Whenever a teachers’ strike is announced, the government always cries out that it will damage teachers’ reputations. What a joke. I say this not because as a student it means a day off-though that would have played a part when I was a child-but because it is a pathetic attempt by the government to persuade teachers not to strike. They don’t offer them a payrise, they don’t accept any of their requests but what they always do is say that there is no need to strike as it will only bring teaching into disrepute.
How foolish. Haven’t they realised that teachers may not be valued by them or the economy but the normal person on the street is in support of them. Why? Simply because people can empathise with the struggle teachers face in terms of their working hours and pay. They can see the daily struggle teachers go through, they respect the fact teachers are educating their children and they are hoping that teachers get what they are asking for.
The government however turns its back on teachers and instead accepts the demands of striking tube drivers instead. Not that I have anything against tube drivers, it is just evident that as they have such a grip on whether people turn up to work or not, the government are forced to listen them. Yet even then, they are reluctant to cede to their requests.
Teachers are forced to strike. The reason why they have to strike often is because they are tempered by their moral obligations as a teacher. The fact is no teacher wants to strike, it is simply that if they do not, they will continue to be taken advantage of. This is what also stops them from being successful in their strikes. They have to force the government into action which in my opinion requires a rolling strike until their voices are heard. Only then will any significant change happen. Yet, it is unlikely that they will ever decide to do this, primarily because they would all be worrying about their student’s progress whilst standing on the picket line. It has to be done though, a new strategy needs to be developed because at the moment, teachers are being ignored.
If the Nation Union of Teachers need some inspiration, drop me a call!
What do you think? How do you feel when there is a strike? Do you support teachers when they strike or do you think they shouldn’t?
A Worried Student