Teachers and lecturers held a one-day strike in London late last month over staff and pension cuts

Debate: As unions announce walk out, are teachers right to go on strike?

Share
Related Topics

 

What's going on?

Teachers in England and Wales will go on strike this summer as the row over pay, pensions and working conditions shows no sign of resolution.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT announced the move, which will see teachers absent from classrooms in the summer term, after months of dispute.

Strikes will start in the north-west of England but a national strike will be called in the autumn term if agreement with the government cannot be reached.

"We are very disappointed", said a spokesman for England's Department for Education. But are the unions right to call a strike?

Case for: Fair

Teachers are being stretched to the limit without fair reward. Pensions have been cut, pay is dropping, hazy government initiatives (ebacc? Ebc? GCS-what?) confuse all on the frontlines. And still Michael Gove pursues his ideological crusade without consulting teachers and without listening when objections are raised. This strike will get his attention. What's clear is that teachers should not pay for a recession that was none of their business; what Mr Gove must realise is that hammering the profession will lead to declining standards of education as more staff quit and fewer join up. Who will suffer then? Clue, it's not the Education Secretary...

Case against: Indulged

This strike is selfish, plain and simple. The government cannot afford to ring-fence teachers from cuts that need to be made across the public sector. Complaints about the introduction of performance-related pay issue from ineffective teachers who want to cover up their underperformance.  27 per cent of NUT members voted in this ballot, and 40 per cent of NASUWT. The strike can hardly be called a consensus action, then. The Unions represent the unreasonable band of teachers who have been mollycoddled for too long and cannot accept that times have changed.

Teachers are right to strike

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would make sure rich people paid to live here

Bonnie Greer
 

The majority of sex workers enjoy their job - why should we find that surprising?

Alex Bryce
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn