Thursday, April 24, 2008

School's out... for some.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is ordering its teachers to go on strike today in protest of teachers' pay, which was claimed to be below the inflation rate.

Up to 2,000 schools will be affected by the first teachers' strike in over 20 years. The Union is unhappy over the pay recommendation by an independent body that was charged to come up with a deal that is 'fair to teachers and affordable to taxpayers'.

Although the average pay for teachers is well over 30k per year, which is higher than that of nurses and police, most grumbled that what they're getting is way below that.

Then perhaps the problem lies with distribution then. It seems that those higher up the hierarchy is getting more than their fair share.

I'm sure some teachers are unwilling to go along with NUT's decision but then again, that's the whole point of being in a union - strength in numbers.

Going on strike may mean losing moral authority. But it's not really fair to expect teachers to hold moral high ground while depriving them of inflation adjusted pay while subjecting them to abuse (over 50% of teachers surveyed claimed that they're abused by their students).

While students are having a day off, parents, on the other hand, are in a fix. While the parents wish that the teachers are kept happy so that their charges could be well looked after, it's quite difficult to find child care just for the day and I would expect most parents to be taking special leave.

What do you think? Should the teachers be on strike? Are you, in any way, affected by the strike?

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SheR. said...

I was so against strikes previously cos I have the mentality that they are very disrupting for the economy. Then I realised most of the strikes started because some things won't happen if people don't speak up for their rights. Everyone will suffer with less than minimum wage.
Just my personal point of view.

sand said...

Hey, Singaporean!

I am not affected, as my son's school is only partially closed and his teacher is not involved in the strike, but I wouldn't mind if she was, "you gotta fight for your right...". Right?

It's true that the closures are affecting working parents, but we've been informed about it weeks in advance so it isn't a shock-horror-panic situation.

I wish them good luck, it's not an easy job to do and they should be recognized for that.

C K said...

I understand that the Union will have to compensate its members for the lost pay when striking so I don't think any industrial action will be long...

I agree with what you say about the necessity for some strikes. Does it happen often at where you're now?

Nice to hear from you!

I'm sure NUT would be glad to have such 'enlightened' parents around. But the govt seemed to be rather admament against giving in to NUT's demands.

But then again, the PM just did a climbdown over the 10pc tax... so... who knows?

thailand said...

Your blog is very good. Good work!!!

SheR. said...

Unfortunately not in Croatia. The most recent one was to demand for minimum wage to be half of average wage and nothing turned out. The government couldn't be bothered if they can't make money out of anything...