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Ban Teachers From Going on Strike

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Over the next few weeks, many teachers are going on strike.

The NASUWT says: "parents understand we have to stand up for our pay and conditions." The NUT adds "Parents are very supportive of our position".

Well here's the tough love on that one. We don't understand and we don't support you. 70% of the public do not approve of the teachers strike. 39% think teachers should be banned from striking altogether.

We think of teachers in the same way that we think of nurses or ambulance crew. Individuals motivated in part by the need to work to live but also by an admirable desire to make a difference; or to try to affect change by being a positive force for good.

Going on strike is an affront to all of that.

There are rules and regulations at school. Most of us try to adhere to them as best as we can. We understand we should not take our children out of school outside of the school holidays. Parents are aware there are fines of £60 for unauthorised absence.

But now our teachers are simply walking out.

We encourage our children to respect their teachers, supporting their learner journey from wanting everything their own way, to understanding that you are not going to like certain decisions and some things will not work out the way you might hope.

But now our teachers are throwing a collective strop and shouting about the things they don't like.

The strike hits working families hard. Working mums undoubtedly bear the brunt of this action, facing awkward conversations with their employers, often taking annual leave to play teacher at home for the day.

Importantly the rationale for the strike is fundamentally flawed: changes to pay; conditions; pensions and workload.

New polling suggests the public are supportive of performance related pay for teachers. Parents want to see rewards for high performing teachers delivering exceptional results for their children. National pay levels are archaic. The longer you stay in post, the more you are paid. Length of tenure is not a good indicator of teaching merit.

Equally public sector pensions hugely outperform private sector pensions. Teachers will increase contributions from 6.4% to 9.4% of their salary to their pension pot. PwC estimates private sector workers need to contribute anything from 15% - 40% of their pay into defined contributions plans to achieve the same benefit.

Ever sector is facing a squeeze. The age of the unionised labour is behind us, hence its dated views.

Only 27% of the NUT bothered to turn out for the ballot on this strike. Meaning only 50,000 or so of their members thought this was an acceptable approach.

Strikes motivated by selfishness are hard to comprehend from a profession that is defined by a dedication to making children better people.

When adults start behaving like children throwing their toys out of their pram, it falls to the rest of us to teach them a lesson and ignore their self centred cries for attention.

Katie will be debating the teachers' strike on ITV's This Morning on Tuesday 1 Oct

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