have a life outside of my job. So all the politics of working to contract aside---if your workload is getting you down, work to contract for the sake of your own mental health.
EffinbankersTypical SSTA leadership stance, they don't want to strike so they take the soft option. They only did it in November (and at the very last minute) because all the other public sector unions were out. Let other unions do the donkey work.
More drivel, informed only by your own prejudice. A decision was made to take action along with the other teaching unions. I don't see how that can be defined as letting
Effinbankersother unions do the donkey work.
As with many of your ilk in the EIS, you'll never let the facts get in the way of your ignorance and prejudice. Just as well that the majority of EIS members are more fair minded. They might just see the sense of a long term industrial action including work to contract and occasional strike action.
Top of page
TES Editorial © 2012 TSL Education Ltd. All pages of the Website are
reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any material on the
Website for any commercial purposes. TSL Education Ltd Registered in England (No 02017289) at 26 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4HQ