Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rain on the Parade

'Salina is home again today. Not sick, this time - the teachers think that the system is sick and so are on strike.

I feel for the teachers - truly, I do. They get paid well below stripper rates, get told all the time they are doing crap jobs by their own bosses (who hog-tie them with curriculum that every parent has an opinion about), have to babysit both ferals and minxes and then get compost heaped on them for all the holidays they get.

So yes, I feel for them. But I think they have it wrong this time.

I think they should be more creative. Oh, bad pay, lets do what has always been done, go on strike, march on parliament, etc, etc - Industrial Action 101.

What is Anna to do? If she goes "oh, I didn't realise, here is some more money" she opens the door to every other sector thinking "what ho, we will do the same" and she is poleaxed - and so I really think they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

On top of that, every parent is being told to keep their child home if possible. That works for us - I work half-time from home and presently V isn't working, so we can do that - but there are many who can't - and many who will be taking their children into unprepared workplaces because they have no choice - and so the very people who they want on their side are not too happy.

I think (and they are welcome to use this for their next round of "negotiations") they should have a sit-in, and teach the children jokes and songs for the day - absolutely nothing useful. Perhaps do workshops on great industrial slogans? Get the kids on marching practice on the oval nearest the road. Advise the government that they are going to start teaching the three Rs - revolution, radicalism and anarchy - until they are taken seriously.

Anyhow, its bucketing down here, so I hope they have their umbrellas - and perhaps they could take 'Salina's suggestion and paint a few slogans on the tops? Heck, they could have done that with the kids too!!

12 comments:

Kari said...

Its such a tough call on what should be done in these situations. Here teachers are not allowed to strike it is illegal and they can lose their jobs if they choose to do so.

Parents are not supportive when they picket the board meetings and they get really angry that the teachers are doing that.

My mom has lost almost all of her health insurance, some of her retirement benefits (she isn't retired yet), and their pay here too is entirely too low. There just is no money. They get a contract because they are unionized but they are not allowed to strike like most unions can do.

rhubarbwhine said...

I agree - AND i AM ONE OF 'THEM'. i REFUSE TO STRIKE, i DO NOT BELEIVE IN IT AT ALL. iN PREVIOUS YEARS, WHEN ADVSISED TO STRIKE, i HAVE LET 'MY' PARENTS KNOW i AM IN THE CLASSROOM AND CHILDREN ARE WELCOME. wE HAVE A 'SMIGGLES' DAY - WE CLEANED OUT DESKS, CLASS ROOM SHELVES, ORGANISED STOREROOMS, DID ALL THE HOUSEKEEPING JOBS WE NEVER GET TIME TO DO. cATCH UP ON MARLING, ORGANISE PAPERWORK, SO ON AND SO FORTH.

(I have just realised the caps lock is on - ooops and sorry, but I am too lazy to retype this)

This strike, the powers that be have gotten clever, and have forbidden us to have child contact at all. This is wrong and I am glad I work the end of the week thus do not have to stand and argue my indignation at being forced into disrespecting the very people we should have 'on our side' the parents and children.

If unions want workers to strike, strikers should be doing what they can to keep the client base or the target group of supporters - happy. Bus drivers - let your passengers ride free. They will suppport you. Teachers, allow the children in and have some other type of day, just don't 'teach'. Parents and children will support you.

What's the point in setting offside the very people you need to support your argument? Strikers need to stall the top level and work upwards, not squash the consumer or client.

I'll get off my soap box now, sorry!

Jayne said...

Yep, I agree they need to move with the times and get creative but sometimes the contracts hog-tie them so they can/can't take industrial action if there's an R in the month or if there's children present in the schoolyard type nonsense.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Our teachers had a few days and half days off last year striking and out of hours school care wasn't an option either. As a single parents there's nobody I can use to take care of him and I had an interview on one of the half days that I had to change.

I support the teachers but you're right, getting parents offside isn't working in their favour.

Leenie said...

I have always wondered why teachers get so little and lawyers get so much. It seems like we are always investing in the wrong things.

mommamia said...

Wow. I understand why they are striking but the children are suffering in the end. Who knows where half of them are today since there is no school. I hope it gets straighten out soon.

Widdle Shamrock said...

Back in the good old days, tutors were considered the same as personal servants.

I don't think this thinking has moved forward much.

We are removing more and more educational responsibility from parents and expecting teachers to pick it up in the classroom with the same amount of time in a school day.

Overworked and underpaid. I come from a family of teachers and while I homeschool, I have alot of respect for teachers and the environment they find themselves in.

Bush Babe said...

This is so hard - I totally believe there should be better pay for teachers, to lure the good ones to stay and share their knowledge with our kids. Kinda the most important job (besides parenting) out there.

And I agree with the difficult position that working parents are placed in when teachers strike. Am intrigued to hear that they cannot be in contact with kids during industrial action... news to me!!

What really makes me mad? Federal government blowing millions on buildings for all state schools (regardless of whether they are needed or not) when the ones that actually TEACH are being underpaid. Seriously FALSE ECONOMY Kevin...

(Off my soapbox now too!)

BB

Woman in a Window said...

Well I'll be darned, I think they'd be more motivated in government to listen if the teachers followed your advice!

le @ thirdontheright said...

all great comments. I personally don't support the strike. I also don't support across the board pay rises.

I feel that, if what I have read is right, first year queensland teachers earn $51 000 plus while once nine years of service is achieved they can earn $80k plus. That means you'd be in your early 30s ... this is not bad money.

I agree it is a consuming job when done well. Trouble is - as in all professions - there are great teachers and hopeless teachers. Yet it seems impossibily hard to move the bad teachers on ...

I am happy that they have all those holidays - a good teacher would need them to re-charge.

There is never enough money in the public purse to go round to the teachers, nurses and police.

Let's stop spending on big ticket defence items and redirect the dollars to these sectors. Maybe we could cut the pollie pay packets.

And I agree with bush babe - stop building more and grander buildings and redirect the $ to human resources ... end le xox

rhubarbwhine said...

le - most teachers in qld schools are mature age graduates, starting in their 30s (some 40s). Many who start teaching in their early days leave the industry, move onto to associated tasks or take another career.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the pay scale should reflect performance? Is that too unfair? ~snicker~ I now have first hand experience on this subject from the perspective of parent, albeit for a very short time....my opinion of teachers is the same as I had when I was 14. V