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Unity through balance

THE article (TES, April 11) "O'Kane renews efforts to sell idea of union merger" attributes to me powers that a National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers general secretary does not possess.

I am neither presenting a paper on the subject to my conference nor am I the sole author of it. The paper in question is a report from the national executive to the conference on the future organisation and direction of NASUWT. It contains an analysis of the union's organisation and the possible challenges to it in the future.

The report sets out a series of options, both with regard to changes in internal organisation and on external relationships with other unions.

The report calls for the initiation of a wide-ranging discussion on these options by the membership but neither advocates nor, indeed, "sells" any particular view.

On these important issues, such a balanced discussion is the best way forward - free from hype and hyperbole.

Eamonn O'Kane General secretary, National Association of SchoolmastersUnion of Women Teachers

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