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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 January 2021

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"

Martin Powell Davies, photo Paul Mattsson

Martin Powell Davies, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

I am standing to be National Education Union (NEU) deputy general secretary because our union needs clear and determined leadership if we are going to withstand the serious challenges ahead of us. More than any other candidate, I have the experience, skills and campaigning record that can make us a stronger team.

Years of funding cuts, pressure from school inspectorates Ofsted and Estyn, and 'exam factory' conditions have already taken their toll. Now teachers and support staff face further attacks from a government hoping to make us pay for their failures.

Making a stand on safety has shown that we can succeed when we act decisively. I'll work to win more gains in future.

As deputy general secretary, I will work to build a union that has the confidence, strength and organisation to defend the pay, jobs, safety and working conditions of education staff and, in doing so, defend education as well.

Every candidate will propose changes that could improve our conditions, and pupils' learning conditions. But the key question is, how can they be won?

The NEU has not been slow to make demands. Our problem has been that they have too often been ignored by employers and ministers. Our 'five tests' for Covid safety were not met - putting our health and safety at risk. For years, we've complained about unreasonable workload, but it keeps getting worse and now we face a 'pay freeze' - are our demands for improved salaries going to be ignored too?

School safety

Throughout the pandemic I have consistently argued that to defend school safety we would need to use our collective strength. The New Year 'U-turn' showed what we could achieve. Now we need to make more gains.

I am standing to be a deputy general secretary who works to bring our union together - in our workplace groups, districts and branches, alongside the staff and other resources paid for by your subs - with a belief that we can, and must, succeed in winning our demands.

As a member of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) national executive from 2010-15 and then NEU London regional secretary from 2016-19, I have experience of working within the union at its highest levels.

I have been active within the NUT, and now the NEU, throughout my working life. I became a science teacher, and soon a local union officer, in London in the 1980s.

As Lewisham NUT Secretary for over 20 years, I doubled local membership and supported hundreds of colleagues. I have organised many successful campaigns, opposing cuts and academisation, defending pay and workload.

I am still a teacher and local NEU officer today, now in north west England, experiencing the pressures on members at first hand. I am regularly invited to put our case across to the press and media.

In short, my record shows that I can be a deputy general secretary that can be relied on to provide clear leadership.

What I stand for:

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 27 January 2021:


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

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Related links:

Martin Powell-Davies:

triangleJohnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

triangleAction on Covid transmission in schools now

triangleTest and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting

triangleEven more delay in stopping school transmission?

NEU:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The fight for women's health to be a trade union issue

triangleOnline workers' rally: Taking fight to the bosses

triangleThe NEU's 'big announcement' - lessons need to be learned

triangleSchools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Union:

trianglePresident of 'big four' Labour-affiliated trade union joins TUSC committee

triangleHow militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act

triangleUsdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds

Pay:

triangleLondon bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

triangleHMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Education:

triangleStrike back for free education

NUT:

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

National Education Union:

triangleHackney schools workers to strike

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