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

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today