On 28 October, ballot papers go out to elect two vice-presidents for the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
Only LANAC candidates, Bridget Chapman and Jane Nellist, have anything to say about the strategy needed to beat the Tories′ attacks.
This year there are four other candidates for Vice-President. Two from Broadly Speaking, the old right-wing, and two from the Socialist Teachers Alliance/Campaign for a Democratic Union, the current leadership who responsible for our ″action″ campaign since 2010, a campaign that resulted in major defeats on pay and pensions.
These four candidates have one thing in common — they are saying nothing about the need for a national action strategy to take on the Tory attack on trade union rights, mass academisation and further cuts.
At NUT Annual Conference in April, the two STA/CDFU candidates voted against a national strike in the general election period, a strike that could have put education on the map as an election issue. Despite the resources put into the Stand Up for Education campaign through organising stalls and election hustings, education as an issue got barely a mention in the election.
Now the election is over, the NUT leadership appears to have no idea what to do next — on either the anti-union laws or the continued attacks on education.
Jane and Bridget know that teacher morale is dangerously low and that there is a crisis of recruitment. They are the only candidates clearly stating that we need a robust response that includes local and national action to deal with this crisis.
Jane and Bridget have come under pressure from some in the STA/CDFU block, including a leading member of the SWP, to stand down in the interests of so-called left unity against the two Broadly Speaking candidates. This is not going to happen and neither should it, given that there is now so little to choose between the candidates of the old right and the new STA/CDFU controlled leadership.
LANAC supporters should campaign to help Jane and Bridget win in these elections.
This should be part of building a serious rank and file organisation rooted in the branches and workplaces and capable of defeating the existing leadership as well as generating serious disputes at both local and national level.