Industrial Action

jenks

thread death
So today I am at home instead of work - The NUT has called its first national strike in 21 years. It has got me thinking - is the strike an outmoded form of protest? Or is it just a that we have been sucked into seeing unions and their actions as outmoded - a throwback to a less'enlightened' age?

I suppose the more important question is whether it does any good striking? Afterall this is costing me a day's pay and possibly losing me the goodwill of the 'general public'. I voted to strike in the ballot because I really wanted people to realise just how paltry this supposed pay rise is (I believe the common verb for employers is 'offered' whilst we are 'demanding' - interesting connotations there)

And I have been involved in local disputes which have been more about the actual institutions I have been working at - these haveusually been successful because of the level of leverage involved.

I feel that I should be doing something about my pay and conditions, after all I don't suppose many would wnat to be in my hush puppies and cord jacket period 5 on a Friday afternoon!
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I think that the reasons striking is seen as outmoded is because

i) much less people work in mass workplaces these days.
ii) the 80s saw a huge backlash against unions including legislation which has made it harder to strike
iii) unions have changed - I get the distinct impression that mine is more interested in flogging me credit cards or insurance than it is standing up for my rights
iv) the media is still incredibly anti-union - this includes portraying stikers as being selfish wankers who still think they are living in the 70s.

Personally I think there should be a lot more of it. ;)
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"Afterall this is costing me a day's pay and possibly losing me the goodwill of the 'general public'."
I think it varies actually. I reckon that a lot of people think that teachers are underpaid and recognise that striking is one of the few options open to them. Also, for most people, teachers striking for one day has little direct effect on their lives except for their children missing one day of education which doesn't amount to much in the years they will spend in school. So, with striking teachers I think the public sympathises and feels no inconvenience and thus no goodwill is lost - at least in a short and effectively symbolic strike like this one.
On the other hand, the cries of rage you hear when something that everyone depends on (eg the post or the tubes) are so loud that I'm sure the goodwill lost must be significant, even when a large number of people are sympathetic to the cause.
As an aside, am I right in saying that the tubes are going to be on strike two days before the mayoral election? That seems to be political in intent as surely it will reflect badly on Livingstone, there seems to be something a little dodgy about that.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Worth pointing out that some people will have to take a day off work to look after their kids today, tho.

But otherwise bang on I think - when nurses or ambulance drivers strike most people seem to support them because it doesn't affect most people directly and there is a perception that it's a hard job which isn't paid well.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
iv) the media is still incredibly anti-union - this includes portraying stikers as being selfish wankers who still think they are living in the 70s.

Sounds like a pretty good description of Bob Crowe if you ask me.
 

Grievous Angel

Beast of Burden
I'm working at home today with seven year old in tow.

It's not all bad, means I get to listen to Busted for hours on end.
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
As an aside, am I right in saying that the tubes are going to be on strike two days before the mayoral election? That seems to be political in intent as surely it will reflect badly on Livingstone, there seems to be something a little dodgy about that.

What's the latest on this? I found this from ITN one week ago

A planned strike by London Underground workers is expected to be called off, the union said.

I've got a feeling the RMT made similar noises before the last mayoral election. Ordinarily my sympathies are reflexively with the unions, but Crowe really is a tit. But I can't believe even he would deliberately do anything to help Boris.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
there was a massive public transit - subway strike here a couple of months ago... didn't affect me much but i think a LOT of people were having a really hard time - city's mobility drastically reduced for 2 or 3 weeks while it lasted... i think the workers got what they wanted at least partially in the end.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"city's mobility drastically reduced for 2 or 3 weeks while it lasted... "
Two weeks! People were going batshit here and it was only two days. Anyone else get the email going round with a London Underground sign photoshopped so it said (topically enough) "Cunts" in the middle? Personally I love it when there is a strike, you're allowed to go into work late and it's quite nice to walk home in the evenings (but too far to do every day).

"What's the latest on this? I found this from ITN one week ago"
Dunno, latest I heard was the announcement that it was going to happen but that's what makes the headlines I guess.
 

matt b

Indexing all opinion
withdrawing one's labour is very often the only power workers have against employers. if striking didn't have some impact, the media/bosses wouldn't be so down on it.

ps here, we're not on school contracts so we're not striking. lots of staff with kids in though
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Commenting on today’s strike action Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teaching union said;

“Teachers do not take the decision to strike easily, or lightly, but teachers’ patience has been stretched to the limit. This is not just a one year issue. After 3 years of below inflation pay increases the prospect for a further 3 years of the same is the last straw.

“The Retail Price Index, which features on Government websites as the figure used for pay bargaining, is currently running at a yearly average of 4.1%. The current pay offer of 2.45% is well below that and can be seen in no other way than as a pay cut.


“Year on year pay that fails to keep pace with inflation has real consequences for the profession and our schools. It saps morale and causes problems of recruitment, retention and teacher shortages, not to mention real financial difficulty for our members. It is time to call a halt.

“Real term pay cuts hit youngest teachers the hardest. Not only do they have to contend with high housing costs, fuel bills and escalating food prices, they also have to pay back student loans at a rate of 4.8%.

“There has been a significant decline in applications for post graduate teacher training across both secondary and primary education. You cannot run a world class education system if teaching doesn’t attract enough graduates. It is time for the government to listen.”

http://www.teachers.org.uk/story.php?id=4263
 
D

droid

Guest
Ive read that some teachers have lost more than £2000 from their real wage since 2005 due to inflation.
 

vimothy

yurp
2% vs 4.5% or thereabouts

Current CPI = 2.5% (if UK CPI is believable)

From The Times:

The union is demanding a 10 per cent pay rise this year, or £3,000 for every teacher in England and Wales, whichever is the greater.

Ministers have announced a 2.45 per cent increase for teachers in England and Wales this year, with further rises of 2.3 per cent in 2009 and 2010.​

10 percent! What about HE employees? Me too!
 

matt b

Indexing all opinion
Current CPI = 2.5% (if UK CPI is believable)

From The Times:

The union is demanding a 10 per cent pay rise this year, or £3,000 for every teacher in England and Wales, whichever is the greater.

Ministers have announced a 2.45 per cent increase for teachers in England and Wales this year, with further rises of 2.3 per cent in 2009 and 2010.​

10 percent! What about HE employees? Me too!

news international anti-union shocker!

i've not heard any mention of 10% demands. nearly all call for wages to be linked to RPI.

you lot in HE are fcuked because you are essentially de-unionised
 
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