First, may I congratulate Chris Keates on her election as general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers? She has the skills and now the opportunity to be an effective leader.
She has a tough task to follow Eamonn O'Kane, who from his first day in the job recognised the importance of trying to achieve unity of teachers'
Like Eamonn, I put professional unity high on my agenda when I stood for general secretary of the National Union of Teachers and it remains there.
Whatever the particular differences in policy that exist between the NUT and the NASUWT, there are many areas which unite us and on which members of both organisations would want to see us working together.
It is in this vein that I look forward to working with Ms Keates.
Co-operation rather than rivalry is what teachers would like to see and which must be a priority if we are to serve the interests of our members and those of the children and young people they teach.
We face challenging times but I hope we can work together to meet those challenges.
Steve Sinnott General secretary National Union of Teachers Hamilton House, London WC1