Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 March 2004

NUT general secretary election

A Teachers' Leader On A Teacher's Salary

Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies is campaigning to stand in the general secretary election in the National Union of Teachers (NUT). With a fighting programme to change the NUT and defend and improve teachers' pay and working conditions, he is currently speaking at as many local association (branch) meetings of the NUT as he can. He recently gave a report to the socialist about his campaign:

"There is an enthusiasm for what I'm doing, because I'm standing for change and I'm someone who is genuinely in touch. Teachers are used to the headteacher and other advisers coming round telling them what to do - when the teachers know full well the 'advisers' couldn't do it themselves.

"That's why I've always chosen, although I could have been on full trade union facility time, to actually keep some time in the classroom. Unless you're in touch with the problems facing members, how can you represent them?

"That's also true on salaries. I am the only candidate who has launched his campaign with a clear pledge to be a 'teachers' leader on a teacher's salary'. The fact that [outgoing general secretary] McAvoy is on at least 94,000, plus expenses is an outrage. How can you possibly stay in touch with the problems facing young teachers who are up to their necks in debt and struggle to pay their bills?

"I helped to organise strike action on London allowances. So that we won, at least for some teachers, an effective 6,000 London allowance.

"What I'm saying to teachers is: 'That's how I won myself my last pay rise. If I become general secretary, that's how I'd win myself my next pay rise, not by just awarding myself a massive salary.'

"I'm travelling around to a lot of different meetings at the moment. To the south west, to Merseyside, Leicester, all across London. It is a battle because some officers of some associations, both on the right and the left, seem to be trying to make it difficult for me to get my ideas across. My opponents recognise that where ordinary classroom teachers hear me, they support my programme.

"At a meeting in Southwark, south London, recently, a couple of teachers came up to me at the end and said: 'Up to now we were going to support one of the other candidates but now we've actually heard you, we'll be supporting you.'

"My programme has not been sucked out of my thumb but it's a result of meetings, discussions at union branches, in staff rooms over the months and years and it's a reflection of what people want.

"TWO OF the other candidates, Steve Sinnott and John Bangs, are national officials of the union. Steve Sinnott is the deputy general secretary. Both of those candidates have got to take their responsibility for the failings of the union over the last decade. They offer no way forward for teachers.

"Steve Sinnott in particular claims to stand on the platform of unity with other teachers and other teaching unions. But he wants to do that, I believe, on a platform of ditching our opposition to teaching on the cheap and to performance related pay and the deals that the other unions have signed up to, which will only damage teachers and damage education.

"I stand for teacher unity by convincing the ordinary members of the other teaching unions, NASUWT and the ATL, to put pressure on their unions to withdraw from those agreements and then work together in action to get decent deals.

"John Bangs claims to be an independent but is actually Doug MacAvoy's chosen successor.

"The third candidate is Ian Murch. Ian also claims to stand for change in the union but his cautious approach risks defeat in this election. When he stood as union treasurer before Christmas, the turnout was only 16%.

"Many teachers looked at the three candidates and weren't convinced that a vote for any of them - including Ian Murch - would get things changed. I think that will be the danger again.

"It's only my clear approach, standing for change, which will attract a new layer of teachers and show them it's worth voting.

"I'll be calling for a transfer of votes to Ian, so that even if I was eliminated I think that my stand will help to get more votes for Ian and votes for change. I'm hoping Ian will call for a transfer of votes to me and together our vote will hopefully go on to win.

"Every reader of the socialist knows a teacher, everyone can help the campaign. The priority up to Easter is to get ten nominations from local associations. For material, look at the website or contact us for leaflets. We're also having regular campaign meetings which anyone can come along to, to ask questions and put forward ideas."

Martin's programme prioritises:

Contact the campaign for leaflets and other material. Website:


Tel: 07946 445488


Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 20 March 2004:

Capitalism Means War and Terror: Build The Socialist Alternative

Madrid Bombings Unleash Anti-War Anger

Ending the US-led occupation

What we think

Building An Alternative To Blair And Capitalism

Campaigning To Change Society

International socialist news and analysis

Support Nader's Campaign

Workplace news and analysis

A Teachers' Leader On A Teacher's Salary


Home   |   The Socialist 20 March 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleMoney doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

triangleLeicestershire - No more austerity!

triangleNEU conference: organise for the key battles to come

triangleGovernment fails to deliver on funding and teachers' pay - demand action to win 5%

triangleNEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleIlford: parents and teachers unite against school cuts

triangleAcademy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

triangleSchools unions must turn anger into a fight against funding catastrophe


triangleRMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions

triangleGeneral secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

triangleCorbyn must stand firm against establishment and Labour right


triangleMinimum wage debate: how can we end the scandal of low pay?

triangleNewham sixth form college picket line, 17th October 2019, photo by Scott Jones


triangleMass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

Martin Powell-Davies:

triangleLabour votes to abolish academies and private schools

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Postal workers

Massive vote for strike action: - "We're out to win!"



General secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more


Socialist Party

Be part of the future: join the Socialist Party


Waltham Forest

Mass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group


Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure


Climate change

Trade unionists discuss climate change


National Education Union

NEU support staff dismiss Tory 'extra funding' hype



Hackney SEND transport workers achieve victory



RMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions



Wales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works



Flooring workers strike, Derbyshire



Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers



BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory



York freshers success



'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019