Midwives saw their pay frozen back in 2011, frozen again in 2012, before it rose 1% in 2013. If the typical midwife's pay had risen in line with prices since 2010, she or he would be paid over £4,000 more per year than they're actually getting. Despite that deep fall in their standard of living, what midwives and others are asking for to resolve this dispute is not a king's ransom; they are asking for just a 1% rise.
Like poor managers the world over, Michael Gove believes in performance-related pay. Although not subject to this regime himself, he imagines that teachers will care about students more, be yet more passionate, focused, organized, energetic and committed if there's more money in it for them. Why would he imagine such a thing?
Teachers are committed and dedicated public service workers. They do not take strike action lightly. No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils' education, but this action is not the failure or due to the unreasonableness of teachers. It is the failure and unreasonableness of the secretary of state...
Over the last three years the Coalition Government has mounted savage attacks on teachers' pay, pensions and conditions of service. To justify these attacks and education reforms, the Secretary of State has sought to denigrate teachers and present our public education system as broken. As a result the teaching profession is now in crisis.