We face a summer of strike action in the UK over pay. Rail workers are threatening to walk out again, as are their train driver colleagues. It looks like doctors and nurses might follow, with teachers just behind them. There is general unrest about salary rises, not helped by the governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey telling people to be restrained when entering negotiations. The same Andrew Bailey who earns more than half a million quid a year.
So, words from the big money man haven’t helped. We need to try another tack to smooth negotiations and help employers and employees refresh their relationship. We need to send in parents. As dads, we are experts at conflict resolution. Whether it is a stroppy toddler facing off against you or siblings at each others’ throats, we have the tools to reach an amicable agreement and that might just save the UK from disruption.
Here’s how we can help prevent strike action:
Parents learn patience early on. You have to wait for them to finish on the potty, you need to steel yourself to sit through 53 episodes of Bing in a row. Patience is an essential skill for a dad. And for a negotiator too. If the two parties are dragging their heels and stalling negotiations, all you need to do is usher a quick “well, it’s your time you’re wasting, not mine” and they will be shamed into action.
“I’m not cross…”
Another way to express the gravity of the situation is this classic line. When one party comes to the table with what you think is reasonable, but which the other party rejects out of hand, here’s what you do. You look them in the eye and say “I’m not cross…I’m disappointed that you turned that down. That will hit hard.
About 80% of your life when you have more than one child is spent getting them to share nicely. Let them know in no uncertain terms that, if they can’t share the money fairly, they will not, I repeat not, be allowed to go to the pub for a post-negotiation pint. That’ll get them working together to prevent strike action.
You understand as a parent that there is always room for negotiation. Kids go in high with their offer. It is as if they’ve learnt from the Apprentice, where Lord Sugar praises the hapless contestants for trying to charge £27 for a crab paste sandwich to City workers. A child will demand ten Fruit Shoots, two Mars Bars and the box set of Bluey, but somehow as dads we can always talk them down to three Fruit Shoots and a fun size Mars. Obviously we allow them Bluey because it is god-level programming.
Now to avert strike action
Now you’ve seen how easy it is to negotiate, let’s mobilise the Dadsnet army and take over negotiations. We’ll keep all parties happy and keep Britain moving this summer. Simple.