A brief introduction to the little known teachers union, Voice.
Several comrades have introduced me to a trade union that I was not previously familiar with. They are called ‘VOICE’. I use the term ‘trade union’ in the loosest possible sense as they are far from worthy of the title.
They are an amalgamation of various small groups, and represent around 34,000 people. Their corny sounding name and lack of public profile despite have 34,000 members, conjures up images of a managers union or a boss created staff association. I was not to be disappointed.
There are many trade unions who do not strike very often, or who are generally against strikes in most circumstances. However, VOICE are the first trade union I have ever come across that have a ‘cardinal rule’ (a term that sounds dubious to say the least). The cardinal rule is that they will never ever strike in any circumstances. The website launches into a nonsensical tirade about striking being damaging an counterproductive. At best it is embarrassingly naïve, at its worst it gives me the impression that the organisation is an establishment set up.
Most trade unionists do not like industrial action, some, like me, who may have political or revolutionary aims view them differently. However, surely everyone, whatever their view must acknowledge that at some point there may be no alternative?
VOICE claim that they will just keep negotiating, and list some other things that they would try, which to be honest are pitiful, they include:
:arrow: openly seek opportunities and elected positions to promote Voice policies
:arrow: collect petitions
:arrow: exploit local and national media and the Internet
:arrow: create public platforms
:arrow: lobby MPs and councillors
:arrow: demonstrate outside working hours
:arrow: invoke parental pressure and support
:arrow: seek support from governing bodies
:arrow: persuade employers to declare their position on issues
:arrow: use employment law to register official disputes
:arrow: monitor the efficiency and performance of employers
:arrow: use your contractual rights to protest against employers which sanction disruption of the children’s education or care.
I thought that these were tactics that are usually tried and failed before industrial action is taken?
On their website they discuss the government concessions in the on-going pension dispute. Do they think those concessions were offered because of negotiation or because massive strikes have been threatened. Like all workers, VOICE enjoy sick pay, holidays, weekends off, maternity pay, paternity, bank holidays, the NHS, the welfare state, and employment law and tribunals. VOICE , the union itself, enjoys the right to be recognised as a union, facility time, and protection under law. DO they think that all these rights were happily given by the ruling class because of the cut and thrust of a well-honed negotiator? They were snatched away and won from the boss class on the picket lines, and in the streets, not in a fucking board room.
Am I to assume that whatever victories we win through strikes that VOICE do not want to benefit from them. Of course they fucking do. They do not want to do the dirty work, but will reap the rewards if other people do it.
Anyone who joins a union like VOICE is an absolute fucking disgrace. They are traitors to their colleagues, traitors to the learners that they teach, and traitors to their class. They don’t even pretend to be neutral or passive, they are actively against us. They are not a trade union, they are scabby black leg shit houses. After reading their website it is clear that USDAW really are going to up their game if they want to match VOICE. If you know anyone in VOICE, encourage them to go elsewhere. In fact, they would better off be in no union at all than with these bastards.
34000 members sounds very
34000 members sounds very much but I wouldn't be surprised, if some of the "members" probably do not know about their membership, there was a case in Germany were several hundred workers at a recruitment agency were automatically declared members of the christian scab union CGB without ever having signed a membership application, the employer deducted the membership fees from the workers' wages
To be honest, everything they
To be honest, everything they suggest is pretty similar to every trade union I've ever been in. At least they're honest that they always want to avert strikes; most trade unions talk tough but then do everything in their power to avoid striking. Maybe the advantage VOICE has is that no militants will join which means that it's members are far less likely to agitate for industrial action...
Yet to meet a member of them
Yet to meet a member of them or the old PAT in 5 yrs since I qualified. Never seen so much as a flyer in a staffroom or anything.
Most a-political teachers will still join a larger union, for basic protection/casework should they get accused of something or end up oin capability or whatever. I can't imagine anyone having much faith in Voice even in those terms. Those that are slightly more anti-strike tend toward ATL, though even they're striking over pensions, but so are the heads so that tells you summat.
Yeah, I hadn't heard of this
Yeah, I hadn't heard of this lot before, but I'm not surprised they exist - in any big industry there will be a market for a union which won't strike, and probably has cheap membership dues. Because there will always be a small proportion of people who want the protection of a union in case they get sacked (or accused of being a paedo), but won't want to be called a scab if they strike. The GMB effectively functions like this in much of local government, although it's not as bad as this admittedly
It says on the website
It says on the website they've existed for 38 years. And nobody has heard of them! I wouldn't worry about them too much. Still pretty shocking - Cardinal Rule!!!!!
Choccy wrote: Yet to meet a
Last year I was a Voice member. But I was also a member of every other teaching union going(student teacher). ;)
'I hope those who use
'I hope those who use post-watershed language to describe Voice or wish our violent demise are not responsible for, or training for, the care or education of children. '
working class self
working class self organisation
Breathtaking that some
Breathtaking that some tossers out there actually pay money to be a part of something like this outfit of clowns. Chilli's right about them bearing resemblance to every other reformist union - but will their members cross the line? There may be ideologically committed conservatives in there - plenty right-wing euro unions - but it may be that some poor saps have signed up unwittingly. It'd be nice to find out if they do cross the line.
It's highly unlikely that
It's highly unlikely that 'poor saps' have just fallen into this union, honestly. For the reasons I've stated above it's much more likely the case that Voice members are confirmed scabs who have either sought-out that union after being disaffected with the 'too political' unions or were already ideological right-wingers.
If there are any 'poor saps' left, they will have already been confronted with the picket issue on June 30th, in which case if they haven't jumped-ship already (and accoridng to Voice, some have) and they're still a member, they have picked their side.
Fair comment - anyone clapped
Fair comment - anyone clapped eyes on them? I'm guessing they don't bang any drums..
Wait, dude, are you posting
Wait, dude, are you posting that same thing on various threads? I think that sort of thing is covered in the posting guidelines...
iexist wrote: I don't know
I can't think of anything that's held the working class back from revolutionary consciousness so much as learning to spell, do long divison, or speak the thoroughly bourgeois language of French.
Damn right. They *invented*
Damn right. They *invented* the word bourgeois, ffs.
Chilli Sauce wrote: Wait,
that's right. You've already made that exact same off topic comment on another thread, and you have copy and pasted it here. Please don't derail topics and don't post the same thing across multiple topics.
Uncreative wrote: I can't
First they came for the English teachers...
Luckily they weren't sure what to do after an ellipsis so in the end they wandered off and the most fascistic English teacher invented French just to make the penalty for the crime of youth even harder.
How many other scab unions
How many other scab unions are there?
Is there a centralised list we can refer to on libcom? If not, there really ought to be!
PS: lol at the mind jailers BS, on such an important topic as well..fucking jesus christ.
wasn't sure if this needed a
wasn't sure if this needed a new thread so put it here for now - couldn't find anything on libcom after a quick google. maybe not a scab union per se but bills itself as an individually-focused legal advice source specifically to provide an alternative to unions.
edapt | Why subscribe to edapt
The guidance in question can be found here.
Apparently Michael Gove thinks they're "marvellous". So, you know. There's that.
Uncreative wrote: I can't
Oh, so that's the reason France didn't have a revolution in 1789, or in 1830, or in 1848. And there was no Paris Commune in 1871. It's because everyone in France speaks French.
When I first visited Britain, in 1988, I was struck by the difference in attitude towards France between Scotland and England. In Scotland, everyone I spoke to was critical of the French Government, particularly over its then current program of testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific. In England, however, whenever the topic of France came up, I was treated to a stream of vitriol against the French. This was across the board - from conservative middle class people through to established identities in the Anarchist movement.
My suggestion is for the Anarchist movement in England to have a look at itself, with a view to identifying and purging national chauvinism.
I think you missed the point
I think you missed the point of that post Abloke. It was more about the role and nature of state schools--which on one hand surely do attempt to form a complacent, disciplined workforce. On the other hand, they also give the working class certain intellectual skills that are no doubt useful for waging the class struggle, ya know, like reading and writing.
The thing about "thoroughly bourgeois language of French," it was taking the piss out of the exact same attitudes you somehow oddly believe characterize the UK anarchist movement based on some conversations you had 25 years ago...
jonthom wrote: wasn't sure if
Sounds like an independent professional association. I imagine they will remain irrelevant, given Voice already caters for scab teachers, and ATL already does it's best to win the who-strikes-least award.
Not too harp on the point,
Not too harp on the point, but if anything, I think if anything the UK anarchist movement fetishizes the French and the mass breakouts of struggle in that occasionally happen France. It's explained as something in the French character, a vestige of 68 or whatever. But it's certainly not vitriol, that's for sure.
I mean, we even saw this during the massive student movement in Quebec--'oh those Quebecois, it's because they speak French, it's that French influence that makes them so militant'. This was given as an explanation instead of looking at the years of hard, on-the-ground organising that occurred in the run-up to to CLASSE.
scab union of the "English
scab union of the "English Democrats" got state recognition: http://searchlightmagazine.com/archive/workers-of-england-gains-trade-union-rights
Entdinglichung wrote: scab
Twice the size of the IWW :(
That said, the searchlight write-up is a bit misleading. All organisations meeting the statutory definition of a trade union have (in theory) the same rights and obligations, whether or not they're listed or certified. The main advantage of a certificate of independence is access to the statutory recognition procedure, which requires reaching 10% membership of a bargaining unit and winning 50% of the vote in a ballot for recognition.
I'll go out on a limb and say there's zero chance of that happening anywhere except small firms run by fash. Afaik employers don't have to give them time off for union duties unless specified in a recognition agreement, which they're not likely to get (even as a scab union, for employers looking to block a real union, why use fash when you can just 'recognise' a company union?).
Plus, anything fash might like to do - industrial action against immigrants say - would likely break equalities law. It's theoretically possible to engineer a trade dispute that's de facto racist but technically lawful, but I doubt that's their intent as it's a legal minefield.
You fail to mention the cheap
You fail to mention the cheap cinema tickets via their rewards scheme.
onurmarx wrote: You fail to
Hey thanks Bro. I checked it out and as a Voice member you can get a 9 quid Cineworld ticket for £6. That's me switching Unions already; I get naff all with the EIS.
I'm not sure why you think…
I'm not sure why you think Libcom posters will have an answer to this, Chris?
My union (Unison) does all kinds of stuff I don't approve of, such as supporting the Labour Party. I've chosen to stay a member because it gives me legal protection at work and is also where many (but not all) of the politically "up for it" people I work with can be found.
Personally, having read around the subject and talked to a bunch of trans people I think the NEU policy is good.
Admin: a transphobic comment…
Admin: a transphobic comment by chris1729 was deleted, and the poster blocked