REPRESENTATIVES from NUT teachers' union associations met in Leeds on Saturday to discuss how to build the campaign to elect Ian Murch as general secretary of the NUT. Doug McAvoy, who has been general secretary for the last 15 years, is due to retire in June. The NUT has been painted as part of the awkward squad over the last year.
Unfortunately its opposition to government plans such as using non-teachers to take classes has not been translated into action, as the failure to use the SATs ballot as a springboard to action showed. A united left campaign to rebuild the union at school level is urgently needed.
The meeting united in its support for a campaign based on the principles agreed at a previous meeting in Nottingham, including serious campaigns on SATs, pay and pensions, support for Unite Against Fascism and clear opposition to the war in Iraq. Teachers need to ensure they are nominating and supporting Ian's candidacy, and that they are beginning to build local and school-based support.
Jane Bassett, president Hackney NUT (personal capacity)
To contact Ian's campaign, and send in details of local campaigning, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org