“Michael Gove has written to all state school heads in England, urging them to take “robust” action against teachers involved in industrial action, and dock their pay, in a move described by Labour as putting the government on a “war footing” with the teaching profession” says the Guardian today.
Dock their pay? If they are on strike, they won’t be paid. That’s a feature of being on strike that hasn’t changed since Gove was on a picket line in 1989-90.
Perhaps he means the work to rule that the teachers are already engaged in. If that is the case, then docking their wages would be a breach of contract. Working to rule means working exactly to contract, not being in breach of it. It is refusing to do any extra, unpaid, work. It is a withdrawal of goodwill, for which the teachers are already not being paid.
The most likely reason for Gove’s letter, assuming he’s not a complete idiot, is not to persuade head teachers to dock wages, but to escalate the work to rule into an all-out strike. Once the public, or at least those who are parents, are inconvenienced, the teachers will lose any sympathy.
Perhaps Gove isn’t such a dunce, after all. It’s difficult to tell, he plays the part so well.
- Michael Gove is exploiting a perceived weakness in teachers’ unions | Richard Seymour (guardian.co.uk)
- Gove Has Found Something Else To Try & Start A Fight On…. (labourleft.co.uk)