Striking Out

I usually blog about books and TV shows, films and climate change. Today, however, I wanted to write about something a little bit more personal. My wish to take Strike Action tomorrow.

I cannot remember the last time we were driven to consider striking but this year many unions have decided to take this action due to lots of factors, including workload and pay conditions.

Why Am I Striking?

I know that in education we have seen our workload triple over the past decade. We drown in lots of unnecessary paperwork and admin. We all know that red tape has grown and bogged us down. Our work day is roughly 8:00 till 17:00 but when we come home we switch on our laptops and do another 2-3 hours of admin work every evening.

I hear people saying that teachers are lazy and have lots of holidays but the daily stress and responsibility is enormous. Many people go home from work and forget about it pretty much but we have so many things to plan, coordinate, remember and generally stress about each night and throughout the weekend.

So Why Strike?

Yes it is disruptive and no I would not normally get involved but there is plenty of evidence to show that salaries have plummeted as inflation has risen. We are literally struggling to pay our bills. I now believe strike action is required.

Source: ONS and the Times via @danielkebedeneu

We Need To Stick Together!

I was recently convinced to join the NEU strike because my own bills are increasing rapidly. Yet our pay has not risen in line with this. To add to this, we were made to work in 41 degree temperatures last summer. This was incredibly stifling without air conditioning. A difficult teaching environment.

These two facts led to me signing YES on the NEU ballot.

I feel that our profession is not respected like it used to be and our work is piling up. Teachers are leaving in droves and we are forever having to plan and cover for others as long term sickness and vacancies make us unbearably short staffed.

In A Nutshell

To me it feels like schools are driving talented people away. Other European countries pay more competitive wages and have better work-life balances. Sorry for the political rant but I just wanted to say why it is so important to me. I feel we need to take strike action to provoke change.

For a previous article about climate change, have a read of this. Please also consider following my blog for lifestyle content and book/ TV/ film reviews.

18 thoughts on “Striking Out

  1. I think teaching must be the only profession where you have to put it hours of work writing lesson plans before you can take a sick day! I have written sub plans from the ER with a broken shoulder and while lying on my bathroom floor! I often thought the real work of teaching begins after the students leave! I’ve worked evenings, weekends, and holidays…,especially in the early years. My daughter who works as a special Ed aide currently earns less per hour than a McDonald’s worker.

  2. It’s so sad that we’re at this point where so many people need to strike. I’m definitely a supporter; people can’t continue with bad working conditions and not enough money.

  3. As a fellow teachers, all of your thoughts resonate with me. I think people just feel we have it easy due to summers off, holidays off, early dismissal. If only they realized how many teachers have second jobs, work summers, bring work home or stay at work longer hours. My district threatened to strike, but agreed on a contract. Good luck to you and your fellow teachers.

  4. It’s so sad that we’re at this point where so many people need to strike. I’m definitely a supporter; people can’t continue with bad working conditions and not enough money. I absolutely support teachers and wish they were respected more.

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