Thursday, March 28, 2013


One of the more inevitable problems facing any sort of non Labour government is that sooner or later they have a major confrontation with the unions. Thatcher had it with the miners and now it rather looks like Cameron will face the teaching unions. The why of it is simple, the unions pay Labour's wages, Labour gives in to the unions (mostly) when in power, the unions themselves have a tendency to behave too as they wish to keep Labour in power. With the Tories, different rules apply...
The row between Michael Gove and major classroom unions escalated today when the Education Secretary refused to bow to activists’ demands over pay and pensions.
In a move that makes school strike action almost inevitable, Mr Gove insisted that the Government’s stance on both fronts was “now fixed”.
The comments were made after Britain’s two biggest teaching unions – the National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT – threatened to stage a series of regional and national walk-outs unless the Government suspended controversial reforms to the profession. Mr Gove’s intervention promises to stoke tensions between the two sides on the eve of both unions’ annual conferences this weekend and paves the way for a series of strikes later this year. The NUT and NASUWT have been angered by the introduction of a new system of performance-related pay in English state schools combined with changes to teachers’ pensions.
In the private sector performance related pay is generally welcome, plus the ability to move from job to job until you find something to suit helps as well. With teaching though, it doesn't matter how good you are, you get exactly the same as the person who couldn't teach to save their life but the schools can't get rid of as they are the union rep/barely managing. In the private sector if your face doesn't fit, you go (Cruel but true enough) in the public sector if your face doesn't fit, chances are you're the union rep. The problem with the NUT/NASUWT is that the decisions they reach aren't generally that of the ordinary teacher in the classroom, the one who is worth a lot more than the union rep as they can actually teach and get the best out of the kids, rather than get paid by the school simply to go to meetings and stir things. Yes the problem with the teaching unions is as ever the left/socialists. The ones who believe that everyone should get more money whether they deserve it or not and who expect the bad along with the good should get top dollar.
In the make believe world of socialist economics, the money is always there because it grows on magic money trees. They never seem to realise just who tips up the cash to pay for their little sinecures and they don't realise the resentment that this causes, particularly when it's obvious that some of them aren't up to a reasonable standard and can't be got rid of easily.
Personally I think Gove should have gone the extra mile and made all teachers self employed and subject too fixed contracts. That would soon sort the wheat from the chaff, those who are worth keeping would be kept, others would have to up their game at the next school to employ them.
Yes I know unions have their place, but meddling in politics isn't one of them...

2 annotations:

Bill d'Sarse said...

F*ck 'em. Do teachers think they are going to be supported by the parents who will need to take days off work because teachers want more despite the country being a bit skint?

Do they reckon they will get any support from business owners who will need to find short-term replacements for those parents?

Yeah, go on strike. I reckon you might last a couple of weeks. Miners they're not.

Anonymous said...

They only reason they'd be missed is that they are de facto babysitters.

Only pity is that it isn't during black history month, which is bloody quiet anyway.