logo-education
0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

The future of public sector strikes

10 July 2014

The legitimacy of today’s strike by public sector workers has been called into question – in the teaching profession only around 10% of the total workforce voted in favour of the strikes in 2012.

Currently a strike can take place where it is supported by a simple majority of members who vote, regardless of turnout and there is no need for a fresh ballot for ‘discontinuous action’. The Prime Minister has criticised these strikes and pledged to change this legislation.

Options being considered include setting turnout thresholds and time-limiting ballots. With around 3,000 schools closed in England and Wales, there is inevitable disruption to education, businesses and individuals, with parents taking time off work or paying for childcare.

Questioning the legitimacy of the ballot distracts from the purpose of the strike and reduces public sympathy. Tighter rules on ballots, to show greater and more recent support by union members, may well therefore reduce the number of strikes, but it may actually increase their effectiveness too.

Related opinions

Schools face scrutiny over Covid-19 vaccinations for children

On 4 June, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.

View blog

School not liable for reckless actions of a student

The decision reinforces that the standard of the duty of care owed by schools is one or reasonableness.

View blog

Avoiding grade challenges on ‘unconscious bias’

A system based on teacher assessed grades, rather than external exams, was inevitably going to give rise to speculation about bias and objectivity in teacher assessment and grading decisions. Schools can prepare now for these kinds of challenges by ensuring that they have clear written evidence readily available.

View blog

Teachers report inadequate training on peer-on-peer abuse

Despite the increased media and regulatory focus on peer-on-peer abuse within schools, teachers are still reporting that they feel undertrained and ill-equipped to recognise and respond to allegations and incidents.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up