Week #3 Meeting #4
This afternoon, I met NUT activists in Slough for what will be the first of a week of ballot meetings across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Milton Keynes.
The most important point raised at the meeting came from Kate O'Neil, a local activist and member of the Slough NUT committee and it related to how we use material in school. Kate talked about how we should consider any publicity or material, whether a leaflet, poster, T-shirt, badge or anything else, as a conversation piece.
It is not enough to simply put leaflets around the staffroom, stick posters on the noticeboard or wear a T-shirt or badge and simply expect the message itself to persuade people. It is the human interaction that the material initiates that is the persuader.
This very much fits with the tactical theme of our ballot campaign, which is around conversation. Our aim is to have an 'organising conversation' with every member in the ballot group and the materials we produce and distribute are simply ways of opening up these conversations.
So, if you or your Rep has put leaflets around the staffroom or a poster on the wall, why not sit down next to a colleague at lunchtime and discuss it with them. Ask what they think of the way the government is treating teachers. Tie this in with the core Union messages - respond to their issues, rather than expecting them to respond to the Union campaign in the abstract. Do they think we should be acting together to fight back? How? What are they personally willing to do?
Or this Friday, why not put on a green T-shirt, a green tie, a green scarf or a green blouse. If someone comments, there's another opportunity to talk to them about why this campaign is so important and why we need a strong YES vote in the ballot.