Opinion Former Article

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 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.

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.

“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 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. http://www.voicetheunion.org.uk/action

Further advice to members on industrial action:

Pensions information:


Contacts: Voice Press Office (pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk) on 01332 372337 or 0794 871 0413 or General Secretary Philip Parkin (philipparkin@voicetheunion.org.uk) on 01332 372 337 or 077 259 601 32.
Voice: the union for education professionals
2 St James' Court
Friar Gate
Derby DE1 1BT

Tel : 01332 372337

web : www.voicetheunion.org.uk

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