Teacher strike: what lead teachers to taking such measures – Halesowen News

Teachers will go on strike across the West Midlands beginning March 1st. According to the National Educational Union (NEU), these will last approximately 7 days, leaving students without a teacher for up to 42+ academic hours. Of course, this does not apply to all students, but it will undoubtedly have an impact on many students’ performance due to a lacking educational quality and schools being forced to replace these teachers with supply-teachers with unknown qualifications in short periods of time, leaving parents and students fearful of the impending dystopia.
This begs the question of why teachers have resorted to making such a drastic decision that will clearly affect students’ results and educational quality. According to statistics, the average teacher works 48 hours per week and is paid £11.02 per hour, not including extra planning time that consumes hours away from their personal time. Furthermore, a teacher’s salary starts around £19,000 and rises to around £24,000 depending on the position an individual is in, which is significantly less than the starting salary of a nurse, which starts around £23,000 when at Band 5. As a result, a clear picture of what motivated teachers to take the measures they are planning to undertake is painted.
Mohammed Hassan, teacher of History at a school in Birmingham, agrees with the decisions made and considers these strikes “Our right to take” as an appropriate response to the government taking advantage of their pay, and he states that allowing it to happen will only lead to an increase in overstepping teacher’s boundaries. He continues to compare the threat of the teacher’s situation to the “Slavery during the industrial revolution, so to avoid that we must use our right to vote.”
Additionally, teacher numbers are falling annually. In 2019, a 7% fall in the teacher amounts was recorded by the Educational Policy Institute (EPI) causing an effect on the ratio of teachers to students which means the smaller number of teachers are placed with responsibility of almost 300+ students per school. The same root problem continues appear: low wage and challenging working conditions, which has only faced a growth since the pandemic in 2020.
Speaking from both a teacher and mother’s point of view, Mrs Abdullah states that the low teaching salaries affect younger teacher mostly, especially during the economic state of the country currently, as the workload of teachers tend to be the same, but the wage widely varies leaving her less affected as a Head of Department. She also acknowledges the dangers associating the timing chosen due to the upcoming GCSE examinations that will be taken but the older students; their education time is lost and pressure on non-striking teacher’s is multiplied.
So far, the government has offered a 5% rise which has not met the demand of the NEU of a 12% rise. This suggests that the catastrophic effects of the strike may be avoided if a fair and sustainable comprise is met by both.
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