Jump to content
The Education Forum

Bulletin of the Opposition!


Recommended Posts

The Autumn 2004 bulletin is now online at

http://socialistteachers.tripod.com/autu2004.htm

including

An interview with Mark Serwotka,

South African Teachers Strike,

No to Teaching on the Cheap

Labour's Five Year Plan

(To avoid confusion - Socialist Party Teachers have no connection with New Labour!)

and Winning a Fighting Leadership.

A lot of work has gone into this bulletin and as many teachers as possible

should read it.

(Apologies for the pesky adverts on tripod - I use Mozilla which minimises them...you don't have to use Internet Explorer if it makes you unhappy)

Link to post
Share on other sites

As you may be aware the NUT has "cautiously welcomed" the Tomlinson report.

It has been clear for some time that anything which will reduce the stress on pupils (which equals stress on teachers!) in relation to exams would be welcome and the Tomlinson report has the potential to do that.

I also think we need to know a lot more about the detail of implementation before we can welcome it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
As you may be aware the NUT has "cautiously welcomed" the Tomlinson report.

It has been clear for some time that anything which will reduce the stress on pupils (which equals stress on teachers!) in relation to exams would be welcome and the Tomlinson report has the potential to do that.

I also think we need to know a lot more about the detail of implementation before we can welcome it.

Is it possible that the NUT and the "Socialist Teachers Alliance" are seperate entities? I think we should be told.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The NUT is a trade union as the name implies.

The STA, CDFU are pressure groups within the NUT.

The STA has not met to discuss the Tomlinson report but I have received a press release from the NUT.

In general I expect there will be more agreement in the NUT on the Tomlinson Report than there is in the Labour Government.

The idea of a shake-up of the entire education system (we seem to get one of those every two years) does not fill most teachers with enthusiasm so the idea that the proposals will be phased in over a period of time must be reassuring. The writer Frank Herbert suggested there should be a department of government called a "bureau of sabotage" to make sure the politicians cannot implement their will until they have had a chance to reconsider!

NUT - National Union of Teachers in the UK

STA Socialist Teachers Alliance

CDFU Campaign for a a Democratic and Fighting Union

Socialist Party teachers have sought closer co-operation between these two groups and the sort of program outlined in the bulletin

http://socialistteachers.tripod.com/autu2004.htm

Link to post
Share on other sites
As you may be aware the NUT has "cautiously welcomed" the Tomlinson report.

It has been clear for some time that anything which will reduce the stress on pupils (which equals stress on teachers!) in relation to exams would be welcome and the Tomlinson report has the potential to do that.

I also think we need to know a lot more about the detail of implementation before we can welcome it.

I think it is unfortunate if the NUT/Socialist Teachers base their response of the viewpoint that it will reduce the work of teachers. This is why parents are so concerned about the motives of the NUT. It would be nice to see them arguing in favour of things for educational reasons. In fact, my reading of the report is that it will increase teacher work (especially in the field of assessment).

Please join the debate on the Tomlinson Report. You can then say what you want to see from the reforms. I would be interested in a socialist interpretation of the need for educational reform. Karl Marx was of course very interested in the subject of education and had a lot to say about state schooling.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=1957

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it is unfortunate if the NUT/Socialist Teachers base their response of the viewpoint that it will reduce the work of teachers.

I don't. I would be delighted if the NUT and the other semi unions which inhabit the teaching profession would take teacher workload more seriously and highlight it at every opportunity.

I am within sight of completing what is at a conservative estimate about a 65 hour week. (I believe the Miners campaigned successfully for the ten hour day some time ago - when's my bloody turn?).

If this does not change in the near future like many others I will leave the profession.

The NUT is right to be concerned about the impact of ill conceived social policy on conditions for its members.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The NUT is right to be concerned about the impact of ill conceived social policy on conditions for its members.

Of course it should and a very bad job it has done as well. But surely it should have a view on issues such as assessment. It does the teaching profession no help at all for the union to give the impression that the only thing it cares about is the pay and conditions of its members.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

The Spring Bulletin of the Socialist Party Teachers is online at

http://socialistteachers.tripod.com/spri2005.htm

It focusses on the unholy trinity of pay, pensions and workload but also has articles on a range of subjects.

Apparently people who use Internet Explorer are plagued with pop-ups when they view our website so I will investigate ways of removing them. Meanwhile using Firefox means that I don't get to see them :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

The Conference bulletin of the Socialist Party teachers can be previewed at

http://socialistteachers.org.uk/sptbulleti...ference2005.doc

The draft bulletin contains articles on:

The pension debate

Fighting Racism and the BNP

Conran's Academy Plans defeated

RIG cutting teachers' pay

Tackling Disruptive Behaviour

Why the NUT needs a political fund

Sickness Policies

Iraq

Making New Labour listen to us

France 10 March strike

Sri Lanka

Turning the tide against remodelling

Even if you are not going to the NUT conference, these are issues of concern and it is free to download and print out.

http://socialistteachers.org.uk has no pop-up ads either.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Here in Australia, where we have only one national union for all education workers from K-12 including management, the union's emphasis has always been on educational issues as well as salaries and conditions. In fact, we market ourselves as a professional and industrial organisation, rather than a "trade union". Teachers seem to connect with this and as a result we have had many wins on educational issues as well as industrial.

At the moment we too are fighting the battle of assessment and reporting - not on the basis of workload, but in the sense that teachers have not had sufficient time, PD or practice to move to the new system demanded by our DoE by the end of this year. Supporting teachers in this way is good for them and ultimately good for the union.

However, our re-elected federal govt is determined to turn back the clock industrially in the next couple of years and move us as close as they can to the US model of individual contracts, banning right of entry, cutting awards etc. It's going to be a long and nasty fight but our membership is strong and active and I hope, ready for the fight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob Sulatycki's pamphlet on New Labour and Education is available to download for free from http://socialistteachers.org.uk/EducationPamphlet.doc

In the pamphlet Bob gives detail on how New Labour Education strategy meets the needs of big business whilst failing pupils and staff

"According to the OECD (representing the ‘first world’ countries), government spending on education under New Labour remains well below the average for developed countries. The pupil-teacher ratio lags behind all other OECD countries except for the Czech republic, Mexico, Korea and Turkey.

Despite all the claims about increased spending in schools, the average UK state school primary class now has 26.8 pupils, compared to an OECD average of just 22.1. Of the major developed countries, only Korea and Japan have bigger classes in both primary and secondary schools.

Last year, English primary schools lost 800 teachers who were not replaced and class sizes increased. Thousands more infants (5-7 year-olds) are being taught in classes over 30.

"Overall funding has not increased under New Labour. Two years into a Labour government, spending on education fello just 4.5% of GDP, the lowest proportion for forty years. Spending has risen slightly since then, but the extra money hasn't made a difference in most schools.

"This additional funding has been used in pet projects such as the misnamed 'Excellence in Cities' scheme. Some of this spending also goes on inflated salaries for some head teachers and extra money for a few specialist schools. And they have spent £22 million on management consultants over the past five years. In addition OFSTED costs £200 million a year."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jean is right to stress the importance of having an education policy rather than regarding ourselves as "simply a trade union". We don't want to suggest that everybody (politicians, merchant bankers, perhaps insane evangelical fundamentalists) can have an opinion on education but not teachers.

Having a single union is something teachers have sought for a long time. Unfortunately two teachers' unions in the UK have extraordinarily signed up to support pay cuts for teachers under government remodelling reforms. This makes discussions on unity tricky.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jean is right to stress the importance of having an education policy rather than regarding ourselves as "simply a trade union". We don't want to suggest that everybody (politicians, merchant bankers, perhaps insane evangelical fundamentalists) can have an opinion on education but not teachers.

Having a single union is something teachers have sought for a long time. Unfortunately two teachers' unions in the UK have extraordinarily signed up to support pay cuts for teachers under government remodelling reforms. This makes discussions on unity tricky.

Non UK members need to know that this is a highly biased statement from Derek :rolleyes:

In my opinion it is the fault of all the teacher unions in the UK that we lack unity. The hierarchies, structures and careers that depend on the status quo are apparently too powerful for anything to be done about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmm...it probably works better here than it ever could in the UK because of our federal system. Each state/territory is a branch of the national union and as such the President/Gen Sec/officers in the states are more important in their own state than the officers in the federal office, whose job is really to facilitate and coordinate, so there are eight opportunities for being a big cog in the wheel of unionism, if you follow what I mean, as well as being at federal level. I don't suppose that could work in the UK in the same way.

We also have all of management, most TAs and some admin in our union and that makes a heck of a difference. Membership in schools is 94% and the non-unionised are almost entirely small fraction part-timers and a few of the temps.

However, as i said before, our federal government is out to destoy us this year when they get control of the Senate in July. We will be out on the streets very shortly!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...