Cable backs right to strike and opposes strikes

Vince Cable speaking to mediaQuoted in the Independent

We believe that getting round the negotiating table is better than striking.

We do not believe unions should be striking and causing mass disruption when everyone has been affected by similar pay conditions.

This reflects the fact that a better deal for one group of public sector workers would be paid for out of taxes on other workers, that the strikes if successful would not win a better deal for working people in general, rather for some at the expense of others. There is a quaint belief in some corners that there is a large untapped source of taxes on the idle rich available. And tackling tax evasion and avoidance is worth doing whether or not workers are content. So let’s not confound two separate issues and let’s focus for now on what would actually happen – under any government – if the strikers got their way: they would win share-of-pie from other workers.

But let’s not forget – as some Conservatives seem to be inclined to do – that the pursuit of self-interest is a fundamental ingredient of a free economy, and that teachers and council workers have every right to put their own interests ahead of pupils and public. Non-liberals can get terribly confused by people having rights to do the wrong thing. Not so Vince Cable.

Turning on his coalition colleagues, the senior Liberal Democrat said he opposed attempts to tighten the law around industrial action. Trade unions should not need to get approval for a strike from half their members when MPs do not need to reach such a high threshold to get elected, he said.

This seems to leave open the question of whether a two year old strike ballot should perhaps be considered stale. Although politicians don’t face turnout thresholds, we do have time-limited mandates.

I am furious when my children’s teachers strike, but it is entirely possible that I may be wrong about them. I suspect that if their rights to strike were restricted they would end up being subjected to some measures that would give them good cause for unrest.

What is toxic here is not workers standing up for their rights and their interests, never mind them having the right to do so. Rather it is the plausible, mistaken belief that you can combine the interests of many disparate groups of workers into an effective political cause that will advance the interests of workers generally. Which brings us to the Labour Party which – even with the leader bought and paid for by the unions – has no clear view, possibly no view at all. Miliband is condemned by the left for not backing the strikes and condemned by the right for not opposing them. He is caught out by the disconnect between the idea of improving the lot of workers, and the reality of futilely damaging their children’s education and increasing the relative advantage of public school pupils. What’s left but to whimper about imagined demonisation?

* Joe Otten was the candidate for Sheffield Heeley in June 2017, is a councillor in Sheffield and is Tuesday editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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78 Comments

  • I think this is a very sensible and balanced piece.

    I agree with Vince on this about it being wrong to limit the right to strike although it is worth pointing out that the low participation rates union votes get are on all postal ballots.

  • “Which brings us to the Labour Party which – even with the leader bought and paid for by the unions – has no clear view, possibly no view at all. ”

    A phrase devised & lifted straight out of the Tory party memo.

    No wonder the LDs are viewed as they are. I had thought better of you though Joe.

  • Stephen Campbell 11th Jul '14 - 12:44pm

    “Which brings us to the Labour Party which – even with the leader bought and paid for by the unions – has no clear view, possibly no view at all. ”

    Funny how right-wing this party has become. I’ve no love left for Labour, but apparently being “bought and paid for by the unions” – which democratically represent millions of workers – is less preferable than being bought and paid for by a few shadowy ultra-rich who fritter their money away in tax havens, crash our economy and then get the taxpayer to bail them out when their Ponzi schemes go pear-shaped.

    And yet the unions and their members, whose demands are actually very reasonable, are the problem. This party really should just close up shop and merge with the Tories.

  • Jayne Mansfield 11th Jul '14 - 12:49pm

    This from a coalition government that gave us Police and Crime Commissioners voted in in an election with the lowest turnout in British peacetime history (15-1% ), having ignored all advice from the Election Reform Society!

  • Geoffrey Payne 11th Jul '14 - 1:32pm

    If teachers were not allowed to go on strike, or if it were made much harder for them to do so, then the government could offer them whatever terms and conditions they like. If the economy is in trouble, cut their pay in relation to inflation, give them more responsibilities, make it easier to sack them. And if the economy is doing well? Well that is the time you are meant to clamp down on public spending. And so where is this all leading do you think?
    Personally I think teachers have an incredibly difficult job. I think they should be valued in some way, as with all other public sector employees. In the real world people rarely get paid what they deserve in terms of what they contribute to society. Instead they get paid in terms what of they contribute to the bottom line whether by fair means or foul.
    Teachers of course have a responsibility to children’s education, but since society as a whole benefits then surely society has a responsibility to ensure they are properly valued and rewarded?

  • Jayne Mansfield 11th Jul '14 - 1:35pm

    @ Joe Otton,

    And you think that the questioning of validity of time limited ballots which you raise, is not playing to the tory attempts to undermine workers rights? I would have thought that the validity of time limited ballots should be the concern of the union members themselves, not members of a party in coalition government.

    Do you not understand that the ‘Liberal Democrats are opposed to’ no longer carries much weight. Words are cheap, but people know what this Liberal Democrat Party has enabled whilst publicly wringing their hands on behalf of suffering or social injustice caused.

    Seriously, has rubbing shoulders with conservatives caused you to lose your grasp on reality as to how right wing you sound.

  • Stephen Campbell 11th Jul '14 - 1:53pm

    @Joe Otten: “Do trade unions democratically represent millions of workers? Not so well as elected governments – of whatever party – do”

    As a public sector worker, my union has supported me and fought my corner far more than this government has. In fact this government has stood up for the interests of big business and the rich and powerful far more than they have for the average man. In addition, trades unions have done far more for the working women and men of this country in the past 100 years than the various incarnations of Liberal parties have.

    “As I say, they representing the interests of their particular members is what they are for, and combining to form a political cause does not and can not deliver. ”

    If combining to form a political cause does not and can not deliver, then what is the point of political parties? Why not remove the facade of democracy we have and replace everything with unelected technocrats? We have three main parties which almost always take the side of capital over labour. Further, I seem to remember the Liberal Democrats used to be a combination which was formed to further the cause of liberalism and democracy. No longer, it seems.

    @Jayne: “Seriously, has rubbing shoulders with conservatives caused you to lose your grasp on reality as to how right wing you sound.”

    Spot on, Jayne!

  • There is a quaint belief in some corners that there is a large untapped source of taxes on the idle rich available.

    There is. The Government cut taxes for the rich, remember?

    This seems to leave open the question of whether a two year old strike ballot should perhaps be considered stale. Although politicians don’t face turnout thresholds, we do have time-limited mandates.

    He is caught out by the disconnect between the idea of improving the lot of workers, and the reality of futilely damaging their children’s education and increasing the relative advantage of public school pupils.

    Teachers are striking in part because they think the government are damaging their ability to educate children.

    Yes we do. 5 years. Not two.

    Rather it is the plausible, mistaken belief that you can combine the interests of many disparate groups of workers into an effective political cause that will advance the interests of workers generally.

    Like political parties made of many disparate groups of workers?

    Which brings us to the Labour Party which – even with the leader bought and paid for by the unions – has no clear view, possibly no view at all.

    Better a party paid for out of the subs of millions than the donations of a few. Besides, it is less than half to total amount donated to Labour, and they have taken active measures to limit the dominance of unions in voting for the leader since Miliband’s election.

    Besides, most members of trade unions, myself included and most public sector workers, are in unions not affiliated to the Labour Party.

    Genuinely surprised to see such anti-union propaganda and misdirection on a Liberal Democrat blog, it’s more suited to the fringes of Conservative Home.

  • Stephen Campbell 11th Jul '14 - 2:04pm

    @Joe Otten: “I shouldn’t be surprised that people are capable of being or acting angry at getting what they want thanks to the Liberal Democrats.”

    I wanted you to keep your pledge on tuition fees. I wanted you to not enforce a top-down reorganisation of the NHS against the wishes of the public. I wanted the vulnerable, unemployed and disabled to be treated with humanity. I wanted the Royal Mail to be kept in public hands and not sold off for a billion pounds less than it is worth. I do not want the government snooping on my email and web use because of terrorist boogeymen. I voted for “no more broken promises” and the “new politics”.

    What we got was the exact opposite.

  • Eddie Sammon 11th Jul '14 - 2:05pm

    I think the idea to introduce a turnout threshold is daft, but I do think people should risk demotion or the sack for striking. If a self-employed person went on strike it would damage their business by more than a day’s pay.

    Having said that, my gut instinct is that I quite support this strike. It is rare for me, but I’ve become disillusioned by policies such as Help to Buy, export credit and extremely low interest rates. It seems freebies to the rich and the middle class are about growth and aspiration, but freebies to the poor get criticised and attacked as waste and encouraging dependency. There’s no justification for it, economically liberal or otherwise.

  • Jayne Mansfield 11th Jul '14 - 2:20pm

    ‘We believe that getting round the negotiating table is better than striking” Doesn’t everyone?

    ‘Why do you think that teachers ( or at least those who belong to one union) are putting their self interests of themselves in front of pupils and the public. Might not the interests of all three be served by strike action? Isn’t there an argument that a well- rewarded workforce would better serve the interests of pupils and the public. It certainly seems to me that it is an argument that carries weight in the non public sector where vast salaries and enviable terms and conditions are considered essential to the carrying out of duties by the best people available.

    I am sorry to persevere with this, consider it good training for when you next meet a dottie old lady on the doorstep. I have to say that when I watched Question Time, the panellist I most agreed with was Alan Johnson who did not try to be all things to all people when this issue was raised.

  • Jayne Mansfield 11th Jul '14 - 2:23pm

    @ Joe Otton,
    Sorry the above was directed to you. The possibility of meeting dottie old women on doorsteps would have struck terror into the hearts of anyone other than a seasoned politician.

  • Simon Shaw

    Could you possibly elaborate?

    As it stands it’s the rather bizarre concept of one teaching union damaging the education of children because they are allegedly concerned about children’s education being damaged.

    Perhaps you could read the union’s statement on why they are striking?

    http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/21913

    You may find it useful to inform yourself of their position before making statements against it.

  • Joe Otton

    g, taxes on the rich are substantially higher than they were under Labour. As you well know.

    That may be true in general. But it is also true that Labour raised the top rate of tax which the Coalition then cut. It is also true that UK tax levels are below that of comparable European countries. It is also true that the top rate of income tax has hisotircally been much higher than the current level.

    All of which makes the point that it is possible to tax the rich more, so there is a large untapped source of taxes on the idle rich available, despite your assertions otherwise.

    You’d be better making the argument why it would be politically unacceptable to tax the rich more, it’s certainly not economically unacceptable, or unprecedented…

  • It is Joe Otten who is confused here.

    Teachers are not ‘putting their own interests above the interests of pupils and parents’. They are giving up a days pay to protest at the very real damage this Governmnet is doing to public sector education.

  • Passing through 11th Jul '14 - 3:39pm

    @ Joe Otten

    ” It is specific to the Labour Party, for which there is indeed no point”

    What a peculiarly undemocratic and tribal point, particularly given this “pointless” party is consistently ahead in the polls while the LDs languish on single digits and the LDs’ best bet of continuing in government in 10 months times is as junior coalition partner to that self-same party. Clearly a plurality of voters see some point in them even if only as “not the other guys”.

    Are there any other political parties Joe Otten reckons are pointless, I think he should elaborate.

  • Eddie Sammon 11th Jul '14 - 3:50pm

    It’s just dawned on me how ridiculous only losing one day pay is. If a child fails an exam or a self employed person sacks off their customers then it costs them a lot more than one day’s pay. It’s anti responsibility. No wonder there’s a carnival atmosphere and it looks like a big day out.

    I’m very sympathetic towards the public sector’s complaints, but strikes should not be part of the calendar. The NUT have been ridiculous and need to be curtailed.

  • Eddie Sammon 11th Jul '14 - 3:51pm

    By the way, my suggestion is to lose five days pay for striking, not one day.

  • matt (Bristol) 11th Jul '14 - 4:27pm

    I agree with Vince Cable; there is a right to strike, which is not a justificaiton for the existence of every strike.
    I come near to agreeing with Joe Otten, but find he has rather overdone his rhetoric against the Labour Party again (wet and flappy as they are on this issue).
    FWIW, I suspect that one of the underlying things which brought people out to strike yesterday is the existence of multiple restructures in response to cuts within any number of public sector organisations (we’ve had 3 overlapping ones so far in 2 years, where I work) – this is not what the strike is ‘about’, but it is an aggravating factor in workplace stress and confidence oto do one’s job, partiuclarly if the restrcuture is baldly managed or incomplete due to the effect of further cuts about which one’s seniors were not informed when they started the restructure.
    Simon Shaw is right when he sarcastically points to the rampant and scatter-shot LD-bashing on this blog, which is not what it is entirely for.
    This does not mean the party is blameless on many things, but I think its approach to the strike has been more or less spot-on so far (this does not mean the government’s response was spot-on, though – there is a difference, given most of the ministers are Tories).

  • Jayne Mansfield 11th Jul '14 - 4:43pm

    @ Simon Shaw,
    Perhaps people on here only criticise the Liberal Democrats and not the other parties because they, like myself, have already passed judgement on the other parties by never voting for them.

  • Joe Otten, you seem to belie your initial statement that ‘[t]here is a quaint belief in some corners that there is a large untapped source of taxes on the idle rich available.’ with your last statement in which you acknowledge that yes, the rich could be taxed more but now you want to debate whether it is fair, and what it should be spent on. I don’t. I was arguing against your initial statement.

    Also, the grammar of that press release is irrelevant to the point I was making in response to Simon Shaw, that, yes, teachers are striking because they think, in part, that the government are damaging their ability to educate children.

    Can we stick to the topic?

  • @Simon Shaw
    “Sorry, I thought it was a srike about pay and conditions. That’s certainly the impression that an NUT press release issued three weeks ago gives”

    Try reading your own link Simon. There’s a bit which refers to “fundamental issues we believe to be detrimental to education”, so GPPurnell is entirely correct.

  • Peter Watson 11th Jul '14 - 6:25pm

    @Joe Otten “It is enough to make me want to demand pay levels related to the ability to communicate in English.”
    Oh dear. You’ll have to ensure that every one of your posts and articles is now faultless to avoid that being thrown back at you. 😉

  • re: Teachers striking

    I assume all local authorities (aided y their schools) are preparing notices of fines to the teaching unions at the rate of £60 per pupil, for each pupil who lost a day of school because of an “unauthorised” absence by their teacher…

  • Peter Hayes 11th Jul '14 - 9:39pm

    As a partner of a teacher who was forced into early retirement I have a lot of sympathy with those who strike over terms and conditions, which I understand have got a lot worse since she ‘retired’. Teachers get very little support in their subject speciality development, my physics teacher in the 1960s was teaching at A level what was postgraduate research when he graduated and I suspect biology is in the same state now.

  • David Howell 11th Jul '14 - 9:43pm

    We do not believe unions should be striking and causing mass disruption when everyone has been affected by similar pay conditions. . . . Says Vince Cable.

    That’s right Vince, apart from one important oversight on your part.

    Everyone has been affected by similar pay conditions. . . . Apart from the Bankers, who created the problem in the first place and who have benefitted from continued bonuses, share deals and pay rises way in excess of the rest of us.

    Perhaps it’s pertinent to include the sell-off (possibly “sell-out”) of the Post Office in this comment; particularly since the Bankers (again!) benefitted hugely whilst the everyone else lost out.

    Do you see a pattern emerging here, Vince?

  • Little Jackie Paper 11th Jul '14 - 10:20pm

    ‘As I say, they representing the interests of their particular members is what they are for, and combining to form a political cause does not and can not deliver. I’d be happy to discuss this point further.’

    I’m sorry, but can you possibly elaborate on this? I have do admit that I’m doubtful about whether combined action can deliver a great deal at the moment. However what exactly is wrong with seeking common cause and forming that into a political movement? The labour movement broadly looked like that some time ago. And what is wrong with using funds for political activity exactly? Would you want capital to be restricted in its political activity – or am I just whimpering?

    We may very well see combinations in the EU referendum (if held). Capital has absolutely sought common cause. Indeed arguably we are still in a capital strike five years after the fact.

    It is, of course, the great irony of the politics we find ourselves with. 30+ years of individualism, the diminution of the collective, fragmentation and so on. And yet we are told that the result is that Britain is, ‘broken,’ and that we need to manufacture a, ‘Big Society.’

    Just so long, it would seem, that that society isn’t big enough to act collectively, apparently.

  • Eddie Sammon 11th Jul '14 - 10:24pm

    David Howell, Vince Cable has been one of the few people with the knowledge and principles to challenge some of the flawed economic policies that the banks and other powerful vested interests have been asking for.

    I disagree with him regularly, but sometimes when I’m feeling gloomy about the economy and disillusioned with powerful vested interests, I look around and think the only person who understands is Vince! :). He’s worth having just for that.

  • Little Jackie Paper 11th Jul '14 - 10:56pm

    ‘But more importantly it is not good enough to argue: give me a better pension, you could pay for it by taxing the rich more, and that would be fair. There are lots of things such revenue, if it existed could be spent on.’

    Well actually that’s an interesting example because of course it would seem probable that the Coalition will legislate for a triple locked pension. That, of course suggests increased borrowing. Who exactly will be paying for the borrowing I will leave to you. As a matter of interest Mr Otten which do you think is the higher priority – schools in Sheffield or a pension triple lock for the propertied pensioner class or getting the deficit down?

  • Other people’s strikes are always unacceptable. It’s the way we are these days. Strikers are angry and, in some cases, desperate. The Thatcher legacy lives on .
    I have sympathy for the beleaguered teachers having their pension rights unilaterally curtailed. The irony of the opposition to their strike is not concern for children’s education. It is the inconvenience of the loss of a day’s child minding!

  • @SImon Shaw
    “No he’s not. Have you tried reading the link? Especially the first sentence:”

    Simon, unlike you I got beyond the first sentence. In fact I read the whole thing. So I read the bit which refers to ““fundamental issues we believe to be detrimental to education” – exactly as GP Purnell said.

  • Jayne Mansfield 12th Jul '14 - 11:11am

    In my opinion, Performance Related Pay is not suitable for the teaching profession. It would lead to unfairness and I would like to see any evidence that it would work in the way that the government hopes that it would work. It is my understanding that the evidence demonstrates that it would be damaging.

    Are the people who think a child’s education is damaged by missing one day at school, the same people who think it wrong that they can’t take their child out of school for a cheaper holiday during term time ?

    If the government is unprepared to listen to what the professionals have to say about the profession’s ability to attract and retain the highest calibre of staff, and the importance of collaboration to the improvement of education, what choice do they have other than strike action?

  • @Simon Shaw
    If you only want to read the first sentence of the NUT statement and ignore the rest, that’s up to you. It’s precisely the sort of contextomy I’ve come to expect from you.

    You might also want to have a think about how matters such as teachers’ conditions can have a direct and negative impact on the quality of education they are able to provide – which is actually what the NUT are getting at, if only you could get beyond that first sentence.

  • @Simon Shaw
    ” If any job fails to pay enough to attract and retain an adequate calibre of staff, then the employers will simply have to pay more. ”

    Related to this is the ability to encourage poorer performing staff to seek alternative employment, either elsewhere or in a totally different profession. It would be interesting to see whether teaching has similar levels of employer encouraged departures as other professions such as accountancy etc.
    I ask as I think we need to get away from the perception that many have, namely, a job in the pubic sector is a secure job for life.

  • Jayne Mansfield 12th Jul '14 - 3:16pm

    @ Simon,
    Yes, teachers have a vested interest, but I am a little old fashioned in that I believe that they also have a sense of vocation which means that they have a vested interest in the education of their pupils , money isn’t the only motivator, they are committed to providing the best education available to those entrusted to them.

    I think you need to look at the Ofsted retention statistics in teaching mentioned in G’s link.

    I was surprised to hear on the Question Time programme of two weeks ago that even tory panellist Bernard Jenkins was opposed to Performance related pay for teachers because it is totally inappropriate.

    My contact with accountants, lawyers and architects has been minimal, my contact with teachers, as a pupil, through my role as an elected parent governor many years ago, the education of my children, and now as a ‘school gate granny’ has been quite extensive and if my experience is anything to go by, their contribution to society is grossly under-valued.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Jul '14 - 4:04pm

    When it comes to performance related pay for teachers I think it should exist, but it should be discretionary and not based on hard formulas such as “x amount of pay if you increase grades by x amount”. I don’t know how they are going about introducing it.

  • Jayne Mansfield 12th Jul '14 - 4:13pm

    @ Simon,
    The evidence provided by the NUT is a start. It can be found by googling, Performance related pay in schools.

    I don’t think it is helpful to concentrate just on pay though. There is a leaflet that was prepared for parents giving the reasons for strike action. ‘Stand up for Education’.

  • @Simon Shaw
    “Normally I expect the first thing that someone mentions is the most important. Are you saying it wasn’t in this case?”

    I’m saying you should have read the whole thing in context instead of stopping after the first sentence. If the NUT could sum up their position in one sentence then the statement would have been one sentence long.

  • David Allen 12th Jul '14 - 4:23pm

    Strikes are damaging. They should be avoided if at all possible. When they happen, it is because two sides have failed to agree. Which is at fault? Well, in most human affairs one accepts that it can be either, or both, or neither. How many people see a divorcing couple and automatically blame the man – or blame the woman? So let’s look at strikes the same way.

    Then again, we might say that, since the Tories and the Cleggite wing of the Lib Dems are so clearly biased toward the employer, perhaps the rest of us should favour the union side. So let’s try a modest proposal.

    Before the Government can refuse a trade union pay claim, it must hold a secret ballot – a referendum of some kind. Winning the last election won’t do. Let’s be practical, let’s convene a citizens’ jury to hear the case over a few days and then vote on it. If the jury votes in favour of the union, then Government must pay up to avoid the strike. How about that?

    Ridiculous? Perhaps. But certainly no more ridiculous than the anti-union bias displayed by the Right.

  • David Allen 12th Jul '14 - 7:45pm

    Simon Shaw,

    You’ll find g’s posting at

    https://www.libdemvoice.org/cable-backs-right-to-strike-and-opposes-strikes-41486.html#comment-305825

    always assuming you have the slightest desire to read what anyone else says, rather than just mining their postings for opportunities to distort and sneer.

  • Simon Shaw, so you have now changed your argument from:

    ‘Sorry, I thought it was a strike about pay and conditions. That’s certainly the impression that an NUT press release issued three weeks ago gives

    to

    I feel that the NUT statement is rather dishonest.

    Can I ask, what would it take to convince you that the NUT are concerned about education policy as well as their own pay and conditions?

  • @Simon Shaw
    You actually referred to g by name earlier in the thread but now you’re claiming he hasn’t posted before. And you still deny that the NUT statement refers to protecting education even though I quoted you the bit of your own link where they do indeed say that. It’s impossible to reason with this level of wilful denial.

    From your more recent posts you obviously didn’t take me up on my suggestion to have a think about how teachers’ pay and conditions could impact directly on the quality of education they provide. I can only assume you don’t think it’s important for a teacher to be well-motivated.

  • Jayne Mansfield 13th Jul '14 - 1:45pm

    @ David Howell,
    If Simon wants proof, try tapping into google word like ” Excessive Pay reforms have failed’. ‘Vince Cable High Pay’ or ‘Vince cable High Pay Commission’, ‘High Pay research’ ‘FTSE 100 Fatcats’ etc.

    There is plenty of evidence for your assertion about bankers’ pay. The above are just quick googles. I could do better given more time- but just to send you on your way!

    Also what Vince Cable says seems to be s at variance to what he knows to be true. Maybe he was referring to pay for the ‘lower orders.’ or state employees were the Independent Pay review bodies who have previously determined pay rates have been ignored for such NHS staff etc.

    Vince Cable must surely be in line for the ‘Guinness Book of Records most miserable looking Minister of all time!’ , entry.

  • Jayne Mansfield 13th Jul '14 - 2:00pm

    ‘ where’
    The findings of Independent Pay review Bodies for teachers , NHS . (to prevent the need for industrial action) have been ignored.

  • David Allen 13th Jul '14 - 5:35pm

    Simon, have you never written a small letter and seen Microsoft automatically change it into a capital letter?

    Rather than think for two seconds that g and G might be the same person, you flung out an unsubstantiated accusation. Par for the course, with you.

  • Jayne Mansfield 13th Jul '14 - 7:36pm

    @ Simon Shaw,
    Researchers at the Robin Hood Tax campaign found that until February this years£67.7 billion had been paid to staff in the financial sector since the crash off 2008. This included £14 billion in the 12 months until March 2013. If this level of handout is still supported in the financial sector for this year, the amount paid since 2008 will rise to £81.7 billion.

    Do I agree with what Vince said, ‘everyone has been affected by similar pay conditions’. No, not when a state supported financial industry have continued to behave in ways that show it to be manifestly untrue. I am sure that Vince is as concerned as I about this and the negative effect it has on our society.

    On a separate point, yin your post of 2.21 yesterday, you say that I answered my own point.How come?

    I argued that to attract and retain teachers of the highest calibre, employers need to pay the going rate that might make people choose other avenues that value them more. I’m sorry, but in our society there. is a link between money and value. This I believe is one of the reasons teachers took strike action, the employers are not prepared to pay more. In 2010 Cameron and Gove floated that idea that no one with a third class degree should train as a teacher, nor graduates with degrees from certain universities ( mainly former polytechnics as far as I can see), and that those eligible for training should have their student fees waived. How is that going? It seems to be an admission that the salary and terms of service of teachers has not worked as a mechanism for attracting the calibre of teacher that your coalition partners say they want.

    I don’t know why I am bothering with this argument. I am just following the agenda of the right wing press and media of
    concentrating on teacher pay and pensions rather than the conditions that teachers are opposing because they damage the education of our children. In 2012 when the ballot was held, spokespeople for the NUT, it seemed to me, were expressing their opposition to factors that were in their opinion, damaging to children in education.

  • @Simon -” “g” has posted many times on this thread; “G” has posted only once. I assumed that they were different people.”

    I would assume the same as yourself. If you have contributed to LDV, your name and other details are retained by your browser and so these comment fields are auto populated, additionally none of the browsers I use (IE8, Chrome, Maxthon) automatically capitalise the first letter in any of the LDV comment fields…

    It is one of the things I (try to) pay attention to so as to ensure consistency both for readers and myself (on LDV and other forums). The onus is on ‘g’/’G’ to be consistent when using differing systems (which I assume has happened here).

  • @Jayne Mansfield – I tend to ignore what the teaching union’s say about children’s education, because the primary purpose of the unions is to look after their members (ie. pay and conditions); children are not members of the union. I would be more concerned about what the Institute of Learning and other professional bodies with a vested interest in education have to say about children’s education.

    Perhaps the absence of comment from the professional bodies is cause for concern, both for the public and for those in education who see it as a profession.

  • Jayne Mansfield 14th Jul '14 - 11:52am

    @ Roland,
    I have checked out the Institute of Learning both on Wikipedia and also by reading an article .’ Institute of Learning to close over fears that it will run out of money’.

    According to the second article, the loss of £5 million in government funding has meant that it had to raise its its membership fees from £30-60 pounds with a backlash and a boycott by many of its members. These seem tome to be FE teachers not children!

    Again from the report, there was a critical report that it had no won backing from organisations that should be its partners.

    I understand what vested interests are and I take that into account when I read or listen to what they have to say. I don’t believe that anyone including researchers are without bias.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 15th Oct - 7:41am
    Ian Martin - Thank you for reminding us. Indeed the Scott Bader Commonwealth provides an excellent example of Corporate Social Responsibility, but it rather ceased...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 15th Oct - 7:25am
    I too wish Mike well, but I hope he has some real experience of UK party politics and not just the politics of nice people...
  • User AvatarThomas 15th Oct - 5:40am
    Richard Easter, Arnold Kiel - I agree with the renationalization of various public services including prison, security and public transport. But the Libdem can differentiate...
  • User AvatarRichard Easter 14th Oct - 11:44pm
    As Peter Hitchens said - hardly anyone would consider privatising the navy a good idea, so the idea that some things are best provided by...
  • User AvatarNigel Jones 14th Oct - 11:04pm
    Our Chief executives tend to be in the background as far as ordinary members are concerned. I hop Mike will engage with us about how...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 14th Oct - 10:33pm
    @ Richard Underhill, "Do you agree that the Bank of England and its euro equivalent have been printing money on a large scale? (although printed...