Letters Extra: Yah-boo to the national NUT

7th February 2003 at 00:00

The NUT, that long time supporter of a return to free collective bargaining with employers et al, as soon as it comes about, "does a runner" and is harrumphing and yah-booing from the touchlines.nbsp;

Is this the same union that opposed Houghton in the 70s which gave teachers one ofnbsp;the largest pay rises they ever had, and more recently would have prevented me in the two years being pound;3000 better off under Performancenbsp;Management?

It is indeed sad that its leaders, more concerned over posturing for the future general secretary elections, do not follow the close workingnbsp;relationships that unions have with each other at local level, especiallynbsp;in my case with the NUT.nbsp;

Their opposition to the agreement may be well-founded, but hard-pressed teachers at the "chalk face" rely on its leadersnbsp;to overcome any perceived difficulties not walk away.

However, what the NUT's national leaders have failed to see is that for the first time a government has put its hand to a negotiated settlementnbsp;and will actively work to reduce the workload of teachers, eventually, nonbsp;cover and preparation time for thousands of primary teachers.nbsp;

If they have so little confidence in their team to stay in the agreement to fight againstnbsp;what they perceive to be its faults, then, indeed a major union within thenbsp;TUC has left the field and its members to the vagaries of others.

Locally both NUT and NASUWT will continue to work together to make surenbsp;that this agreement is delivered and, if not, expect trouble.

In my view,nbsp;the fact that teachers expect unions to work for them, (indeed many saynbsp;that there should only be one union), will mean that at the end of the day all unions will expect that its local activists will see the agreementnbsp;delivered, if not immediately, by 2005.

WD Bradbury
Hon Secretary, St Helens and Newton Association
Clifton Road

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