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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 December 2003

Left Discuss NUT Leadership Bid

A VITAL meeting for the Left of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) took place in Nottingham on Saturday to decide who will be the left candidate to challenge for general secretary when Doug McAvoy retires next year.

With discontent among teachers growing, there is an excellent opportunity in the NUT to match the victories for left candidates in other trade unions. The right-wing are also spilt with two different national officials standing in the election, John Bangs and Steve Sinnott. Socialist Party Teachers believed that it was therefore even more important to have one clear candidate challenging from the Left.

Three potential candidates, all NUT branch secretaries, Ian Murch from Bradford, Alex Kenny from Tower Hamlets and Martin Powell-Davies from Lewisham were seeking the backing of the meeting.

Martin, a Socialist Party member, stressed that the left campaign had to spell out to members that the right-wing's leadership contenders were part of the "union machine" that had failed for so long to stand up to government attacks on our pay, workload and pensions. Unfortunately, that message had not been clear in the recent National Officer elections, where the Left had been defeated.

Martin explained that we had to tap-in to classroom teachers' discontent and show how we were offering a new way forward and would build action that would defend teachers and education. The meeting agreed the proposal that a left general secretary remain on the wages of a classroom teacher instead of living on the inflated salary of Doug McAvoy.

While Martin's approach drew a lot of support, most votes went to Alex Kenny, convenor of the Socialist Teachers' Alliance. Like Martin, Alex explained he would stand on a fighting platform as an ordinary teacher standing against the failed leadership. In the interests of unity, Martin announced to applause that he was withdrawing from the contest.

Unfortunately, Ian Murch has not yet agreed to take the same approach. Socialist Party Teachers hope that after further discussions a united campaign can be successfully fought to at last elect a fighting general secretary for the NUT.

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In The Socialist 6 December 2003:

Scrap Fees Now!

Tuition fees: Blair Skates On Thin Ice

Socialist Party wins second council seat in Lewisham, London

London Underground: Why We Are Working To Rule

Civil Contingencies Bill: Why Workers Should Oppose Blunkett's Law

Iraq Morass Gets Deeper And Bloodier

Northern Ireland elections: Divided Vote Hides Workers' Disillusionment

University of Minnesota: First strike for 60 years

Longbridge: Phoenix Directors Feather Their Own Nests

Left Discuss NUT Leadership Bid


 

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Related links:

NUT:

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleEducation cuts forced back

triangleEducation cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure

Teachers:

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

triangleStriking back against academies in Newham

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

Socialist:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: 100 years since women won the right to vote

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Organising tenants in the private rented sector

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: How long can May cling on for?

Socialist Party:

triangleYork Socialist Party: Britain in 2018

triangleTeesside Socialist Party: The National Question

Martin Powell-Davies:

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

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