The Union – which has more than 460,000 members – expressed “solidarity” with the people of Ukraine before calling for an end to expansionism. Its president, Daniel Kebede, claimed admitting more members would “hasten the likelihood of further conflicts”.
President Putin used the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe as part of his excuse for his decision to launch an all out assault on Ukraine.
He claims the defensive alliance is a threat to Moscow.
The NEU president’s condemnation of NATO has sparked anger among the teaching profession on social media.
The University of Birmingham’s Edward Sainsbury said: “How embarrassing. The NEU and its leadership have no place making statements on members’ behalf on issues like this which it has never consulted on and are far beyond the relevant remit of the union.
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Mr Kebede had said he wanted the Ukraine conflict to be solved by “peaceful dialogue”.
The statement act caused such outrage read: “NEU extends solidarity to the people of Ukraine.
“NEU extends solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“When diplomacy fails and military action is used to resolve disputes, ordinary citizens are the ones who pay the price.
“The NEU stands in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine, with teachers, with school students and with their families, who will today be fearing for their lives and for the future of their country.
“The NEU adds its voice to all those calling on President Putin to end the attacks on Ukrainian territory and to order Russian troops to leave the country.
“We further call on all parties to honour their obligations under the Minsk-2 agreement and under international law.
“The conflict Between Russia and the Ukraine must not lead to the expansion and consolidation of military alliances in Europe which can only threaten future stability for all and hasten the likelihood of further conflicts and wars.
“Peaceful dialogue, based on a commitment to finding a solution which fully respects the democratic and human rights of all those affected by this crisis, is the only way forward.”