Picketing is a key part of strike action and an effective way to build morale, confidence and camaraderie.
As we enter a more sustained period of strike action, it is important that picket lines remain strong as a visible demonstration of our commitment to the campaign and our objective of achieving a 10% pay increase for teachers.
Here, we provide some ideas about how schools and Local Associations can make picketing fun and sustain the engagement of members at this critical time.
PICKET LINE PICK AND MIX
- Picket Line Dancing – get members warmed up on cold winter mornings by introducing a bit of dancing on the picket line. The slosh and the cha-cha slide are firm favourites and the music can be accessed on most mobile phones. Alternatively, create your own moves to music!
- Picket Line Karaoke – lift the energy levels on the picket line through song or chants. We have seen teachers across Scotland making their voices heard in the last few weeks. Why not turn our demands into music? Make up your own song to a familiar tune and share it with colleagues ahead of and on your day of action. You never know, it could be a chart topper!
- Picket Line Picnic – arrange for someone to have hot drinks and food available for those on the picket line. Nothing raises the spirits like a hot breakfast roll! Funds will be made available for this activity from HQ.
- Picket Line Guests – invite someone along to speak. This might be a local councillor, MSP or MP; it could be a local celebrity; or someone from FELA, ULA or another sister trade union. Depending on relations locally, you might even reach out to a supportive member of the Parent Council. Get the mega-phones at the ready!
- Picket Line Gallery – let those creative juices flow and encourage members to design their own placards for the picket line gallery. Make the slogans catchy and placards colourful to lift morale on a dull day! Capture the images in photographs for sharing nationally on our Picket Line Gallery or with colleagues from different Local Associations on their day of action.
- Picket Line Pooches – a picket line is never complete without a dog. Run a competition in your Local Association for the picket line with the cutest dog!
- Picket Line Toot Tallies – see how many ‘toots’ your picket line gets from passing vehicles. Record your numbers and share the support! Toot, toot!
- Picket Line Posting – keep the message visible on social media by posting, posting, posting! There will be lots of great picket line pictures and we need to keep the profile of our action high.
- Picket Line Press – make our message heard. With all this activity going on, invite the local press to come along to capture the strength of members’ feelings. Media training and advice is available online.
Throughout the rolling programme of action, you may want to support colleagues in other Local Associations. Here are some ideas about how you can demonstrate your support:
- Solidarity Social – why not arrange a get-together after school with tea and cakes, to create messages of solidarity for colleagues whose day in the rolling action has yet to come. These could be postcards, posters or video messages.
- Solidarity Sing-a-long – for those budding singers, why not get together after school and record your message of solidarity through song. Choose a well-known tune and adapt the words to your message. Keep it short and simple so that it can be picked up easily on the picket line.
- Strike Strong from Stranraer to Stornoway – link up with schools from other local authorities and visit their picket lines remotely. Plot your visits across Scotland on the map and publish your virtual travels on social media. Co-ordinated action such as this will send a clear message to the Scottish Government and COSLA that we are strike strong from Stranraer to Stornoway.
- Solidarity Buddies – for the Local Associations which are taking action on the same day, why not get schools in each area to link up their picket lines through remote platforms and build collective strength and unity on the day!