Will it cost me to join the action?

18th April 2008 at 01:00
Q: How much pay will I lose by going on strike?

A: The law says that one 365th of a salary should be deducted from pay for each day a teacher goes on strike. Before tax, this works out at pound;55 for a teacher on the lowest pay rung of pound;20,133.

A teacher on the average salary of pound;33,820 will lose pound;92.70, while the highest paid advanced skills teacher in inner London, earning pound;59,724, will lose pound;164. If all 200,000 serving NUT teachers earned the average salary and went on strike for a day, the Government would withhold more than pound;18.5 million from pay packets.

Of course, the NUT would argue that teachers could gain a great deal more pay in the long run by going on strike.

Q: I'm a teacher who is not in the NUT. What should I do?

A: The NASUWT, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and Voice, are encouraging their members to go to work if their schools are open, as any industrial action taken by non-NUT teachers would be regarded as unlawful.

If you are not taking part in the action and your school is closed, you should still notify your school that you are available to work.

Managers should be careful not to arrange cover for the classes of NUT members with other teachers or members of support staff.

Q: If I go on strike, is it reasonable for me to sit at home and watch TV or do the gardening?

A: You can, if you wish. However, the NUT is calling on all striking members to demonstrate at a locally organised event. There will be no picket lines outside schools.

Q: I'm a headteacher and am still unsure whether I will have to close my school. When is the last moment I can inform parents?

A: The Association of Teachers and Lecturers says that most heads will already know if they will be closing their schools because the NUT has told them how many will be going on strike.

For heads who plan to make a last-minute decision, there is no statutory notice period for parents - just the sooner the better.

Q. If my school closes, will I have to work an extra day at some other time in the year?

A: It has been rumoured that some authorities may threaten this, but the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said it had found little foundation for it.

Q: What if the strike is called off at the 11th hour?

A: If it is called off on Wednesday evening, after parents have been told a school will close, it may not be possible to inform families and staff of the change of plan.

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