Letters to the Press
Canada and Professional Association of Teachers
Globe and Mail,
||Doc. No. 1975.006
I came out from England to give a lecture in Toronto last night (12 November 1975) on
professional ethics. I was sad to find you have a teachers' strike. In 1971 a group of
teachers in England asked me to help them form a trade union for those teachers who refused
to strike. The Professional Association of Teachers, of which I had the honour to be
first national chairman, has as its first and cardinal rule that members will not strike
in any circumstances. It now has 10,000 members, every one of whom believes that when
a person enters teaching he joins a profession where the strike weapon is not available.
Why? Because the pupil must come first, and strikes harm pupils. A teachers’ strike
offends the first principle of professionalism - that you put the interests of the client
(in this case the pupil) above your own.