Sunday, 22 September 2013

LANAC - organising for national action

LANAC, the Local Associations National Action Campaign, was formed at the 2012 NUT Annual Conference in response to the failure to maintain national strike action to defend pensions. Since then, LANAC has been linking together NUT Associations who want to campaign for the national action needed to defend not just pensions but also teachers' pay and conditions - and education as a whole.

LANAC welcomes affiliation from any NUT Association that supports its aims of building a network to help exchange information and discuss strategy to defeat the serious attacks we face, and to build collective action to oppose those attacks. Each affiliated Association is entitled to one vote at LANAC committee meetings. This helps ensure that decisions are based democratically and take into account the views of a wide range of Associations.

LANAC has held conferences in Liverpool and Leicester and committees in Leeds, Birmingham and Coventry. Yesterday, we returned to Leeds for the first steering committee of this academic year.

With so much activity taking place in the build up to the October strikes, including rallies in Exeter and Cambridge, only twelve different Associations were able to attend but that was still enough for a very useful exchange of views and information.

LANAC treasurer, Debs Gwynn, one of those who sent apologies, was nevertheless able to send through the latest accounts (for which our thanks were recorded) showing 24 paid affiliations for 2013-14, with three more paying their £10 annual subscription on the day. We will be writing to all Associations to circulate LANAC material, including a newsletter for the October strikes, and to remind them that we have agreed that an annual affiliation has to be paid after each NUT Conference.

The existing national officers were reelected unopposed:
Convenor: Martin Powell-Davies (Lewisham)
Chair: Julie Lyon-Taylor (Liverpool)
Vice-Chair: Sally Kincaid (Wakefield)
( and with Jane Nellist  (Coventry) becoming Acting Vice-Chair when required.)
Treasurer: Debs Gwynn (St.Helens)
Website Co-Ordinators: Dean Cornwall (Northampton) and Derek McMillan (West Sussex)
Newsletter Editor: Patrick Murphy (Leeds) 

Most of the meeting discussed plans for building the regional action on October 1 and 17 - and plans for continued action in November and beyond. There was also discussion about local disputes to oppose unacceptable pay and appraisal polices. Materials to help build the strikes were exchanged, for example the powerpoint on the Lewisham NUT website - see:

Some concerns were raised about the reticence being expressed in some quarters about confirming the national action in November. The best antidote to any such unplaced doubts was, of course, to build the strongest possible regional strike action in October. Joint strike committees in schools could also help to cement unity between NUT and NASUWT members and build for the ongoing action that is needed. National NUT action in November could, of course, not only be together with the NASUWT but also coordinated with other unions in dispute like the FBU, CWU and PCS.

There was a short discussion about the upcoming elections for both the NUT National Executive and National Officers where the support Martin, the LANAC Convenor, was receiving in the election as National NUT Vice-President was welcomed. LANAC would also help to circulate his materials.

Finally, it was agreed that LANAC email groups should be used to circulate NUT Conference Motions that affiliated Associations were seeking support for; that bookings for a 'LANAC Hotel' for the Annual Conference in Brighton were confirmed;  £25 was collected for striking Hovis workers, and a further steering committee was agreed for November 23rd (venue to be confirmed). We will also hold a further LANAC Conference, particularly in the light of possible announcements of further attacks on national conditions, in the New Year, provisionally on 1st February 2014.

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