NUT News 4: Our aim: one union for all teachers
Our aim: one union for all teachers
A message to teachers from NUT Acting General Secretary, Christine Blower
NUT Conference 2009 was an uplifting event for me and, I think, for everyone who attended. Teachers coming together to decide the Union’s priorities for improving the education of all our children is always inspirational.
It was also, of course, a time of sadness for the Union and for all those of us who worked with Steve Sinnott, as we remembered his life and his unique contribution to improving the lives of children, teachers and the education service.
The power of education
Steve’s death has focussed attention on his life. He was at his very core a teacher. His trade unionism and his internationalism grew from his deep commitment to equality and justice; to education as the great liberator. Steve would, I know, have agreed with the recent statement from Nelson Mandela, a great supporter of the Global Campaign for Education, that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
What the NUT stands for
- NUT Conference set our priorities for doing just that over the coming year. We want:
- a good local school
- fair funding for post-16 education
- equality of access to high quality education and to all public services
- trust and confidence in public sector workers
- community solidarity
- the status of qualified teachers recognised and valued both in salaries and conditions
- work/life balance that sees workload and central imposition reduce and fun return to the classroom
- free, state comprehensive education for all
- and, of course, an end to SATs and league tables.
Not the atomisation of privatisation and outsourcing. Not schools subject to the profit principle. Not Academies, or even Trust schools.
To achieve these aims for the benefit of children and teachers, we need the maximum possible trade union solidarity. This is not about Professional Unity for the sake of it; this is Professional Unity because it’s best for children, best for teachers and best for the education service.
We believe one union for all teachers would help us achieve all this.