Voting in the election for the first ever elected Deputy General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) opens on 4 October, with ballot papers being sent to members’ homes. Voting closes on 29 October.
Socialists, rank and file activists, and members should vote for Martin Powell-Davies, the Education Solidarity Network (ESN) candidate. Martin is standing on a 10-point manifesto:
1. Action to protect the health, safety and welfare of staff and our communities from Covid-19
2. End excessive workload, and end the high stakes testing that drives so much of it.
3. A Union that builds workplace strength.
4. A Union that supports NEU reps and officers.
5. No to a pay freeze. No to cuts, fund schools and colleges to fully meet needs.
6. Reverse the privatisation of education.
7. A Union leading the battle against discrimination and inequality in schools and communities.
8. A Union that recruits, organises and fully represents all education workers working in our schools and colleges. Win negotiating rights for support staff colleagues.
9. A genuinely democratic union.
10. A campaigning, socialist, Deputy General Secretary.
Martin also says he will not take more than the average teachers’ salary for the role. Workers’ Liberty urge NEU members to vote Martin for this positive programme. We believe if elected he will strive to achieve these goals.
We are also advocating a second preference vote for Niamh Sweeney, who is on the right of the union but generally seems honest and fair in her dealings with union members who disagree with her. We do this because the other candidate, and favourite to win, Gawain Little, is a member of the Communist Party of Britain. He represents the worst section of the “NEU Left”. He is viciously hostile to our politics and has no concern for democracy. A victory for Little will be a significant setback for building a rank and file left, and put him in prime position to run for General Secretary in two years’ time.