Sunday, 2 February 2014

Martin Powell-Davies confirms his stand as NUT General Secretary candidate



Download from:
This weekend's Conference of the Local Associations National Action Campaign overwhelmingly agreed to back my stand in this summer's election for NUT General Secretary. With that backing - and indications of support from other NUT Associations not able to attend the meeting in Leicester, Lewisham NUT has agreed to formally write to all NUT Associations seeking my nomination to stand in the election.

As the letter from Lewisham NUT Officers explains: "We know that a decision to stand in the General Secretary election is not one to be taken lightly. The GS leads over 300,000 teachers. S/he will have a significant responsibility to lead the NUT for the next five years at a time when teachers will continue to face an unprecedented battle to defend their livelihoods, children’s education, and, indeed, to protect the organisation of the Union itself ... Nominations for the GS election close on 30 April and, up to now, only one candidate, Christine Blower, our existing GS, has sought nomination. Unless another candidate receives the required ten nominations, then there will be no election in June and Christine will continue in post as GS. However, Lewisham NUT believes that it would be wrong for such an important post to go uncontested at this time ... Our initial canvassing of support has received a positive response. The Local Associations National Action Campaign Conference overwhelmingly agreed to back Martin. One Association has already nominated him, with more to follow. We hope that your association can also add its nomination to the others that Martin will be receiving".
This letter can be downloaded from the Lewisham NUT website on: 

An initial flyer from my campaign can also be downloaded via (see the picture at the top of this post). Here is what it says:

Our Union is at a critical stage in its battle to defend teachers and education. We face a Government that is determined to press ahead with its plans to: 
  • privatise and undermine children’s education
  • bully and blame through Ofsted and league tables
  • cheapen costs by attacking pay and pensions
  • deregulate conditions and worsen workload
  • defeat the unions that could stop its attacks
Regrettably, many teachers’ harsh experience tells them that we aren’t yet winning this fight. They see:
  • ever more pressure, longer hours, more teachers bullied out - or choosing to leave the profession
    more money being taken out of their salaries for a pension many can only draw in full at 68 or more
  • divisive performance-pay legislation being imposed more academies and a narrowing curriculum
  • the threat of further attacks on our conditions
NUT members have loyally supported their Union every time we have called action. Yet too often, when we have organised regional or national strikes, they have then seen unions hesitate about what follows next:
  • London NUT took action in 2012 - nothing followed
  • Regional action restarted in 2013 - then national action promised was postponed - in Nov. and in Feb.
  • Teachers were told we had won talks with Gove - but no talks have taken place, no progress has been made
Now, at last, action has been called in March - action that we have to build as strongly as possible. But, this time, we mustn’t hesitate again - but stand firm.


If we are to stop Gove, we have to organise:
  • An ongoing calendar of national action - not just isolated strike days
  • Collections for hardship funds so all can strike
  • Escalation from one to two-day action - warning Gove that more could follow
  • A national work-to-rule to resist any attempt to  worsen conditions
  • A public campaign to defend children’s education with leaflets, meetings, a national demonstration

YES we need to fight for Professional Unity but we can’t afford to wait if others won’t act

  • Meet with NASUWT colleagues and urge they demand a return to joint action alongside the NUT
  • Let’s coordinate strikes with other trade unions too


We must enthuse members with clear demands:  
  • A life outside school - we need a minimum 20% PPA in all sectors
  • Retirement at 60 - not 68 or more
  • No more than 1265 directed hours, 195 days
  • Abolish OFSTED and league tables
  • Guaranteed mainscale pay progression
  • A £2,000 increase on all pay points


Martin has been Lewisham NUT Secretary since 1993 and on the National Executive since 2010. He was a candidate in the last contested election for NUT General Secretary in 2004. Throughout that time, he has:
* Consistently built union and community campaigns 
* Defended colleagues, spoken up for teachers
* Given confidence to teachers to take action - and win victories - like the success over Lewisham pay policies

Through his casework and campaigning, and his continued classroom teaching, Martin has kept in touch with the everyday pressures on teachers. If elected GS, he pledges to remain on a teacher's salary. He would give the Union bold leadership in the struggles ahead and be a clear voice speaking up for teachers. 


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