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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 June 2005
Members prepare for future battles
THIS YEAR'S Annual Conference of lecturers' union NATFHE took place
at a time of the greatest offensive by the employers and the government
against pay and conditions since the Incorporation (privatisation) of
Further Education Colleges (FE) and Universities (HE).
Andrew Price, NATFHE national executive, personal capacity
Conference acclaimed the struggles of our members against management
bullying in Newcastle and Southampton FE colleges and in London
Metropolitan University. Conference condemned the failure of around 75%
of English FE colleges to implement a national pay deal nearly two years
after its agreement. We also passed a motion that refused to absolve the
leadership of NATFHE of some of the responsibility for this appalling
Conference enthusiastically endorsed general secretary Paul Mackney's
call for a national strike in the autumn in support of the English FE
pay claim. In an excellent debate on pensions, conference unanimously
passed a motion from Wales arguing that New Labour will return to the
offensive against public-sector workers' pensions, but this time around
must be met by strike action by the relevant unions on the same day.
Most of the second day of the conference was taken up with the debate
over the proposed merger with the Association of University Teachers (AUT).
Sensibly the leadership dropped its previous policy of forbidding any
debate on the proposed sixth draft of the constitution of the new union
and backed Emergency Resolution 15.1 from Wales calling for a full
discussion and vote on proposals to amend the constitution.
After the passing of the motion conference engaged in a constructive
debate. But proposals to include all aspects of current democracy in the
new constitution were defeated, despite attracting substantial minority
NATFHE and AUT members will now be balloted in the Autumn, opening up
the prospect of a larger more powerful union. If properly led, this
could confront and defeat all who wish to extend market forces to
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In The Socialist 9 June 2005:
Join the G8 protests
Stop taking liberties!
Brown spins but won't end debt
Fight for the right to organise
Socialist students spearheads unionisation campaign in Leicester
Socialist Party gains on UNISON's NEC
Growing class struggles will increase tensions
Unions must fight Blair and Brown's plans
NATFHE members prepare for future battles
Pakistan: Strike resists Telecom privatisation
Bolivian workers fight privatisation and imperialism
Netherlands: An overwhelming 'No' vote to EU constitution
Largest union in Northern Ireland backs fight against water charges
The Socialist 9 June 2005 |
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