Unions must work with council

2nd March 2001 at 00:00
For most of my career, teachers have raged impotently against successive governments that made ever-increasing demands, while treating them with contempt.

I stood for election to the GTC because I saw the opportunity for teachers to gain self-respect and be taken seriously. I had no wish to belong to a body that might be used as a way for ministers to circumvent teacher unions. I sought the advice of my union before sending in my nomination papers.

The GTC will not, of course, play any part in negotiations on salary and conditions. But t is rightly concerned with recruitment, retention, and teacher well-being. As one of 64 members of the GTC, I have both a right and a duty to be bluntly critical of government policy when such criticism seems appropriate.

Unions and the GTC should work together to ensure that teachers' concerns are not brushed aside.

The profession faces big problems, and needs to say so with all its strength. Silly demarcation disputes are the last thing we need.

Andrew Connell GTC secondary teacher member 11 Mill Hill Appleby, Cumbria

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