At today's meeting of the National Executive, Kevin Courtney, NUT DGS, gave a report from the discussions that are now taking place between DfE officials and seven teachers' organisations, including the NUT.
While some other unions might be trying to sell these talks as a real gain for teachers, Kevin confirmed that there is, as yet, no sign of any genuine dialogue.
Firstly, the meetings have only been with DfE officials, not Michael Gove. Critically, these civil servants made clear that the talks can only be about "implementation" of Government policy. (See letter below in full on the National NUT website).
On this, of course, Gove has been entirely consistent. Trade unions need to be consistent too. The promise of discussions about the implementation of Gove's agenda to attack pay, conditions and pensions should be nowhere near enough for any union to call off their action. It's possible that some minor concessions might be tabled, with the aim of dividing the trade union response, but the truth is that nothing substantial will be won until and unless action is taken of sufficient strength to force Michael Gove to offer genuine concessions.
That's why I believe a solid national strike must be built on March 26 and plans announced for further strike action next term.
Finally, the Executive heard reports that over 50 NUT Associations across England and Wales had already organised campaign stalls to take our message to the public, especially on Saturday March 8th. Above all, however, school meetings to build for strike action are also essential to make sure we have the strongest possible turnout on March 26.
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