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Teacher Strikes


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#1 zippys

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 01:40 PM

bucks CC school closure list...
http://apps1.buckscc...reClosures.aspx



anyone else think it's not good that the childern have to suffer when teachers want to strike, perhaps 12 weeks holiday a year isn't enough!!

#2 PeterC

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 04:20 PM

When I was at school I wouldn't have considered a teacher strike a hardship.
PeterC aka Chilternbirder

#3 David P

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 05:30 PM

I love the way that the unions always 'regret any inconvenience caused'.
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#4 Fran

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 08:56 PM

The strike is still too far away for schools to be able to predict its effects with any accuracy. Nearer the time, the link may be useful, though I would hope that affected schools would try to contact parents if they expect full or even partial closure.

#5 K&P

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 05:15 PM

Heads ask staff to declare whether or not they're striking, or they ask Union Reps for numbers. Then they make a decision regarding closure. With so many Unions agreeing to the action, it will be difficult for schools to remain open.

#6 zippys

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 06:29 PM

The strike is still too far away for schools to be able to predict its effects with any accuracy. Nearer the time, the link may be useful, though I would hope that affected schools would try to contact parents if they expect full or even partial closure.


Fran most of the working people need to give a week notice,

apperently the head "will know more by Friday"....I only hope the gov don't give in to the union demands

#7 cathindia

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:45 PM

Chesham Bois Primary will be closed. We have had a message from the Head. I have also asked at St George's Infants. They tell me that they think St George's will be open. Legally the teachers only have to give 24 hours notice, so they cannot be certain, however most teachers give more notice. Don't know about any other schools though.

#8 Fran

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:38 PM

Fran most of the working people need to give a week notice,

I realise that. Unfortunately, they won't necessarily get it, and if not, it won't necessarily be the fault of the head teachers.

The practical issue for me is the other end of the age range: my son has a university interview that day. Or not. With so many public sector unions involved, I don't know to what extent universities will be affected. He'll call them on Monday to ask if it's going ahead - unless they contact him first.

#9 HP6

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:46 AM

When I was at school I wouldn't have considered a teacher strike a hardship.


Times have not changed.

#10 ThreeDaysGrace

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 11:40 AM

Amersham School is striking, all except year 10 (the poor b*ggers!). They still have to go in for their mock exams!

#11 mvjt

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 01:25 PM

St Mary's is also closed for the day.

#12 hyposmurf

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:00 PM

I love the way that the unions always 'regret any inconvenience caused'.


Exactly and I'm sure the financial implications of many of these public secor workers going on strike, means there is even less money in the pot.If theres more strikes and more strain put on the public sector finances,theyll just have to take some harsher cuts.

#13 roob_the_doob

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:33 PM

I love the way that the unions always 'regret any inconvenience caused'.

This isn't a 'free hit'. Everyone striking will lose a day's pay. Most people would find that pretty inconvenient.

If I was told that my contract was being torn up and replaced with one where I took home less now and was going to be deprived of several years' pension (which is what being made to work for longer equates to), I think I'd be inclined to cause more than a little inconvenience. For all the inconvenience they have my complete support.

Winter of discontent mark II looks to be on the horizon.

#14 K&P

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:30 AM

This isn't a 'free hit'. Everyone striking will lose a day's pay. Most people would find that pretty inconvenient.

If I was told that my contract was being torn up and replaced with one where I took home less now and was going to be deprived of several years' pension (which is what being made to work for longer equates to), I think I'd be inclined to cause more than a little inconvenience. For all the inconvenience they have my complete support.

Winter of discontent mark II looks to be on the horizon.


I have thought long and hard about the strike; it wasn't an easy decision to make. Not only the loss of pay, but the difficulties many people will face as a result of the strike action.

I will be striking. Personally, I'm with Roob: governments cannot decide to rewrite agreements. We do have a voice.

(I am now ducking behind the parapets!)

#15 David P

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:57 PM

The strikers might care to realise that if they insist on keeping their present terms, then it is their children that will be paying for those pensions through increased taxes. There is nowhere else that the money can be conjured up from. And what chance then do those kids have of getting on the housing ladder?

No-one is losing anything which has already been earned, it is only future pension rights that are being changed. I.e. if you resign now you will get exactly the same deferred pension, whatever changes are made.(Correct me if I'm wrong).

Most of us who work (or worked) in the private sector have already been through this (it happened to me 15 years ago) and we had to be realistic about it - accept or the pension scheme may well go bust and you'll get sfa.

Some stats in today's Sunday Times do not increase the sympathy vote:
- of 19.3 billion paid in public sector pensions 2008-9, 14.9 billion came from taxpayers, not employee contributions
- 90% of public sector workers are in employer pension schemes, mostly final salary. Only 43% of private sector workers are in such schemes and only 15% still in final salary schemes
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#16 roob_the_doob

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:20 AM

The strikers might care to realise that if they insist on keeping their present terms, then it is their children that will be paying for those pensions through increased taxes. There is nowhere else that the money can be conjured up from. And what chance then do those kids have of getting on the housing ladder?

No-one is losing anything which has already been earned, it is only future pension rights that are being changed. I.e. if you resign now you will get exactly the same deferred pension, whatever changes are made.(Correct me if I'm wrong).

Most of us who work (or worked) in the private sector have already been through this (it happened to me 15 years ago) and we had to be realistic about it - accept or the pension scheme may well go bust and you'll get sfa.

With a few exceptions, there is no such thing as a public sector pension scheme.

Company pensions are schemes that employees can opt in or out of, and are covered by the appropriate sections of the law. Employees know what they are getting (and I'll agree that in many instances that isn't necessarily very much). By contrast, public sector pensions form part of the contract of employment - future pension expectations form part of the total remuneration package, and are effectively deferred pay, a completely different scenario from an 'accrued benefits' model. The fact that the calculation of that deferred pay looks rather like other pension schemes is largely a fiction.

While I would tend to argue against any change in the terms of public sector pensions, I would accept that there is at least an argument to be made for new employees perhaps being given poorer (or different) terms. They would know what they were getting when they signed up to a particular career. What IMHO is illegal (and is likely to be challenged in the courts) is to change the terms of someone's contract.

The line that is constantly trotted out about tomorrow's taxpayers having to pay for pensions is specious. It is always the case that (with the exception of the privately wealthy) *all* support for pensioners, of whatever sort and however supported, comes out of the total of national economic activity at that time. The only question is what arrangements are put in place to distribute the fruits of that economic activity. The present government's position seems to be that everyone can go hang.

Oh, and the government's claim that we can't afford the current arrangements is a straightforward lie. The Hutton review showed that *under the existiing arrangements* the cost of public sector pensions as a proportion of GDP has already peaked and is now at the start of a long decline.

#17 Bawbag

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:30 AM

'tis a pity none of Amersham's fine hostelries have play equipment for children. We could all then spend a pleasant day in the pub while the little darlings tired themselves out :)

#18 HP6

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:22 AM

The line that is constantly trotted out about tomorrow's taxpayers having to pay for pensions is specious. It is always the case that (with the exception of the privately wealthy) *all* support for pensioners, of whatever sort and however supported, comes out of the total of national economic activity at that time. The only question is what arrangements are put in place to distribute the fruits of that economic activity.


[asks in a non-confrontational tone] What arrangements do you think should be put in place by those who will be producing the fruits of that economic activity?

#19 Danny Boy

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 01:14 PM

I have a little sympathy with people who feel they entered into a job thinking they would be rewarded with a very generous pension scheme, and now see that generosity curtailed a little. I felt the same when I was made redundant. My contract said I would be paid X amount, monthly. Then I was paid nothing. Perhaps, the lucky ones should have gone on strike in sympathy for the redundant, but then the business would fold and everyone would be out of a job. My employer had to shed staff in order to survive; it did not have access to unlimited funds, called the taxpayer.

Striking Public Sector workers need to get real. They have benefitted from a scheme that is now virtually unavailable to private sector workers. The majority of their pension is paid for by Private Sector workers, who are also paying for their own pensions and the State pension. Indeed, the average Private Sector worker now pays more towards the average public sector worker pension than they do towards their own. That is if they have one. Growing numbers don’t. Where I work less than 15% are paying into a pension. Those in their 20s and 30s cannot afford the contributions, and the poor returns these days put people off. Contrastingly, many civil servants pay nothing towards their generous pensions.

Hutton did not say Public Sector pensions were affordable, he said that they were not expected to increase their share of GDP, i.e. they were not projected to become more unaffordable. The State is already spending 20% more than it receives. It has been doing this for years and it now has a £3.5tn debt (official figures). State spending now accounts for over half of GDP. This is the road to ruin. We live in a Global economy, where competition for jobs and resources is fierce. We have 5m people on out of work benefits and 1.4m part-timers looking for full-time work. Applications for teacher training courses are massively oversubscribed. Many businesses shed workers in 2008/09, and there are plenty operating pay freezes and pay cuts. These are the people who create the wealth to pay for the State sector.

This is a summary of what John Hutton said in his pension review:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11491037

In a nutshell, he concluded Public Sector workers need to pay more in contributions and work longer. He also said recently, “public sector workers are wrong to strike over pensions”. He’s not some “nasty Tory” “rich banker”, either. He’s a Labour politician, who, has worked for the State all his life. He could not enact such changes whilst in Government because the Labour Party is funded by the unions.

State workers need to understand they work for the public. They have no right to jobs, pay and benefits, which are unavailable and certainly unsustainable in the real economy. They also need to stand-up to their bullying unions, a number of whom are run by communist and militant, socialist extremists. Unless, of course, that’s your vision for the Country.

#20 David P

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:41 PM

Company pensions are schemes that employees can opt in or out of, and are covered by the appropriate sections of the law. Employees know what they are getting (and I'll agree that in many instances that isn't necessarily very much). By contrast, public sector pensions form part of the contract of employment - future pension expectations form part of the total remuneration package, and are effectively deferred pay, a completely different scenario from an 'accrued benefits' model. The fact that the calculation of that deferred pay looks rather like other pension schemes is largely a fiction.


Joining the company pension scheme was always part of my conditions of employment, so no difference there. And the benefits did get reduced at one point so I didn't get as much on retirement as I initially expected. The real difference is hidden in that lovely euphemism 'deferred pay'. What that means is that while my pension is paid for entirely by the contribution I and my company paid in while I was working, only a small proportion of a public sector pension comes from contributions. Come retirement it is the taxpayer who foots the majority of the bill, regardless of the inadequacy of contributions or investment performance. Councils. for example, can employ staff for, say, 10% less than the true cost, happy in the knowledge that they will never have to pick up the shortfall (as many private employers are now having to).

It is always the case that (with the exception of the privately wealthy) *all* support for pensioners, of whatever sort and however supported, comes out of the total of national economic activity at that time.

Nonsense. My pension is funded entirely from the contributions I and my company paid in over 40 years.
David P

#21 K&P

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 06:37 PM

Danny, I think you hit on an interesting problem when you say that businesses "create the wealth to pay for the State sector". It highlights the 'public vs. private' debate, and describes both sides as having opposing agendas.

As a Teacher, I see my role as a 'public service', rather than a 'public servant'. I am charged with growing the next generation into workers who can best support those businesses who 'create wealth'. Therefore, I create a wealth of sorts: the workers.

I do the best I can with a curriculum shaped and formed by governments. I would love to be able to channel students into skills-based learning: it is pointless force-feeding Shakespeare to a student who is passionate about cars, and who shows a talent for working with them! However, the courses available and the statutory requirements are prescribed by government.

For me, as long as government disregard the importance of Education and how valuable Teachers are, I imagine this notion of a divide between private and public will be perpetuated.

K

#22 roob_the_doob

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:00 AM

Nonsense. My pension is funded entirely from the contributions I and my company paid in over 40 years.

I'm guessing your pension is paid largely by dividends on shares. Those dividends come out of today's profits. Not those from 40 years ago. Another portion will come from gilts - the government paying interest on money it borrowed, which in turn comes from taxes - again, from today's economy. And if the scheme is still running, the fund will be maintained by those currently contributing to the scheme - yet again, today's economic activity.

The way our pensions are set up only works because pension funds are invested so that the economy grows, so that there is a much larger economy to support later pensions payouts. If your pension was paid out of the economy as it stood when you paid in, you would not be at all happy.

#23 David P

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 07:58 PM

I'm guessing your pension is paid largely by dividends on shares. Those dividends come out of today's profits. Not those from 40 years ago. Another portion will come from gilts - the government paying interest on money it borrowed, which in turn comes from taxes - again, from today's economy. And if the scheme is still running, the fund will be maintained by those currently contributing to the scheme - yet again, today's economic activity.

The way our pensions are set up only works because pension funds are invested so that the economy grows, so that there is a much larger economy to support later pensions payouts. If your pension was paid out of the economy as it stood when you paid in, you would not be at all happy.


The fund that pays my pension has been built up from contributions paid by me, contributions paid by my employer, dividends, interest and increased asset value accumulated over the WHOLE of the last 50 years. It is public sector pensions that are paid largely (about 80%) out of CURRENT taxation.

Those dividends etc. have been generated by the private sector, which, I grant, has always been supported by the public sector infrastructure. But that does not justify why public sector pensions should be so much better than those in the private sector.
David P