Strike two…

… to the press (again).

I have very strong views on strike action, and reasons for and against striking. I won’t state here which way I will be balloting, or what action I shall be taking should a strike go ahead, other than to say that I will not take any action which jeopardises my future.

Today’s news (examples here and here) regarding public sector pensions is keen to indicate that the Government have put a very enticing offer on the table. This focuses on the fact that the annual take home pension will be more than under the initial deal – which, on the face of it, is a good thing.

However, one has to search very hard to establish what happens to the level of employee and employer contributions. Likewise, to discover the duration for which these contributions are paid, at what age the pension can be redeemed, and what factors the final amount will be based upon.

My point is that there is much information that is hidden, so the deal on the table may not be as good as it seems at first glance; there is often more than one side to any story.

 

The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect any of the organisations that I belong to.

Bigmouth strikes again

Teaching unions perplex me for a number of reasons but, for this blog, I will focus only on today’s decision of two teaching unions (NUT and ATL) to strike over pensions. Striking is supposed to be a last resort, but how can this possibly be the case while there are still discussions going on?

Striking obviously has an immediate impact upon students in the classroom, but the date of the strike, 30th June 2011, happens to coincide with INSET (training) days in many education authorities. This leads me to seriously question the reasons and purpose of this particular strike.

Today’s news can be read here.

Strike one

…to democracy

Following Lord Hutton’s review and the proposals to reform public sector pensions, some teachers’ unions have voted in favour of a ballot for industrial action. The media would make you believe that this is a bad thing. While refraining from stating my opinion as to whether or not I think teachers (and the public sector as a whole) should strike, surely balloting is democracy in action.

An end of an era

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Strangely, I don’t have a feeling of elation that the end of the academic year is here. Today marks the last day of my current role at Downham Market High School. And when I return to work, it will be in a new position. There have been many ups and downs along the way, and I felt sadder today than I thought I would. Thanks to everyone who helped and supported me, and I wish you all the best in the future. You will all be missed.

So onwards and upwards with fresh challenges and I hope that my new job is equally as enjoyable and rewarding.

Now, time to rest up and bring on the summer holidays…