Teachers’ Strike: Who Pays?

Many people have found the Teacher Unions’ claims that they are doing this (i.e. not working) “for our children” hard to swallow – placed in the context of their claim for a 10-18% rise in their gold-plated pensioned salaries taking them to the top of the international pay table .

None of the interviewed teachers and union officials on TV seem to take the slightest account of the fact that Britain has had to weather three years of a world-wide pandemic, which has killed directly several tens of millions of people across the world, including many in Britain itself, at the same time as the international prices of oil and gas have risen four to six times – and still remain about four times higher than the average in 2019.

The closure of practically all the local pits, which as recently as 2002 provided 40% of Britain’s energy (not just electricity), created a crippling void in our energy supplies. This void has only been half-filled by indigenous wind and the other half by increased imports, the bill for which has doubled in twenty years. So, where do the striking teachers and the other strikers believe the money to pay for their wage rises would come from?

Certainly, the very tall female striding confidently along in top-of-the-range walking boots, brandishing the banner: “Our strike (is) for your children”, (see Daily Telegraph, 2nd February 2023) probably won’t have given it a thought, and certainly won’t have a practicable answer. This writer has no idea where this slogan was thought up in the current strike, but it has almost blasphemous echoes of the inscription on the 2nd World War memorial at Kohima in Burma: “For your tomorrow, we gave our today”. Now that really was a sacrifice – and to inflict the biggest defeat, in the larger battle of Imphal in 1944, ever suffered by the Japanese Army.

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