Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teachers' Strike

Today, thousands of teachers across the UK will be striking against threats to their pensions. Teaching is a job known well for its long hours for a fairly low salary compared to other careers. The long holidays and generous pensions are a perk of the job and attract people into teaching who perhaps would otherwise pursue a career elsewhere.

Now the government wants to increase teacher’s pension contributions and reduce the overall amount a retiring teacher would receive, Gove is surprised that teachers are taking industrial action? I am still a member of the NUT so would be striking today if I was still working as a teacher. Good friends of mine will be striking today, and good on them, I say. Industrial action is the last bastion of the ‘little people’ against the government, and we must use it, whether we are teachers, nurses or bin men.

Parents all over the UK are dismaying at having an unexpected extra day to find childcare for their children. I understand this is inconvenient, but the alternative is scary. If the teaching profession is no longer an attractive proposition to bright, eager graduates, then what is next for education? We’ll have a severe shortage of good teachers and then, who knows what's next? Parents, enjoy this extra day with your children, or if you’re working and unable to, appreciate the reasons why these strikes are happening and how ultimately, it will protect the future of a quality education for your child.

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