LOBBY NEC: FRIDAY 22 JUNE 10:15 CARLOW ST

UCU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meets for the first time since Congress this Friday.

We lost two days of Congress – effectively the whole of the union’s democratic policy-setting opportunity for an entire year – as a result of manoeuvres by sections of the union leadership to avoid criticism for their handling of the HE pension dispute. The furore has raised serious questions among many members regarding the accountability and transparency of our union leadership.

At the #UCUTransformed meeting called by London Region UCU on Saturday 9 June, union reps from across the country met to discuss the crisis. One of the conclusions of that meeting was that UCU needs to resolve this issue promptly and firmly by confirming that all elected representatives, including the General Secretary, are subject to criticism and recall by motions of censure and no confidence. The NEC has to take control of the situation and defend union democracy.

London Region UCU has called a lobby of the NEC meeting on Friday from 10:15 to 11 at UCU HQ in Carlow Street, Mornington Crescent, Camden. All branches are welcome to send delegates.

NEC members committed to a democratic member-led union will be meeting outside at that time for an open air meeting and colleagues are welcome to join them.

 

#UCUTransformed : After Congress….Where Next? National Meeting Report

#UCUtransformed meeting (1 of 1).jpg

On Saturday 9th June, around 80 UCU members, all but one or two of whom attended this year’s congress two weeks ago, came together in London for a meeting to discuss After UCU Congress…where next?

The meeting was called by London Region’s #UCUTransformed, agreed by 130 Congress delegates who met on the evening of the first staff walkout, and was supported by Branch Solidarity Network.

Members came from branches all over the country: universities of Edinburgh, Bournemouth, Leeds and Leeds Beckett, Liverpool, Lancaster, Brighton, York, Kent, Oxford, Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Royal Holloway, SOAS, Imperial, Kings College, Central School of Speech and Drama, City, St Georges, Reading, Queen Mary, London Met, LSBU, Roehampton, Westminster, Writtle University College, Sheffield Hallam, Goldsmiths; colleges of Bourneville, Epping Forest, Westminster Kingsway, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham Southwark, Lambeth, Hackney, North West London, Redbridge, Croydon, City and Islington; Sutton and Hackney Adult Education; South West Region, London Region and Yorkshire and Humberside Retired Members branches; and Disabled Members and Black Members committees.

The discussion was centred around the fallout of the staff walkouts, the refusal to allow motions 10 & 11 to be heard, the shutting down of congress and how the issue of democracy links to the campaigns on pay, pensions and equality in HE and FE.

There was a wide-ranging and serious debate about how to respond to the aftermath of Congress and was conducted in a calm, thoughtful way as members sought to find a way forward on issues by engaging with each others’ contributions, processing arguments and suggestions and building organically towards some jointly agreed outcomes and proposals.

Key discussions centred around:

* the importance of intertwining the pay, pensions and Equality campaigns in both sectors with the issue of democracy and who runs our union, which arose from the mass pickets, teach outs, lobbies, marches, strikes committees etc. And that it’s our collective activity that allows democracy to flourish and gives us power to hold the leadership to account

* getting as many branches a possible to at least support hearing motions 10 & 11, whilst recognising many more will want to call for resignation of the General Secretary,

* How we overcome the division in the union between the leadership and members

There was general agreement on recognising the importance of challenging the GS and linking the campaign for democracy with the struggles over pay, pensions and Equality and, through this, building new democratic structures from below.

The meeting voted to take forward the following ideas and practical proposals:

– counter the post-congress emails to all members from Sally Hunt with the majority view held by #OurUCU

– send a note of condolence to the family of our HE comrade Dr Malcolm Anderson of Cardiff  University https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/university-tutor-died-after-silently-14751533

– collate questions to the GS that we need answers to and publish on the #OurUCU website

– ask as many branches as possible to pass the model motion calling for motions 10 & 11 to be heard, and to submit to NEC members

– build the lobby of NEC, called by London Region on Friday 22nd June at 10.30am outside UCU Head Office, Carlow St. “Allow dissent to be heard”

– demand that we get a GTVO campaign from HQ on HE and FE pay like the one for the USS campaign

– call for a discussion on having a layer of officials who are elected, as in other unions

– call a London Briefing on pay

– organise twinning of branches. More organised with less so, and cross sector

– ask for an ‘organogram’ of who does what at HQ

– request for UCU, not Unite, to staff the recall conference

– request a mechanism for NEC reps to contact, and be contacted by, their constituencies

– broaden the discussion by speaking to local Trade Union councils and other unions about our disputes

– find out how we can put motions passed at congress into action

– explore possibility of changes to motion 10 (Note: technically this can’t be done as the motion is already submitted to congress)

– get as many branches as possible to register for the Special HE Sector conference (SHESC) on 21st June. The closing date for registrations is 5pm on 13th June. Link to register is here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/hescjune18

– get as many branches as possible to the FE Pay National Activist meeting on 29th June in Manchester. Details to follow.

The meeting also agreed to hold a further meeting in October which unites all the groupings under one roof – #UCUTransformed, Branch Solidarity Network, UCULeft, #OurUCU etc.

Thanks to all the branches and delegations who supported this meeting.

Post Congress Meeting, 9 June

After Congress: what next for UCU?

Open National Meeting for UCU members

Saturday 9 June, 2pm

Venue: G22 Lecture Theatre, Pearson Building, UCL.

The Pearson Building is in the UCL quad on the left as you enter. The entrance to the building is in the North corner of the quad.

Map | Nearest tube: Euston Square.
ucl-g22-lt-map
After the fallout of UCU Congress on Wednesday 30 May, 130 UCU delegates met and it was agreed that London Region UCU would call a National Meeting as soon as possible on:

  • UCU democracy
  • Campaigning in our sectors, how to build on motions passed at HE and FE sector conferences
  • What kind of union we want

After a year of transformative industrial action, UCU members are demanding discussion on where next for our disputes and union.

The strike action taken by UCU members in HE in defence of USS pensions has been inspirational. Some 40,000 lecturers, academic related staff, researchers and support staff have struck across 64 institutions. After a year of industrial  16,000 people have joined UCU. Many of these new members  are BAME, women and young members starting out their careers.

In FE colleges are involved in a campaign of escalating strike action in defence of their pay and conditions. There are another 146 branches that have submitted 168 claims to their employers that could form a second wave of action. This is 50% of all FE bargaining units across the UK. The claims range from, pay, casualisation, equal pay and workloads.

Hosted by London Region UCU. All UCU members welcome.

For clarity, this meeting will follow on from the London Region meeting which takes place the same day at Carlow Street.

Best wishes
Mandy Brown
UCU London Regional Secretary

NEC member contact info

Continuing members

Mandy Brown (Lambeth College) – FE UK-elected : mandybrowncow@yahoo.com

Christina Paine (London Metropolitan University) –  HE Casually employed members : christinaucu1@gmail.com

Rhiannon Lockley (Halesowen College) – FE Midlands : rhiannonlockley@hotmail.co.uk

Marion Hersh (Glasgow University) – HE UK-elected and USS Negotiator : marion.hersh@glasgow.ac.uk

Julie Hearn (Lancaster University) – HE UK-elected : j.hearn@lancaster.ac.uk

Sean Wallis (University College London) – HE London and East : s.wallis@ucl.ac.uk

Sue Abbot (Newcastle University) – HE Women : suebbtt15@googlemail.com

Sean Vernell (City and Islington College) – FE London and East : sean.vernell@yahoo.co.uk

Chris Jones (Neath Port Talbot Group) – FE Wales : chris.jones@nptcgroup.ac.uk

Margot Hill (Croydon College) – FE UK-elected : margothill@uk2.net

UNTIL Congress 1 June 2018

Rachel Cohen (City University) – HE London and East : rachellaracohen@gmail.com

Nita Sanghera (Bournville College) – FE Black Members : npande.sanghera327@googlemail.com

Lesley McGorrigan (Leeds University) – HE UK-elected : mclesley2@yahoo.co.uk

AFTER Congress 1 June 2018

Nita Sanghera (Bournville College) – Vice President : npande.sanghera327@googlemail.com

Mark Abel (Brighton University) – HE Post-92 UK-elected : markabel24@gmail.com

Pura Ariza (Manchester Metropolitan University) – HE Women  : p.ariza@mmu.ac.uk

Steve Lui (University of Huddersfield)  – HE North East : steve.lui712@gmail.com

FE College strike dates

(If you are a college taking strike action, please email the dates to Mandy Brown UCU London Regional Secretary at mandybrowncow@yahoo.com so we can add to this list)

Wednesday 9 May

 Hull College Group

rgoodfellow@hull-college.ac.uk

Friday 11 May

 Tower Hamlets College

pwareham@tower.ac.uk             john.budis@tower.ac.uk

Hackney Community College

michaela.hendriks@ncclondon.ac.uk

 

Monday 14 May

 Tower Hamlets College

pwareham@tower.ac.uk             john.budis@tower.ac.uk

Hackney Community College

michaela.hendriks@ncclondon.ac.uk

Tuesday 15 May

 Tower Hamlets College

pwareham@tower.ac.uk             john.budis@tower.ac.uk

Hackney Community College

michaela.hendriks@ncclondon.ac.uk

Sandwell College

michael.roche@sandwell.ac.uk

 

Wednesday 16 May

 Sandwell College

michael.roche@sandwell.ac.uk

Thursday 17 May

 Hull College Group

rgoodfellow@hull-college.ac.uk

Epping Forest College

drewperridge@yahoo.co.uk

Sandwell College

michael.roche@sandwell.ac.uk

Friday 18 May

 Hull College Group

rgoodfellow@hull-college.ac.uk

Sandwell College

michael.roche@sandwell.ac.uk

Tuesday 22 May

 Lambeth College

mandybrowncow@hotmail.com

Lewisham Southwark College

brad.grisdale@lscollege.ac.uk

Wednesday 23 May

 Lambeth College

mandybrowncow@hotmail.com

City and Islington College (CCG)

veronika.johnson@candi.ac.uk

College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CCG)

jsutton@conel.ac.uk

Westminster Kingsway College (CCG)

carly.grundle@westking.ac.uk

Lewisham Southwark College

brad.grisdale@lscollege.ac.uk

Thursday 24 May

 Lambeth College

mandybrowncow@hotmail.com

City and Islington College (CCG)

veronika.johnson@candi.ac.uk

College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CCG)

jsutton@conel.ac.uk

Westminster Kingsway College (CCG)

carly.grundle@westking.ac.uk

Friday 25 May

City and Islington College (CCG)

veronika.johnson@candi.ac.uk

College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CCG)

jsutton@conel.ac.uk

Westminster Kingsway College (CCG)

carly.grundle@westking.ac.uk

Tuesday 5 June

 City and Islington College (CCG)

veronika.johnson@candi.ac.uk

College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CCG)

jsutton@conel.ac.uk

Westminster Kingsway College (CCG)

carly.grundle@westking.ac.uk

Havering College

swithers@havering-college.ac.uk

Wednesday 6 June

 City and Islington College (CCG)

veronika.johnson@candi.ac.uk

College of Haringey Enfield and North East London  (CCG)

jsutton@conel.ac.uk

Westminster Kingsway College  (CCG)

carly.grundle@westking.ac.uk

Thursday 7 June

 City and Islington College (CCG)

veronika.johnson@candi.ac.uk

College of Haringey Enfield and North East London  (CCG)

jsutton@conel.ac.uk

Westminster Kingsway College (CCG)

carly.grundle@westking.ac.uk

Havering College

swithers@havering-college.ac.uk

Friday 8 June

 City and Islington College (CCG)

veronika.johnson@candi.ac.uk

College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CCG)

jsutton@conel.ac.uk

Westminster Kingsway College (CCG)

carly.grundle@westking.ac.uk

Havering College

swithers@havering-college.ac.uk

Tuesday 12 June

 Havering College

swithers@havering-college.ac.uk

 

Workshop notes, #UCUTransformed

The following notes were documented during the various workshops

Moving into action, Organising to GTVO and strike

  • Take-away points / memorable moments. Importance of Preparing The Ground before ballot. GTVO not just bureaucratic but political campaign. How to keep the momentum going that the strike has built. Broaden the scope of the things we challenge.
  • Suggested actions. Investigate issues with electronic voting. Find a balance between local and national issues.

#NoCapitulation, using social media

  • Decisions. Extend use in FE – training sessions?
  • Take-away points / memorable moments. Social media is an add on and can catalyse but not replace organising. Builds community identity but can exclude. Anonymise, share responsibility, have agreed guidelines to protect branch.

Democratising the union: putting members at the centre of change

  • Decisions Add equality/disability awareness / inc in organising events
  • Take-away points / memorable moments Clyde Workers Committee 1915: ‘We will support the officials just so long as they represent the workers, but we will act independently immediately they misrepresent them’.
  • Suggested actions Hold academic conference on this matter, congruent with who we are and what we do, publish papers etc.. Think of ways to replicate the GTVO campaign / picket line mobilisation. Demand that key papers from HEC and FEC meetings be published. Sheffield’s Democracy Review motion
  • Questions raised (still to be answered)
    • How do we increase members’ knowledge about the union?
    • Is it too late to influence the JEP? Is this not a problem of a general democratic deficit?
  • Other Role of the Special Higher Education Sector Conference – depending on when, what its potential could be.

Reclaiming our Colleges: Students and workers organising together

  • Take-away points / memorable moments Teachouts and solidarity between students and staff. Building horizontal relationships. Not Student Union but grassroots. Building standing committees with staff and students. Lack of effective pre-strike communication between UCU and SU in some campuses
  • Suggested actions Questions of Governance (Scotland as an example?). Campaigns in defence of Statutes. For democratising our colleges. Building joint student+staff solidarity committees with a view to calling general assemblies. Continue teach-ins? Regular newsletter. Fight for education as a whole. International movement.
  • Questions raised (still to be answered) Solidarity with other university workers (e.g. cleaners, security, etc.) who also have been striking for their rights? What should students do to reclaim their students union?
  • Other University bureaucratisation & increasing admin tasks issue – important for both students and workers

 Equality Through and Through: Integrating equality demands in our industrial campaigns

  • Decisions Things must change on disabled access.
  • Take-away points / memorable moments Integrate equality. must be central to everything we do. eg pay claim to give more to lower graded workers, who are often Black members. union increase in FE in hourly paid, women, black members and disabled members are concentrated in this group and UCU must campaign for HPL as an equality issue. also pensions move to career average rather than final salary affects women (and disabled..).  HE: Cambridge used the USS strike to challenge racism and set up a network of women of Colour. new people involved must be included. ge in our access to our union events . disabled members demand we are included by equal acess and involved in planning for this in future. Midlands region has a number of equality reps at regional level and this should happen for every strand.
  • Suggested actions integrate equality. must be central to everything we do. eg pay claim to give more to lower graded workers, who are often Black members. union increase in FE in hourly paid, women, black members and disabled members are concenrtrated in this group and UCU must campaign for HPL as an equality issue. also pensions move to career average rather than final salary affects women (and disabled..).  HE: Cambridge used the USS strike to challenge racism and set up a network of women of Colour. new people involved must be included. ge in our access to our union events . disabled members demand we are included by equal acess and involved in planning for this in future.  women strike actions on 8th March in USS was a good step, but the fight to decolonise the universities and make them democratic goes on. The union is much too slow on sexual harassment.  can we integrate more carefully issues of sexual harassment
  • Questions raised (still to be answered) how can we frame our pay campaigns in such a way as to embed equality issues better?  how can we make disabiled access better (consult disabled members and campaign with us rather than put issues to back burner)  how do we shift the agenda so tht we are not limited to the constraints of the UCU lawyers advice and the law–which does not achieve equality. how do we stop Athena Swan being a token event
  • Other we have done well in winning the idea that we get equality on the agenda as an industtrial issue. we are serious about it and need to make the officials see it as an industrial issue. we need to make the union ask the question of the members, what does victory look like on equality questions?  more discussion on how everyone is involved in fighting for equality–eg not just women or not just black memebrs organising around equality. It must not be only the oppressed who are involved in changing things. should international issues be hived off into a seperate workshop from equallities in future?