NASUWT loser must accept rule

5th November 2004 at 00:00
Now the NASUWT leadership election is over, I must respond to comments in The TES by Hank Roberts ("Unity veteran calls for election debate", October 8).

Since seeking nomination for the post of general secretary, Mr Roberts has made a series of complaints about the election rules. The question I would pose to him is why has he never complained previously?

It strikes me as opportunist to raise the issue only when he tried to become a candidate. His local association, if it agreed with his view, could have sought to bring a rule change to our national conference.

The reason for the 25 Associations Rule was not to debar an individual from standing, but to ensure that they could demonstrate to at least 25 local associations that they had the qualities needed to be general secretary. Mr Roberts clearly could not and therefore failed to obtain the necessary support.

He also complains about the timescale. In the same timescale, Chris Keates won the support of 87 local associations. As a member of the union, Mr Roberts should accept our democratic processes. If he does not like a policy, he should seek to change it at conference, not run to the press vilifying the process.

Terry Bladen NASUWT ex-national president 1 Borrowdale Grove Egglescliffe Cleveland

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