The Left Voice of Classroom Educators

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen educators on the front line – organising to help keep our workplaces and communities safe. Our union has led determined resistance to a reckless government. We have mobilised hundreds of thousands of members – showing that when workers organise over safety, we can win. Now we need to fight for a fairer education system with our students’ needs at it its heart. The time is right to establish a left organisation in the NEU based on the values and commitment shown by members throughout the pandemic. We want to make sure that these principles are embedded at every level of the NEU.

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Five principles of the NEU left

1. Organising a member-led union
• The need to build mass campaigns amongst our members and in local communities to win support for NEU campaigns that will benefit teachers, support staff and children – on testing, education, pay, workload etc;
• A commitment to what has been called the “organising agenda” in the NEU – being a member-led union means putting school based organisation and reps, and networks of reps at the heart of the union we are seeking to build.
• We are for the maximum involvement of members in decision making and campaigning.
• A determination to achieve professional unity – one union for all in education.

2. Education
• We oppose the marketisation of education and the exam factory culture that treats children as commodities and too often labels them as failures.
• We believe all children have an equal right to a broad, balanced education that values and reflects their lived experience.
• We are for a radical rethink of curriculum and pedagogy.

3. Social Justice
• Encouraging teachers and support staff to discuss the development of social justice as a focus for education.
• A firm stance on linking our fight within education to the wider fight for social justice across society – consciously linking our struggles with those of other workers and community groups.

4. Equality
• We are resolutely opposed to all forms of oppression including racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and attacks on disabled people.
• We are opposed to all forms of discrimination, harassment and bullying.
• We are committed to developing and strengthening our equalities work in the union.

5. Internationalism
• We believe that internationalism and international solidarity are a key component of Trade Union work.
• We demonstrate this practically through continuing support for the Steve Sinnott Foundation.
• We are committed to the anti-imperialism work of the NEU, including opposing the economic blockade of Cuba and the illegal occupation of Palestine, and standing in solidarity with education Trade Unions in Cuba and Palestine.
• We are for international peace and disarmament.

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