Stories + Views
Should teachers be going on strike because of the cuts?
I just got a letter today saying that I will be looking after my son on Wednesday 30th March because the East London Teachers Association (ELTA), a regional branch of the National Union of Teachers, has voted to strike about the cuts to education services in Tower Hamlets. The NUT is claiming that 200 teachers could lose their jobs in the Borough.
I wonder if striking is the right policy — I know ELTA with a 40% turnout voted massively in favour of it — but I just don’t see that it’s going to achieve anything, other than harm children’s education and put parents’ noses out of joint. If a strike is going to work, it needs to be co-ordinated nationally; piecemeal strikes are not going to have much effect. The government are certainly not going to notice it and it gives them the chance to paint teachers as “loony lefties” — which they’ll love.
Above all, the Union needs to communicate in a better fashion with parents: I’ve received no information from them about this strike until I got the letter today. Their East London NUT website contains no news about the strike either.
I appreciate that things are difficult in the Borough, but I’ve yet to see solid evidence that 200 jobs are going. Personally, I don’t think a branch of the NUT is doing anyone any favours at this juncture by striking. The most important thing to do is to communicate to everyone what really is happening: we need hard facts.