STOP PRESS: 14 NUT Executive members have requisitioned an emergency meeting of the National Executive in late April to discuss the strategy and action calendar for the pensions campaign.
Final Day's Report:
The final session of NUT Conference completed a number of important debates including those on workload, sixth form colleges, “a woman’s place is in the union” and against the forced academisation of primary schools (excellently seconded by Karen Parkinson from Lewisham NUT).
However, it was the debate on the motion on the ‘economy’ that most clearly revealed the overwhelming opposition of delegates from across the Union to cuts to pay, jobs, pensions and services – whether being carried out by Tory, Liberal Democrat or Labour politicians.
Jane Nellist from Coventry (who also topped the poll in the delegates’ ballot for the Conference Business Committee) seconded an amendment that “condemns the statements by Ed Milliband and Ed Balls that in office they would maintain the bulk of the Coalition Government’s spending cuts and austerity measures”. It also affirmed its solidarity with workers elsewhere, particularly in Greece, and instructed the executive to press the TUC to call another national demonstration against cuts and austerity as well.
Jane described the queues for food hand-outs in the centre of Coventry and contrasted that with the £730 billion in cash hoarded by big business, instead of being invested to meet the needs of society. She pointed out how cuts in her city had been started by a Tory Council under a Labour Government – and were now being made by a Labour Council under a Tory Government – a seamless transition. That’s why, Jane explained, she would be supporting anti-cuts candidates from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the local elections on May 3.
But perhaps the most telling illustration of teachers’ opposition to cuts – from whatever party - was that not a single delegate chose to speak against the amendment - which was then overwhelmingly carried. The final amended motion, also reaffirming the Union’s policy of “no cuts”, was then agreed – unanimously!