No more beer and sarnies

6th July 2001 at 01:00
Intriguing relationships are starting to emerge between the Mark II New Labour Government and the leaders of public-service unions.

First, there was the asparagus-tips-and-beef privatisation summit at Number 10, where union protagonists were apparently made to sign an official secrets declaration which even covered the menu. Allegedly, government control freaks were keen to stage-manage the event and prevent comparison with the beer and sandwich meetings of a previous Labour administration.

And now there's the mysterious affair of the teachers' workload meeting, convened by Education Secretary Estelle Morris with the unions, the heads' associations and the employers. NUT supremo Doug McAvoy had to leave early to attend a parents' evening at his children's school in York, and chose a speech by local government man Graham Lane to discreetly tiptoe out of the meeting room. The rest of Mr Lane's contribution was, sadly, lost on the rest of the delegates, who watched open-mouthed as Ms Morris tore after McAvoy, calling him for a five-minute meeting just out of earshot in the corridor. "She did look quite agitated," said Lane. A bottle of diary champagne to any mole who can tell us just what the conversation was about.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now