Stand, unite and fight

5th July 2013 at 01:00

I am writing in response to the letter "What do we want? Support, not strikes" by Luke Snell (28 June). Unions are vital for ensuring that teachers have a voice in national debates and provide a sense of community. The current pressures that are being applied to teachers are mentally and physically damaging and could ultimately result in a poorer quality of education for students.

The NASUWT Big Question survey has shown that 55 per cent of teachers have considered leaving the teaching profession in the past 12 months. I am one of this number, who had been left feeling that the situation for teachers was futile. However, my increased involvement with my union has shown that I can have a voice and that, together, teachers can make a difference. With a government that refuses to listen to us, we are having to turn to strike action to show the depth of our feeling. It is not something that unions resort to lightly. All we ask is that Michael Gove, England's education secretary, listens to us and makes certain pieces of evidence available. We are not being unreasonable. I worry for Mr Snell and others who have abandoned our cause. What will they do when they are working 70-hour weeks, 45 weeks per year, for the same pay they receive now?

Helen Ryan, Merton NASUWT.

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