Unison gives TAs strike advice
Unison has warned UK teaching assistants that they could be disciplined and lose pay if they refuse to turn up for work on Thursday. Up to 7,800 schools will be disrupted with as many as 1 in 3 schools completely closed in some areas.
Unison has told its members that legally they should work as usual on Thursday if the teachers’ strike goes ahead. They should just not do any work normally done by teachers. It’s not really clear if this includes covering classes that the TAs might cover normally for PPA time. Those classes are, at least in theory, supervised by teachers so it’s definitely a grey area.
Unison suggests TAs can show support by attending meetings outside their working hours.
For TAs in schools that are expected to shut fully on Thursday, it is possible that they will lose pay or be expected to put in the hours at another time. In some areas schools will only be partially closed with some staff in but no pupils. TAs will be expected to turn up to school and get on with other duties. I can see a lot of resource areas getting that much needed clean up no one ever has time to do!
People will have to check the position in their particular school. Don’t just stay home because the school is closed, check with your local union rep. There shouldn’t be any picket lines as the NUT has asked members to attend meetings instead. If you turn up and there is a teachers’ picket line I don’t envy you. Personally I couldn’t cross one and then look those people in the eye over tea break the next day. Having said that I don’t remember a huge amount of solidarity from teachers the last time TAs took strike action….
Meanwhile, on Twitter, lots of teachers are planning to spend the day catching up with paper work and planning lessons! Sheesh – you are meant to be on strike guys! Y’know, going to meetings etc, not working! Oh and by the way, that probably includes not edublogging, twittering about work to your personal learning network, finding cool new resources to play with and all those informal learning activities you don’t get paid for anyway! 🙂