What do the public sector strikes mean to you?

November 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 1 Comment
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So this evening I inadvertently caused a storm in a news feed when I mentioned on Twitter that I was hacked off about not knowing that our school was closed tomorrow for the much publicised strikes.  Yes I should have expected it and planned ahead.  Yes there is a notice board with school news and yes the teachers have better things to do than inform disorganised parents like me that they will need to make alternative childcare arrangements.

However, the letter could have found its home a little sooner and left me with more options besides a) panic and shout, b) send him anyway and see what happens or c) ignore it and hope it all goes away by tomorrow.

I totally support the strike action and have huge amounts of admiration for teachers and the hugely demanding role that they do under a great deal of stress and pressure for nowhere near the pay they deserve.  I have a number of friends and immediate family who work in the public sector who are being squeezed and squashed beyond a tolerable level.

I do think as a nation we should come together to stand up for teachers and others affected – something does need to change.  It is sad though that it should come to this.  And ultimately it does leave thousands and thousands of parents in a difficult situation.  For some it’s manageable – employers have to make allowances and accept that parents will need time off during school closures.  I have to say that suggestions of taking children to work are totally ridiculous.  Unless you work in a chocolate factory or teddy bear shop.

For me, tomorrow will be chaos.  I don’t say that in a woe in me way because this is an important day for the public sector.  I say it in the simple matter of fact way that it causes issues.  No child care when you’re self-employed means added pressure.  Meetings can be changed, work done in advance and alternative plans made.  It’s no huge deal, just a pain in the behind.  Worth it for the cause in hand though.

61% of the nation support the strikes.  It would be great to see that figure being higher.  My husband works in the public sector and much like teachers is working longer hours for less pay and reduced benefits.  He can’t take the day off work tomorrow – if he could, he would.

Like many have said on Twitter, it’s one day – deal with it.  And like the majority, we will – and we will support those who need added volume for their voice.

And now I know where the notice board is, I shall be better prepared.

If you want to listen to me talk about my personal experience on BBC Oxford tomorrow, tune in online at around 7.20am.

How will you be affected tomorrow?


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  1. I had to swap my day off to take care of my sons. It wasn’t such a bit deal but I know it is for others. The lack of notice is what annoyed me more. x

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