Daniel leading from the front

Get the vote in for Daniel Kebede for NEU General Secretary

This is another really important week for the future of the union and our movement. As we build on last week’s magnificent strike for the regional strikes in a few weeks’ time, ballot papers for the election of a new General Secretary of the NEU will arrive by post at members’ homes this week.

The election matters, a lot. It is about what kind of union we need and want as we move forward in our battle with the government and for the future of education.

Daniel has won the backing of over a 100 NEU districts, a record number, for a simple reason. He stands for the organising, campaigning, fighting union we have seen so powerfully on display in the last few weeks.

He played a crucial role as a national officer in pushing for the strike ballot on pay to be held in the first place- when others did not believe we should hold the ballot or thought we could not beat the thresholds and win.

He has also long championed a battle for a different vision of education, one centred in children and learning and the liberatory potential of education, not the miserable exam factory Ofsted policed dogma we face today.

And he has always stood up on wider social justice issues- from child poverty and challenging racism to raising vital international issues too.

Daniel is now back in the classroom and like thousands of other reps and activists he organised to ensure picket lines took place and there were massive turn outs for last weeks’ strike.

If we want a union that sees the kind of organising in schools that delivered last week’s action- we need Daniel to win. If we want a union that stands up to any government that does not pay educators properly or fund education as it needs- we need Daniel to win. If we want a union where it is members, reps and activists that discuss, shape and decide what our union does – we need Daniel to win.

Current joint general secretary Kevin Courtney has rightly called for strike committees to be launched in every district to make sure it is grassroots members who are driving forward our battle against this government, and those strike committees can also transform our union for the better by ensuring more young teachers, more women, more black and more LGBT+ educators, and more classroom teachers are at the democratic heart of our union.

The alternative is a union that favours cosy chats with politicians over fighting, that sees decisions taken by national officials and officers over the heads of reps and activists.

The NEU Left urges all of its supporters to fight hard to build the vote for Daniel to win as our new general secretary. That means this week:

  1. The election is a POSTAL BALLOT- so if you’re in a school work with the rep, get the list of all members. Start with those who were on the picket line or demos last week, but push beyond that to speak to everyone and check them off once they’ve voted. Keep checking in with them until every vote is counted and in the post.
  2. If you can, call a school meeting to persuade members why the election matters and why they should vote for Daniel.
  3. If you’re a rep, do the same . Chase every vote. Count every one in. Check off until all done.
    Also – liaise with other reps in your area to make sure they’re doing the same.
  4. If you have a District/Branch role. Make sure every rep is doing this. Get membership lists sent to all reps. Make sure they are doing this.
  5. Let’s organise to win this election and give our union the leadership it needs.

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