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Old 02-10-2013, 01:50 PM
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Fenrir Fenrir is offline
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Yesterday, not that anyone really noticed, Teaching unions called a general strike for the east of England region.

As ever, their basic goals are nobel enough - restore exisitng contracts over pensions (given that the government declared contracts over bonuses to be binding, but not over public sector pensions), end the pay freeze and restore pay imrovement parity with the private sector. The side-line issue of how to introduce perfomrance related pay for a 'product' you can't measure (if you measure education by grades acheived, then a qualification only tells you how good an institution is it would tell you nothing about the skills of the qualification holder) will rage on.

I did not strike, despite being a NUTer.
A general strike has already been ignored. A partial strike is hardly going to have any impact is it? What will happen is that it will inconvenience many other people. I am employed to educate, not provide day-care, but I understand that a downturn in public opinion of teachers won't help them fight their cause against government (and may result in government feeling happier to introduce further sanction).
So, no likely benefit, risk of actual harm. I'm not striking. It's a stupid strategy.

The goals themselves need work too. Yes, teachers have taken sanctions for a problem they didn't create. The same is true for many others as well. And merely being a victim doesn't create the resources for a solution. Does the government have the money? Yes, but they'll spend it on other things; so all the unions are really doing is protesting government spending priorities. Great. Join the queue. We know the government will work for the benefit of the industries that back their rise to power. And therein lies a better solution.

Two different things teaching unions could do:
1 - refuse all formal assessment. Lets see how long the gov't ignores teacher demands when nobody gets a GCSE, BTec or A-Level. Worked nearly instantly in the University sector.
2 - If the Eatonain / Bullingdon boys club is running the show, then you know the rules of the game. Stop protesting the rules and start playing. Merge the unions and hire a raft of Eatonian/Bullingdons to run it. Argue for an industry of self-regulation and defferance to professionals (like the financial services get) with appropriate reward and incentive (ditto) and have Harry-rugger-bugger-no-chin-III as the representative to government.

Why am I posting this here? The BBC news website never publishes my comments and the TES forums find me, err, different. So, I send this message out to the universe from here. Who knows, perhaps the discussion will gain traction and someone with influence will come to consider the idea. Perhaps I'll just be repeatedly called a cunt. I almost care which.
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