To fight or not to fight? That is the union question

11th January 2013 at 00:00

I read two things in a newspaper recently that made me unhappy: 1) We could be entering a triple-dip recession. 2) The NASUWT and NUT are threatening more strike action - primarily over pay and pensions.

I don't think that there will be much sympathy for the second thing as a result of the first. And I don't think the best front on which to fight is pay and pensions. Sadly, this battle has been lost and there will be zero sympathy from the public if there is more strike action. Instead, the unions should try, for once, to unite in a common cause around boycotting Ofsted. This contemptible poodle of a government is where the teaching profession should really fight a battle that could be won. We won't go on strike, thus alienating parents and the public in general. We will simply not let Ofsted in until its role has been properly discussed and defined with teachers.

Economic misery is not the right context in which to strike. Getting on with the job but highlighting the folly of the Ofsted regime might just be something for which there is some sympathy and understanding from the British public.

Richard Hand, Reading.

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