The room was charged with excitement, the tension in the air palpable, threatening to burst every time an announcement was made and greeted with applause. On Saturday, I attended a joint briefing on the National Education Union for NUT and ATL local Secretaries. At least that's what the event was billed as.
However, not long into the meeting, with an warm welcome delivered by the Joint General Secretaries Designate, and the announcement of the Deputy and Assistant General Secretaries Designate, of the new union, it was clear why there was such a level of excitement in the room - we were effectively at the first meeting of the National Education Union.
The people who were in that room will be the local activists of the new union, and the campaigns we planned together, on funding, on workload, on pay, will be the campaigns of the new union.
This was drawn home by the unveiling of the draft logo of the new union. The design above (referred to as the 'Together for Education' logo) was a clear favourite in our consultation of over 10,000 members, particularly with younger members and student teachers. So, with the adoption of a new logo concept (the final logo will be unveiled in September) and our face firmly set to the future of the profession, we look forward to the creation of a new union.
Although the National Education Union will not technically come into existence until the 1st September, and the meeting of the Joint Executive Council on that day will technically be the first meeting of the new union, we did something really important on Saturday. The local activists who will actually deliver this new union and make it a reality on the ground came together and began that collective work.