Thursday 5 November 2015

International Issues

At today's Executive meeting, Christine Blower reported on the excellent work done by Justice for Columbia in bringing together leaders of the FARC and the Columbian government.  JfC are looking to bring FARC leaders to South Africa, northern Ireland and Britain as part of the peace process.  The NUT will support the visa application process for FARC leaders.

The General Secretary then reported on the case of 4 teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico who have been arrested on charges relating to protests against regressive education 'reform' which could see them spend up to 40 years in prison. The Union has written a formal letter of protest to the Mexican Embassy and offered solidarity to the arrested teachers.

Finally, Christine reported that we have received a letter from Grant Shapps, Minister of State at the Department for International Development in response to our campaign against British aid money being spent on education privatisation in the global south.  In the letter, Shapps defends the use of taxpayers' money to fund private education companies who are aggressively 'opening up' education markets and threatening state education in some of the worlds poorest countries. The reply also admits that DfID is currently paying fees directly to private shool operators for some 22,000 children, amounting to a massive direct subsidy of global edu-businesses.

Austerity, Annexes & Exam Factories

At today's National Executive meeting, the General Secretary opened by welcoming the growing fight against austerity and commending the work of the People's Assembly.

She went on to describe the government's perverse decision to allow the opening of a grammar school 'annexe' in a different town. She announced that the Union would be working with Comprehensive Future on the question of how to challenge the decision.

Organising & Membership

This morning's meeting of the Organising and Membership Committee discussed three main areas:

  • The Union's response to recruitment challenges brought about by the growth of Schools Direct and 'free' schools. These have the potential to affect the traditional recruitment routes via student recruitment at universities and school-based recruitment in schools with existing union groups and a history of union activity. This emphasises the importance of our organising work and of building a union presence and recruiting workplace reps in every school, including new schools.

Sunday 1 November 2015

Executive This Week: Let me know your views

The NUT National Executive meets later this week, as do a number of standing committees and other committees (for an explanation of how these work click here). As National Executive member for District 18, I am keen to know what issues matter to you so I can raise them at the relevant committee or full Executive meeting.