Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Monday 24 March 2014

Why we must strike on Wednesday

Tens of thousands of teachers have already decided that they will be on strike to defend teachers and education on Wednesday - but if you are still deciding, read on:

We have to strike together if we are to stop Gove before his attacks drive even more colleagues out of teaching. He might be content with a casualised, demoralised and weakly-organised workforce delivering a narrow soulless curriculum but we know what a disaster that would be for education.

It is our united strength that  stands in the way of his plans - and on Wednesday, we have to use it.

Yes, our action will disrupt parents and education for the day - but we have to explain that the damage that will be inflicted if Gove succeeds with his plans will be far more long-lasting.
Yes, teachers worry that parents will be against us but the experience of our previous strikes shows that most appreciate why we have to take action.

Who can teach successfully at the intensity expected of us at 60, let alone 68?

How can staff work as a collective team to help students when they are competing for pay rises judged on their individual performance? 

How can teachers properly support pupils when they are exhausted by 60 hour working weeks?

Michael Gove has shown no intention of changing things for the better. The 'talks' he has set up between unions and civil servants are only about 'implementation' of his policies.

To think that he will offer any serious concession without us showing our strength in action is, at best, naive. However, if we do show our strength, as we did in 2011 over pensions, we can win real gains.

Some teachers struggling with bills may genuinely fear that they can't afford to strike. But remember the £1,000's we stand to lose if pay progression is blocked through PRP. Remember the £10,000's teachers will lose if they retire before their pension age of 68 or more. Remember the incalculable costs of the constant stress and hours stolen from time with family and friends as we plan and prepare at evenings and weekends.

The press claim some teachers have 'strike fatigue'. No, they have real fatigue thanks to their workload and real anger at all that Gove stands for. That's why reports from across the Union report that March 26 will, again, be well-supported. 

Yes, teachers want to be assured that something can be done to make Gove change course and that unions are serious about taking the action necessary to do so.

We can make Gove think again - but only if we show our strength on Wednesday and build from there for a calendar of action  -  hopefully with others alongside us - that can force him to think again.

Gove hopes he can divide teachers and impose his damaging plans. We can't let him succeed. That's why we must strike on Wednesday.

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