Teachers don’t need to read the latest Government reports to know that our workload is as intolerable as ever and that too many non-teacher qualified staff are regularly taking classes. But, with politicians looking to clear a £1.4 trillion debt, we ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’!
I wrote in my original nomination leaflet back in May that we will have to be ready for more attacks as the recession bites. It is now absolutely clear that, whoever forms the next Government, public services, and public sector workers, face the threat of serious cutbacks and further privatisation.
As before, when this Government first came for teachers’ pensions, we have to be ready to respond with united trade union action to defend our pensions once again. We also have to unite with parents and our local communities in a joint battle to oppose cuts, job losses and further privatisation of schools. As Vice-President, I would make it my priority to build the unity in action that we need to defend teachers and schools.
The national officers that the NUT will elect this term will have to help lead the Union into action. But are we ready for the battles to come?
School reps and local union officers are already run ragged trying to keep on top of the casework and campaigns we face. We must inspire a new layer of teachers into union activity. Above all, we must give NUT members the confidence that we have a strategy that can successfully defend teachers and education.
On too many key issues, like workload, we have not been able to turn the tide. That’s why I have successfully argued at Conference for a change of strategy. A campaign of national action to win a National Contract that really limits teacher workload and class sizes is a strategy that can make a difference. It is time that policy is put into practice.
If you want a Vice-President who can speak up for teachers, who can help develop a strategy to defend education in the battles to come, and who can give confidence to teachers that we can change things for the better, please support me in this vital election.