Reflections on the teachers' strike

2nd May 2008 at 01:00
Failure by the NASUWT teachers' union to ballot its members over the Government's three-year, below-inflation pay deal was shameful
Failure by the NASUWT teachers' union to ballot its members over the Government's three-year, below-inflation pay deal was shameful. Worse, its circular advising members what to do on the day was little better than strike-breaking. The union does have some "previous". It was created in the 1920s because it objected to equal pay for female teachers. In the 1960s, it led the campaign to retain corporal punishment. In recent years, it signed the "social partnership" and allowed teaching assistants to take classes and management allowances to be replaced by teaching and learning responsibility payments. In 2003, when the National Unions of Teachers balloted over boycotting national curriculum tests, the NASUWT once again stood on the sidelines. Two years ago, all the unions - including moderate heads' unions - threatened action over pensions. The only exception? The NASUWT again.

Richard Knights, Primary teacher, Liverpool.

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