Against a centralised power

26th April 1996 at 01:00
Your articles on the National Union of Teachers' conference (TES, April 12) imply that the rule changes proposed by the executive would have given members more rights and more say and made the NUT more democratic.

Those at conference who opposed the changes did so because they would have made the union less democratic. The decision about which issues should go to ballot and what material should be sent out with voting papers would, on the evidence of recent ballots, be taken solely by the general secretary. There would have been a centralisation of power in the union.

What conference agreed (in the motion on union democracy which I moved) was that these and all related issues would be discussed by a working party; that we would seek a consensus in the union on the way forward. It will be interesting to test the democratic credentials of the executive and see whether in nominating members for this working party it is prepared to allow both majority and minority views to be heard.


Coventry NUT

116 Rosslyn Ave



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