Friday, 24 June 2011

Strike on 30 June

I feel extremely frustrated with the proposed changes to our pensions, but at this time do not support the strike planned for next week. I stress the "at this time" most strongly. Having commented on Creative Edu's blog recently:  and being shot down in flames by my expression of concern as to how this could affect the reputation of teachers, I sat down and thought very carefully about it.

Reputation is, of course, not the most important issue here; however, as teachers, dare I say almost more so than other professions, we set an example to the children we teach and our actions are going to be challenged by our children and their parents.

I was therefore gladdened to receive notification from my union yesterday (NASUWT) about their success to gain the High Court's permission for a judicial review of the Coalition Government's decision to change the index-linking of public service workers' pensions, including teachers' pensions, from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The NASUWT (along with other unions) took the decision to go for a legal challenge first. If this proves successful, the strike will have been a meaningless exercise which will have done little good to the profession, caused divisions and unrest...

If the review does not prove successful, then of course action is most certainly necessary to protect our pensions- particularly for those who are nearing retirement and stand to lose the most.

Is the strike really the right thing to do at this time? Does the profession stand to lose even more? Is it not possible for it to be called off to wait to see how the judicial review goes?  

Maybe I am being naive, but I would like to be optimistic and go explore all avenues before resorting to strike action. 

This comment on the creative edu blog : 

RW 06/21/2011, 9:02 am:
As parent in a family of 2 working parents who have had their pay frozen and pensions adapted in the private sector I feel this is appalling. I am even a governor of my daughters school – something I do for no pay and I lose my free time and I will find it hard to justify carrying on with this.
83% of 40% anyone ? Certainly never a majority.
The extra cost of childcare – or lose a days pay. These are tough times for ALL of us. Teachers you have lost any grain of support you had from me.
You have all worked so hard to bring teaching up to be such a noble and respected profession – with this strike you will drag it back to the 70′s.
does nothing but affirm my views that striking at this time will not achieve anything positive. Let's go through the correct legal procedures and see what that brings.  We are in a difficult financial time at the moment and both public and private sector workers are facing uncertain futures. I like to think that a moderate approach will ultimately be the most beneficial.


  1. I'm off work long term sick having chemo, but as member NASUWT was glad about their stance. I am now 11 years from retirement (was 10 but got a year added) and have real concerns, but still would never strike. I do however tell people what the current issues mean to me. Those in the early years of their career will no doubt face many more changes before they retire, but several at my school are striking. It saddens me that it might all be for nothing. I agree moderation is the way forward.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Very best wishes for a full recovery.