Striking Somerset teachers hope to avoid GCSEs

Somerset County Gazette: Striking Somerset teachers hope to avoid GCSEs Striking Somerset teachers hope to avoid GCSEs

TEACHERS planning to go on strike later this term say they hope to avoid disrupting students sitting their GCSEs.

The National Union of Teachers voted at their conference last week to walk out for a day over pay and workloads, probably in the week commencing June 23.

They say they will call off the day of action if Education Secretary Michael Gove sits down to talk with them over issues they feel are damaging the teaching profession Somerset NUT’s Robin Head said: “Somerset is losing quality teachers because of the Government’s policies – they’re handing in their resignations and education is in crisis.

“We’re trying to avoid striking during GCSEs – most of the exams will be over by the week of action, although a handful could still be on.”

A Department of Education spokeswoman said Ministers have frequently met NUT representatives and a strike will disrupt parents, hold back children’s education and damage the teaching profession.

She added: “Teaching has never been more attractive, more popular or more rewarding – we trust the professionalism of our head teachers to monitor their staff’s workload and address any issues.”

Comments (14)

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12:12pm Fri 25 Apr 14

speedy1003 says...

Well don't strike then and think of your pupils instead of your pockets.Easy really
Well don't strike then and think of your pupils instead of your pockets.Easy really speedy1003
  • Score: -18

4:49pm Fri 25 Apr 14

duckface08 says...

The Government "damaging the teaching profession" don't make me laugh!! The teachers are making a grand job of it via the NUT. If you lived in the real world you could see how little sympathy you will get from the rest of the population who would give their right arm for working conditions such as yours.
The Government "damaging the teaching profession" don't make me laugh!! The teachers are making a grand job of it via the NUT. If you lived in the real world you could see how little sympathy you will get from the rest of the population who would give their right arm for working conditions such as yours. duckface08
  • Score: -8

8:16pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Mi_Coc says...

It's difficult when you sign up a pension and now the terms are being changed but we have some of the highest paid teachers in Europe and we aren't getting the most highly educated children.

Teaching has an issue were there aren't measures in place to deal with a minority who aren't performing and probably aren't right for the job, it's a job for life even so some sexual predators. Things need to change but nut seem to have a dam the government we want to stay in the dark ages attitude that seems to win little support even from large swaths of teacher members.
It's difficult when you sign up a pension and now the terms are being changed but we have some of the highest paid teachers in Europe and we aren't getting the most highly educated children. Teaching has an issue were there aren't measures in place to deal with a minority who aren't performing and probably aren't right for the job, it's a job for life even so some sexual predators. Things need to change but nut seem to have a dam the government we want to stay in the dark ages attitude that seems to win little support even from large swaths of teacher members. Mi_Coc
  • Score: -15

8:25pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Mi_Coc says...

The teaching profession under labour have made a rod for their own back.

They have schooled pupils over the 10-20 years that only the thick leave school and don't go to uni. Don't go into manufacturing or an physical job unless you are thick. Go to uni and do a degree of your fancy.

Result job market flooded with people with degrees the job market don't need and don't relate to any future career goal and to top it off these graduates want a well paid job to match their degree and won't take anything less.

We have no manufacturing no real industry so we now rely on the banking sector and we can't of won't attempted to cut their pay as we may lose the last industry proper up this little island.
The teaching profession under labour have made a rod for their own back. They have schooled pupils over the 10-20 years that only the thick leave school and don't go to uni. Don't go into manufacturing or an physical job unless you are thick. Go to uni and do a degree of your fancy. Result job market flooded with people with degrees the job market don't need and don't relate to any future career goal and to top it off these graduates want a well paid job to match their degree and won't take anything less. We have no manufacturing no real industry so we now rely on the banking sector and we can't of won't attempted to cut their pay as we may lose the last industry proper up this little island. Mi_Coc
  • Score: -16

11:38pm Fri 25 Apr 14

ladybird14 says...

its alright for the kids to have a day off school cause teacher strikes but we can't take them out for something we want to do ie; a holiday!!
its alright for the kids to have a day off school cause teacher strikes but we can't take them out for something we want to do ie; a holiday!! ladybird14
  • Score: -12

3:33pm Sat 26 Apr 14

gordonburnitt says...

This is not about teachers' pay, it's about education. Teachers care about their students and want the best for them but the government's main concern is saving money - especially in the state education sector.

Parents who moan about teachers striking seem to have no idea of how much education standards have declined in the past few years, AND it is not because of the teachers, it's because funding for each student has been cut hugely, there aren't enough resources to go around, books are in poor condition, computers are out of date, rooms are in a poor state of repair, buildings are falling down. Indeed, many schools have so little money that they now employ unqualified teachers to cover or 'teach' lessons, class sizes have increased and the government insists that teachers spend MORE time filling in forms than they do actually teaching their lessons.

The most important thing for any child (apart from secure parenting and home)is the quality of the learning time they spend in the classroom with their teacher but most teachers no longer have the time (or the energy) to give their pupils what they should.

Support the teachers and you will be supporting your child's e future. Remember, the world is changing and by the time they leave school, they will be competing in a global market for jobs so it's important that the government provides teachers with the BEST possible resources, buildings and teachers NOW to ensure they get a world class education.

This is a rich country and we should not be 20th in the world - it's time the government started spending money of what matters.
This is not about teachers' pay, it's about education. Teachers care about their students and want the best for them but the government's main concern is saving money - especially in the state education sector. Parents who moan about teachers striking seem to have no idea of how much education standards have declined in the past few years, AND it is not because of the teachers, it's because funding for each student has been cut hugely, there aren't enough resources to go around, books are in poor condition, computers are out of date, rooms are in a poor state of repair, buildings are falling down. Indeed, many schools have so little money that they now employ unqualified teachers to cover or 'teach' lessons, class sizes have increased and the government insists that teachers spend MORE time filling in forms than they do actually teaching their lessons. The most important thing for any child (apart from secure parenting and home)is the quality of the learning time they spend in the classroom with their teacher but most teachers no longer have the time (or the energy) to give their pupils what they should. Support the teachers and you will be supporting your child's e future. Remember, the world is changing and by the time they leave school, they will be competing in a global market for jobs so it's important that the government provides teachers with the BEST possible resources, buildings and teachers NOW to ensure they get a world class education. This is a rich country and we should not be 20th in the world - it's time the government started spending money of what matters. gordonburnitt
  • Score: 12

3:36pm Sat 26 Apr 14

gordonburnitt says...

And if being a teacher is that good, why don't you do it?
And if being a teacher is that good, why don't you do it? gordonburnitt
  • Score: 17

9:17am Sun 27 Apr 14

Little_Owly says...

I am a nurse. No pay rise for me this year. Pension has increased. Workload has increased. I am not going on strike because I don't want my patients to suffer.

We live in hard times, the country is in a financial mess. Teachers should lobby and work to rule, not cause hardship to parents who can't afford to take days off when teachers strike.
I am a nurse. No pay rise for me this year. Pension has increased. Workload has increased. I am not going on strike because I don't want my patients to suffer. We live in hard times, the country is in a financial mess. Teachers should lobby and work to rule, not cause hardship to parents who can't afford to take days off when teachers strike. Little_Owly
  • Score: 0

9:58am Sun 27 Apr 14

Monument says...

The bottom line is that if the NUT and its members cared for children they would not go on strike, they simply care for themselves.

Teachers used to be held in high regard, comparable with doctors, that is no longer the case and why, because they no longer set an example, many have moved from 60's liberalism to the 70's left wing activism.

Teachers like police officers should be legally prevented from striking.
The bottom line is that if the NUT and its members cared for children they would not go on strike, they simply care for themselves. Teachers used to be held in high regard, comparable with doctors, that is no longer the case and why, because they no longer set an example, many have moved from 60's liberalism to the 70's left wing activism. Teachers like police officers should be legally prevented from striking. Monument
  • Score: -7

1:41pm Sun 27 Apr 14

SocialistParty.SomersetBranch says...

The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party offers full and unequivocal support to NUT members and their forthcoming strike action to defend education and their terms and conditions of service...

Don't let Gove wreck education!

The run-up to the conference saw gains for the left on the union's national executive (NEC), particularly for Lanac (Local Associations National Action Campaign), an alliance of rank-and-file NUT activists in which the Socialist Party plays a leading role.

The growing influence of Lanac in the conference was clear from the fringe meetings and the debates on the conference floor.

Teachers are currently in dispute with the government over pay, pensions and conditions. Conference debate was dominated by the question of the union's strategy in this.

The NUT leadership had put forward a plan of one-day strike action in the week beginning 23 June, followed by unspecified action in the autumn term as well as a programme of consultation with the membership.

To strengthen this Lanac put forward an amendment calling for a day's strike action in the summer term followed by two days of strike action in either half term in the autumn.

As well as this, Lanac called for clear demands to inspire the membership such as a £2,000 pay rise for all teachers.

Clear strategy

Moving the amendment Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies argued that it would: "send a message to Michael Gove, and our members, that we are not going to let him wreck the education system and teachers' lives" as well as "providing a clear strategy for stopping his attacks".

Seconding the motion, Cleo Lewis gave a vivid account of teacher's frustrations with Gove's attacks. Sheila Caffrey warned in the debate that: "We spent months waiting for the NASUWT. This should not happen again". An attempt by the leadership to close the debate down early was defeated on the conference floor.

The eventual vote on the Lanac amendment was close on a show of hands. A card vote was called where the amendment was defeated two to one.

Despite this loss it was clear that Lanac has a large constituency of support in the union. This was underlined the previous evening at the Lanac fringe meeting that attracted 120 delegates to debate the way forward. 50 delegates attended a further Lanac fringe at the end of conference.

A surprisingly controversial debate took place around a motion on discrimination against older women.

The motion was moved by newly elected NEC member Jane Nellist from Coventry Socialist Party. It concentrated on the many different types of discrimination older female teachers face, including employers' refusal to make reasonable adjustments for women experiencing the menopause.

The motion was opposed by the Socialist Teacher Alliance delegates who criticised the prominence given to the menopause. In her reply Jane Nellist made no apologies for raising this "long taboo" subject.

After debate the motion was carried overwhelmingly with many female delegates thanking Jane for raising the issue.

The attacks by Gove on the education system, and the tacit support given by Labour shadow minister Tristram Hunt, have clearly raised the question of a political alternative in the minds of many teachers.

A record number of delegates attended the Socialist Party fringe meeting, the largest in many years. This was on the question of 'Who can teachers vote for?', with Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition chair Dave Nellist speaking.

To find out more, or to join the Socialist Party, visit:
www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party offers full and unequivocal support to NUT members and their forthcoming strike action to defend education and their terms and conditions of service... Don't let Gove wreck education! The run-up to the conference saw gains for the left on the union's national executive (NEC), particularly for Lanac (Local Associations National Action Campaign), an alliance of rank-and-file NUT activists in which the Socialist Party plays a leading role. The growing influence of Lanac in the conference was clear from the fringe meetings and the debates on the conference floor. Teachers are currently in dispute with the government over pay, pensions and conditions. Conference debate was dominated by the question of the union's strategy in this. The NUT leadership had put forward a plan of one-day strike action in the week beginning 23 June, followed by unspecified action in the autumn term as well as a programme of consultation with the membership. To strengthen this Lanac put forward an amendment calling for a day's strike action in the summer term followed by two days of strike action in either half term in the autumn. As well as this, Lanac called for clear demands to inspire the membership such as a £2,000 pay rise for all teachers. Clear strategy Moving the amendment Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies argued that it would: "send a message to Michael Gove, and our members, that we are not going to let him wreck the education system and teachers' lives" as well as "providing a clear strategy for stopping his attacks". Seconding the motion, Cleo Lewis gave a vivid account of teacher's frustrations with Gove's attacks. Sheila Caffrey warned in the debate that: "We spent months waiting for the NASUWT. This should not happen again". An attempt by the leadership to close the debate down early was defeated on the conference floor. The eventual vote on the Lanac amendment was close on a show of hands. A card vote was called where the amendment was defeated two to one. Despite this loss it was clear that Lanac has a large constituency of support in the union. This was underlined the previous evening at the Lanac fringe meeting that attracted 120 delegates to debate the way forward. 50 delegates attended a further Lanac fringe at the end of conference. A surprisingly controversial debate took place around a motion on discrimination against older women. The motion was moved by newly elected NEC member Jane Nellist from Coventry Socialist Party. It concentrated on the many different types of discrimination older female teachers face, including employers' refusal to make reasonable adjustments for women experiencing the menopause. The motion was opposed by the Socialist Teacher Alliance delegates who criticised the prominence given to the menopause. In her reply Jane Nellist made no apologies for raising this "long taboo" subject. After debate the motion was carried overwhelmingly with many female delegates thanking Jane for raising the issue. The attacks by Gove on the education system, and the tacit support given by Labour shadow minister Tristram Hunt, have clearly raised the question of a political alternative in the minds of many teachers. A record number of delegates attended the Socialist Party fringe meeting, the largest in many years. This was on the question of 'Who can teachers vote for?', with Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition chair Dave Nellist speaking. To find out more, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty.SomersetBranch
  • Score: 5

1:43pm Sun 27 Apr 14

SocialistParty.SomersetBranch says...

Stop the education catastrophe!

National strike action needed!

Jane Nellist, Coventry National Union of Teachers (NUT) and newly elected member of the NUT national executive, personal capacity

A malaise is spreading throughout our schools. It's hitting teachers young and old, male and female, primary and secondary. Education is heading for catastrophe for pupils, parents, teachers - society as a whole - unless we stand up and fight for it.

It's not that teachers want an easy life - we just want a life! We have always worked hard; what we demand is our professionalism back and to be trusted.

Parents understand this. Many of them are suffering the impact of Con-Dem job cuts and pay freezes. A new poll shows that there is little support for Tory Education Minister Michael Gove's meddling with education.

In the face of his maniacal drive to turn schools into academies and free schools, 57% say that councils have an important educational role, and "should keep responsibilities in relation to schools". A big majority is opposed to his policy of allowing non-qualified people to teach in academies.

Many teachers are just walking away from the job they have. Teachers are being driven to work-induced ill health in pressure cooker schools. Even our pupils are commenting on how tired we look! And they themselves are exhausted by the stressful testing regime.

Many young teachers are no longer able to rely on an annual automatic increase. One young teacher I know in Coventry has worked out that their real hourly pay is below the national minimum wage!

Older teachers look to retire earlier with a reduced pension - not something that will be available in the future with pension ages rising. 68 is definitely too late!

Fighting back

At the Birmingham NUT strike rally last month, 1,000 teachers took to the streets in defiant mood. Elizabeth Selimi, a primary teacher in Coventry, told the crowd to massive applause: "I am striking because I don't have a life outside of work - I want it back."

Teachers will be looking to the trade union conferences over Easter for a lead. School-based action can be successful if teachers stick together, but the real answer lies in an escalation of national strike action.

And more and more teachers are realising that the Labour Party is no 'White Knight' riding to the rescue. It isn't just one 'demonic' character in the form of Gove that is to blame, as much as we try to focus our anger against him.

Tristram Hunt, shadow education minister, crossed lecturers' union UCU picket lines and supports most of the government policies, including performance related pay. Both the Con-Dems and Labour threaten a comprehensive education that is publicly funded, accountable and democratic. They and their system need to be challenged. Over 500 no-cuts candidates standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the 22 May local elections are with the majority in opposing all privatisation.

As a newly elected member of the NUT's national executive I'll be demanding that the NUT has a clear strategy for escalating strike action and policies that provide a proper work life balance. That was the programme that I was elected on and one which will achieve a real difference for teachers and education.

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Stop the education catastrophe! National strike action needed! Jane Nellist, Coventry National Union of Teachers (NUT) and newly elected member of the NUT national executive, personal capacity A malaise is spreading throughout our schools. It's hitting teachers young and old, male and female, primary and secondary. Education is heading for catastrophe for pupils, parents, teachers - society as a whole - unless we stand up and fight for it. It's not that teachers want an easy life - we just want a life! We have always worked hard; what we demand is our professionalism back and to be trusted. Parents understand this. Many of them are suffering the impact of Con-Dem job cuts and pay freezes. A new poll shows that there is little support for Tory Education Minister Michael Gove's meddling with education. In the face of his maniacal drive to turn schools into academies and free schools, 57% say that councils have an important educational role, and "should keep responsibilities in relation to schools". A big majority is opposed to his policy of allowing non-qualified people to teach in academies. Many teachers are just walking away from the job they have. Teachers are being driven to work-induced ill health in pressure cooker schools. Even our pupils are commenting on how tired we look! And they themselves are exhausted by the stressful testing regime. Many young teachers are no longer able to rely on an annual automatic increase. One young teacher I know in Coventry has worked out that their real hourly pay is below the national minimum wage! Older teachers look to retire earlier with a reduced pension - not something that will be available in the future with pension ages rising. 68 is definitely too late! Fighting back At the Birmingham NUT strike rally last month, 1,000 teachers took to the streets in defiant mood. Elizabeth Selimi, a primary teacher in Coventry, told the crowd to massive applause: "I am striking because I don't have a life outside of work - I want it back." Teachers will be looking to the trade union conferences over Easter for a lead. School-based action can be successful if teachers stick together, but the real answer lies in an escalation of national strike action. And more and more teachers are realising that the Labour Party is no 'White Knight' riding to the rescue. It isn't just one 'demonic' character in the form of Gove that is to blame, as much as we try to focus our anger against him. Tristram Hunt, shadow education minister, crossed lecturers' union UCU picket lines and supports most of the government policies, including performance related pay. Both the Con-Dems and Labour threaten a comprehensive education that is publicly funded, accountable and democratic. They and their system need to be challenged. Over 500 no-cuts candidates standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the 22 May local elections are with the majority in opposing all privatisation. As a newly elected member of the NUT's national executive I'll be demanding that the NUT has a clear strategy for escalating strike action and policies that provide a proper work life balance. That was the programme that I was elected on and one which will achieve a real difference for teachers and education. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty.SomersetBranch
  • Score: 2

3:29pm Sun 27 Apr 14

duckface08 says...

Teachers are fed up with the militancy of the NUT which is aimed at the Government only because it is the wrong colour. This is exactly what the NUM did when Thatcher was in power and look at that outcome. The miners lost their jobs without redundancy payments. Don't get led down this path just to satisfy the NUT ego.
Teachers are fed up with the militancy of the NUT which is aimed at the Government only because it is the wrong colour. This is exactly what the NUM did when Thatcher was in power and look at that outcome. The miners lost their jobs without redundancy payments. Don't get led down this path just to satisfy the NUT ego. duckface08
  • Score: 10

3:50pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Mi_Coc says...

Little_Owly wrote:
I am a nurse. No pay rise for me this year. Pension has increased. Workload has increased. I am not going on strike because I don't want my patients to suffer.

We live in hard times, the country is in a financial mess. Teachers should lobby and work to rule, not cause hardship to parents who can't afford to take days off when teachers strike.
Just wanted to say that your comment was a breath of fresh air times are hard for a lot people but i am so half that your professionalism means you but your patients first.


I agree but unfortunately you to be superhuman and worked as a teacher to possibility dare comment on teaching in this country according or dare offer an opinion on the strike actions according to seem folk. I bet most teachers would be on the floor after a 12hr shift on a ward! Keep up the good work.

I have spoken to some teachers who are unhappy but don't agree with nut anti Tory just say no and don't negotiate or sacrifice an inch. Even labour and have abandoned them.

There needs to be more grown up talk instead of this militant attitude.
[quote][p][bold]Little_Owly[/bold] wrote: I am a nurse. No pay rise for me this year. Pension has increased. Workload has increased. I am not going on strike because I don't want my patients to suffer. We live in hard times, the country is in a financial mess. Teachers should lobby and work to rule, not cause hardship to parents who can't afford to take days off when teachers strike.[/p][/quote]Just wanted to say that your comment was a breath of fresh air times are hard for a lot people but i am so half that your professionalism means you but your patients first. I agree but unfortunately you to be superhuman and worked as a teacher to possibility dare comment on teaching in this country according or dare offer an opinion on the strike actions according to seem folk. I bet most teachers would be on the floor after a 12hr shift on a ward! Keep up the good work. I have spoken to some teachers who are unhappy but don't agree with nut anti Tory just say no and don't negotiate or sacrifice an inch. Even labour and have abandoned them. There needs to be more grown up talk instead of this militant attitude. Mi_Coc
  • Score: -5

8:18am Wed 30 Apr 14

Guy Smiley says...

It's got nothing to do with teaching.

It's about pay and their gold-plated pension pots. Selfish individuals living in the 1970's.

My pension terms got changed after Gordon Brown ransancked the pension funds and I don't recall my guys going on strike.

Remember - only 17 teachers have been sacked in the past 10-years for incompetence...... JOB FOR LIFE
It's got nothing to do with teaching. It's about pay and their gold-plated pension pots. Selfish individuals living in the 1970's. My pension terms got changed after Gordon Brown ransancked the pension funds and I don't recall my guys going on strike. Remember - only 17 teachers have been sacked in the past 10-years for incompetence...... JOB FOR LIFE Guy Smiley
  • Score: -3

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