To be completely honest the Teachers Strike does not affect me. I work from home and home educate one child so having the other one home doesn’t really matter, in fact it is quite nice. Unfortunately for him he doesn’t get away with a day off, i’m working with Jamie anyway so he might as well join in. Today we did a science experiment about dissolving sugar cubes. It was fun and it meant he didn’t completely miss a day of education.
However, for some people the strikes are difficult. Short notice to take time off from work, using a days leave which you’d much rather stick in a 2 week block, or loosing a days pay. Then there are the special needs kids, those who have a routine and don’t like change. Those who expected to be going to school this morning that ended up in meltdown because it is clearly Wednesday and they can’t comprehend that this isn’t school today. There are people who have 1 child in school and 1 child not in school, I can imagine this is difficult too.
I am in full support of the teachers (good gosh my mother and mother in law are teachers – i’d be lynched if I wasn’t). But seriously it is not because of that, I support them because happier teachers mean a better environment for my child to learn. Lets face it, they deserve better pay and pensions.
But striking, i’m not so sure of. Firstly if they do strike, it is a day of industrial action and I feel that the teachers should therefore be picketing. I have seen many a status update today, and in the past of teachers being on strike and having a days shopping, a pamper day, etc etc. Now I understand they don’t get paid for the day but our children are missing out on a days education and I want it to count. Just this week I received a letter saying that my son’s attendance was being monitored. Apparently locally some parents have been taken to court for their child’s attendance being less than 85%. Now my sons attendance is 90.1% but I know last time it was 87%. I have never ever taken him out of school unless he has been ill. So the warning letter came and then the next day a letter saying that the school will be on strike. Lets just say that got my back up. The letter went on to explain that if a child misses the morning register they will be marked as unauthorised for the whole morning. Well luckily this doesn’t happen often but having another child who is on the spectrum and prone to meltdowns at any given moment we have had issues where she has refused to come and take her brother to school. What can you do? Leave her – NO, take him – NO, force her in the car and get beaten up in the process and be late for registration – YES. But enough about that.
There are certain groups who I don’t believe should go on strike. The Police for example are not allowed to strike and could you imagine if they did!! I don’t think the Fire Brigade should be able to strike. I am ex-army and I was involved in the Fire Strikes personally, I trust those guys with my life and they can turn their hand to anything, but soldiers are not Fire Fighters and to put that pressure onto them is unfair (in my opinion). Council Workers – I myself have worked for the Council (Adult Social Services to be precise) and I have been involved in a potential strike. Luckily that Strike didn’t go ahead because all I could think the elderly and disabled would be trying to contact us and who would be there to help? So Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Teachers, any front line service I believe should not strike. But unfortunately I don’t know what they are supposed to do to get the discussions and the results they want :(
I have seen a lot of status’s today about, shall we fine the school £60 because they have gone on strike, it is unfair that we can’t take our kids out of school but they can close the school … It isn’t the school that fine you for taking your kids out of school, this goes beyond schools, they have no choice. I know many teachers and they would agree that sometimes a holiday (at certain times of year) can be as good and as educational as being in school. Especially towards the end of the school year.
Maybe if we did something we could help the teachers so that next time they don’t have to strike? Any teachers out there have any ideas?