Members should do own work only during strike
Voice press release: 17 & 28 November 2011
Voice advises members not to do others’ work during strike
Voice: the union for education professionals – which does not take industrial action – is advising its members, who include head teachers, teachers, education support staff and childcarers across the UK, to do their own work only and not that of striking colleagues during the industrial action planned by other public sector unions for 30 November 2011.
The union has seen its membership, which was around 30,500, rise by an average of 100 members a day during the last two weeks.
General Secretary Philip Parkin said:
“Voice members do not undertake industrial action because we believe it to be ineffective, negative and damaging, both to the cause of those taking it and to the interests of children, students and their parents. Those whose lives are disrupted by strike action are not those responsible for making decisions on public sector pensions.
"The thousands of members who have joined Voice in recent months are testament to the disquiet many have felt about going on strike.
“However, while we do not take or support industrial action, we respect the right of others to do so. Voice members should therefore not do their colleagues’ work except in exceptional circumstances, such as where the safety of children might be jeopardised.
“Teachers employed under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document [in England and Wales], for example, cannot be compelled to provide cover for other teachers unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as to protect children’s safety.
“Members should do the work they normally undertake and are contracted to do, as reasonably instructed by their head teacher or line manager, and no more. This includes support staff, who should continue with their own duties and not cover classes for a teacher who is on strike, unless they are specifically employed as a cover supervisor and are directed to provide cover.
“Members who need advice or feel that they will be intimidated or put under pressure by managers or colleagues should contact us for advice.”
Voice’s Cardinal Rule is "Members shall not go on strike in any circumstances". This applies to all Voice members. Strike action includes any kind of industrial action:. www.voicetheunion.org.uk/action
Voice Press Office
General Secretary Philip Parkin
Tel: 0131 220 8241