29 November 2011

Time for a parents' strike?

With most schools closed tomorrow many millions of parents will not be able to go to work. While an extra day at home with the little darlings will be welcomed by many, those with jobs without the long term security of the public sector or the guaranteed publicly subsidised pensions (whether gold plated or not), or those self employed will be the big losers with another productive day wiped out by the selfish actions of the public sector unions.

The unions argue that their members are paying the price for bailing out the banks - which is simply untrue. Around half the deficit was caused by propping up the banks - the other the other half (the structural deficit) was spent by Brown, Balls and co on things like NHS computers that didn’t work, management consultants, ID cards, providing handouts to their client voters condemning them to dependency and the poverty trap and helping to crowd out entrepreneurialism.

So given the huge public sector spending splurge of the previous government - unfunded by current taxation - retrenchment was always going to be painful for the public sector - just as the crash of 2008-10 was very painful for the private sector.

The leadership of the public sector unions serve their members badly by calling these selfish, politically motivated strikes. As a result they will make things worse rather than better for their members in the long term.

The good will of parents (and no doubt other hit by these strikes) is running out - if teachers persist in disrupting children's education - parents who provide a huge financial and other commitment to the smooth running of most schools may start to feel less inclined to support teachers in their jobs.

At my childrens' schools parents are happy to volunteer in class rooms, talk to children about their experiences help with school trips and generally make life easier for pupils and teachers alike. The Parent School Association raises thousands of pounds each year for things like playground equipment, sports equipment, classroom pets and equipment, visits to school by authors, artists and musicians etc. Yes it provides a more interesting and diverse curriculum for the kids - it also makes the job of teaching them more rewarding.

So if this latest round of industrial foolishness causes fewer parents to participate in their schools (even if it is just to make up the pay lost through taking leave to cover the strike) teachers will lose out too.

So it's time for the trots at the top of the teaching unions to accept the inevitable, stop their undergraduate posturing and agree a deal that protects their members as best they can in harsh economic conditions and encourages a more benign view of the profession from parents (well from this one at least).


  1. Ah! So Trotskyists have pulled the wool over the eyes of feeble-minded teachers. It all becomes clear.

  2. The propaganda from the Unions has certainly led a lot of their members to misunderstand the facts.

    I was talking to my daughter's teacher the other day and he was absolutely convinced that money he had paid into his pension fund was being taken away by the Government. He had no idea that his own contribution only funded a fraction of the pesnion he would eventually get.