Hosking on striking teachers

Mike Hosking writes about stroppy teacher unions: Quote:

So back to work this morning for the striking teachers. Are they any closer to a deal? No.

And that is one of the many weaknesses of the union movement, and why so many people under the Employment Contracts Act when they got the chance to bail, did.

And this is why this industrial action we are seeing at the moment, in many respects, is so important for the unions, because for them it’s a recruitment drive.

It’s their opportunity to put years of sinking numbers behind them and turn their fortunes around.

Their party is back in power, as a result they have a soft touch on negotiations and pay rises, so they are chancing their arm.

But as much sympathy as teachers and nurses have, it’s not a bottomless pit.  End quote.

It is not a bottomless pit, and even worse, for the teachers it appears that the government has sympathy for nurses, but not so much for teachers.Quote:

And couple of key things happened yesterday:

• One, the Prime Minister said the teachers left the table too early, and she is probably right on that.

• And two, a deputy principal spoke out and with it came just a touch of reality.

He spoke under anonymity, which is sad because he fears for his future job prospects, and that alone tells you all you need to know about unions and their tactics, they are driven by group thinking and fear.

But in essence he said, overall teaching is a pretty sweet deal.

Their lot is no worse than the lot of most people around pay, no one has been getting large pay rises, and walking off the job sets a bad example for the kids they teach.

How does that, he asked, fit in with being resilient, having a positive attitude and persisting in all things? The things they are meant to be teaching our kids. Good question.

Yes it’s hard being a teacher, but it’s hard being most things. Teachers aren’t special in that way.

And a lot of it is attitude, you’ll find the worse your attitude, the harder it gets.  End quote.

Ain’t that the truth. Lots of people think that what I do is easy, and I guess in many respects it is for me, but I have seen lots of pretenders come and go over the years and I’m still here.Quote:

But there is no escaping 16 percent is fairyland money, and there is no escaping that even a Labour government has been taken aback by the size of the demands.

And you will note that for all the claims that, it’s for the kids and they need resources, aids and help, that they’ve still managed to ask for 16 percent.

If the kids really are so important, drop the 16 percent. Put the money into aid and assistance, and watch how fast the whole thing gets wrapped up.

I also suspect the teachers saw the nurses strike, joined the dots that weren’t really there and went for broke.

So where to now? Given nothing has changed out of yesterday, presumably more strike action. And this is where slowly, as it always does, things start to unravel.

An unusual day, not seen in 24 years, very quickly turns into, “oh the teachers are out again are they?”

Support and sympathy will vanish in quick order.

This country has moved on from strikes, we are past the days of industrial blackmail, the 1970s are gone, and the unions and their tactics have failed to move with the times. End quote.

A former National MP once told me that public sympathy for industrial action is strongest until the day the union takes strike action. From that day forward public support for the union position hardens and then wanes. Especially if the union being stroppy inconveniences the public, like wharfies, or stewards on the Cook Strait ferries, or indeed teachers who strike causing chaos for families. The teachers union can only strike so much before the public support they think they enjoy disappears all together, and that support is scant after demanding 16 per cent.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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