Chris Keates to lead the NASUWT for five more years

Irena Barker

Long-standing union leader Chris Keates, famous for her uncompromising and bullish approach, has been appointed to a third term in office leading the NASUWT.

Ms Keates, who has already led the union for 10 years, will remain as general secretary for a further five years after no other candidates stood for election.

The appointment will enable her to continue an on-going campaign against sweeping changes to teachers pay, conditions and pensions introduced by the coalition government.

In the past, she has been highly critical of education secretary Michael Gove, accusing him of making an “unparalleled vicious assault” on teachers, schools and state education.

Although the NASUWT is officially working with the NUT to oppose government reforms, the partnership has shown cracks in recent months, with the NASUWT failing to join in national one-day strikes this year.

Following her appointment, Ms Keates said in a statement today: “I feel very privileged to be re-elected as general secretary of the largest and leading teachers’ union in the UK.

"These are very challenging times for the teaching profession. Now more than ever it is critical that they have a strong union like the NASUWT to champion their cause.

“I will continue to do my very best to ensure the NASUWT goes from strength to strength improving the working lives of all teachers, so that they in turn can provide a quality education for the children they teach.”

Geoff Branner, president of the union, added: "To be re-elected unopposed is an overwhelming endorsement of Chris’s hard work on behalf of NASUWT members and a tribute to her leadership qualities and negotiating skills.”

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Irena Barker

Irena Barker is a freelance journalist.

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