Monday, January 23, 2012

A tale of two public servants

This evening's Standard carried what is, I would say by any reckoning, a disgraceful attack upon a dedicated public servant (

Some (not very) bright spark has asked Haringey Council to tally up the salary of an elected lay representative of the National Union of Teachers over a period of six and a half years and (lo and behold) it adds up to quite a lot of money.

This really is only "journalism" in the sense that the "Taxpayers Alliance" conduct "research". It is clearly driven by the fact that the NUT (and others) in Haringey have got Gove on a back foot over trying to force an unwanted Academy - and is surely intended to act as a warning to every other trade union representative on full time release to carry out trade union duties.

But this blog aims to provide a balanced assessment of workplace issues, so let me try to see things from the other side...

I don't know the elected NUT rep in question, Julie Davies, personally but (much like the "Taxpayers Alliance" and all those astroturf grassroots campaigners) I know "her type".

Here is someone who has wilfully refused to advance her career for 12 years, wantonly choosing to represent her fellow teachers at disciplinary, grievance and sickness hearings (often to the mutual benefit of the individual and their employer) rather than progress to a management role.

Shamefully, she has accepted the repeated democratic decisions of her fellow teachers that she should continue to represent them rather than (as would be supported by this Government and their supporters in the press) sticking two fingers up to her colleagues and concentrating upon personal advancement.

Quite clearly, such selfless commitment to the best interests of those who choose to devote their lives to public service deserves every ounce of the criticism which it has today attracted.

How unlike this case is that of poor Stephen Hester, another public sector employee (running a nationalised bank), whose entitlement to a bonus is quite scurrilously being challenged (

How much more positive an example is set by a banker willing to double an already astronomic salary at the expense of an impoverished nation than by some public sector trade unionist scoundrel who persists in rejecting their own individual self-interest in order to represent workers' collective interests!

You see, dear reader? Once you look at things in a balanced way like this, it really is so straightforward...

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Anonymous said...

well said.... Grrrr they make me so angry...

Anonymous said...

Quite right! have you sent this in to the Standard?