Monday, 27 June 2011

H&F schools closed - but what about the little guy?

My kids won't be going to school on thursday. Like parents across H&F and indeed the country we'll be incurring the expense, the inconvenience and the expense of the nationwide strike being put on by the National Union of Teachers. Schools across our borough seem to be closing en masse and we received our letter last week informing us that the Head had "no option" but to close.

Did I mention "expense" twice? Yes, I did - because it's well worth a double mention. At the end of the day one extra days worth of childminding is not going to break my bank balance - but it will severely affect some people. Think of the single parent struggling to pay the bills as it is, with two or more part time jobs that barely cover the cost of the weekly shop. They probably served you in a shop today with a smile, or maybe even work inside a school themselves in a kitchen. Now they have to take a day off work and lose that day's pay - or else spend what will probably be even more than that days' pay on a childminder.

Trade Unions are there to fight for the interests of their members, as we see regularly from the RMT. But they don't at the moment appear to have public support with 63% against the strikes, according to this week's Economist. But nobody ever seems to think about the people those strikes hurt most - because those people, who aren't lucky enough to have a life-long secure job with a decent salary - don't have anyone to fight their corner.

Just a thought.


  1. Chris,
    Without the support and hard work of the unions no one would have 'life long secure' jobs... Or lunch breaks, paid holiday, sick pay and many other benefits that the unions have fought hard to secure. These strikes are just another battle that has to be fought, because believe me if this government win this one they'll move on to someone else and eventually to get to you in your so called 'life long secure job. Taking the day off is a sacrifice that we can make and at the same time show some solidarity. After all don't we all want teachers that feel valued and wanted. They work hard and in my opinion deserve every penny they get. Take the day off and enjoy the extra day with your kids.
    All the best

  2. "Taking the day off is a sacrifice that we can make and at the same time show some solidarity." - sounds great but when you're a single parent juggling two jobs - dinner lady and a cleaner for example - that's clearly rubbish.

    and I didn't say that I had a lifelong secure job - the teachers do.