Saturday, April 05, 2008

Strike Advice

I've been employed as a teacher in a secondary school for the last few months on a temporary contract. I left a couple of weeks ago to give myself time to do my PhD corrections (don't fucking ask). I've accepted the offer of more work next term.

As you may have heard the National Union of Teachers are, rightly, organising a national strike on 24 April over below inflation pay rises (i.e. pay cuts in real terms). The NASUWT and other teaching unions, however, will not be striking with them. Unfortunately I'm in the NASUWT which may leave me in an awkward position. I should think that it is most likely that the school at which I work, along with most other schools across the country, will simply close for the day. However, there is a chance that some schools will expect non-NUT members amongst their staff to come in that day and teach their classes (and perhaps provide cover for absent NUT teachers).

Clearly, I don't want be involved in any strike breaking.

Just thought I'd ask this blog's knowledgeable leftie readership what I should do. Obviously, I'll refuse to cover lessons for NUT strikers. I assume that, even though I'm not in the NUT, coming into work that day to teach my classes (not covering others) is still, effectively, helping to break a strike (??). As far as I'm aware the NUT will not be picketing at school gates and there is nothing on their website about what they're asking members of other unions to do. The NASUWT don't offer any information about this either.

What do you suggest? What is the relevant trade unionist ettiquette here?

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