Not everyone wants to go on strike

25th November 2011 at 00:00

With industrial action imminent, it must be pointed out that not all teachers want to strike.

Not all of us regard it as unreasonable to take reduced pay or to contribute more to our pension pot if the alternative is unemployment, the kind faced by thousands of private business employees up and down the country daily. I can't help but wonder why, if our cause is so just, the public don't support us more.

While I'm not overly enamoured with the prospect of being made to stand in front of a class well into my 60s, I think many of us would happily continue to contribute in other ways, not necessarily in the classroom. By all means put us to good use, but it will be to no one's advantage to have us still teaching at 68.

If, in order to avoid the kind of irresponsible national insolvency experienced by Greece, it means us doing our bit whether this is enduring a pay freeze or even a pay cut, I'll happily do it regardless of whether or not my better-paid banking brothers are prepared to do the same. Surely that's how to take, and keep, the moral high ground. Let's not delude ourselves: no amount of negotiating, strike action or rioting is ever going to alter that particular unpalatable universal law.

However, in the event of me turning up to picket, my placard will read: "We should count ourselves lucky and all go back to work."

F Elder, Lancashire.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today