Union power switch to ease merger talks

27th May 2005 at 01:00
Radical changes are planned by leaders of the lecturers' union Natfhe to put more control over strikes in the hands of members.

The power of regional councils to influence industrial action at conference would be curtailed. The responsibility for selecting delegates would switch to branches if plans, backed by the union executive, are approved by in Eastbourne this weekend.

The Association of University Teachers demanded the reform as a condition of the proposed merger of the two associations in 2007. Paul Mackney, Natfhe's general secretary, said this was a small price to pay for the creation of a 115,000-member union for all further and higher education.

He said: "We need this merger. We are both facing the same problems over pay and conditions and we are increasingly working on common ground."

Even without the merger plan, he said similar measures would need to be considered. He said: "No other union does things Natfhe's way. If you look at the National Union of Teachers, they don't send people from regional conferences but from local areas, as near to the local education authority employer as possible."

He expects pockets of resistance to the merger package. "There will be a proposal to defer merger," he said. "But when people consider that we have to be battle-ready, can we really continue to discuss whether this resolution is the one to go for or not?"

Last year, Natfhe voted unanimously to negotiate merger terms - a proposal that has been around since 1989.

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

Comments

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