MARCH FOR EDUCATION
Back Pension and Pay Strikes
Wednesday 28 February
Assemble 12 noon, ULU, Malet Street WC1
Depart 1pm. March to Parliament Square
Called by London Region UCU.
Rally in Westminster Central Hall from 2pm
Confirmed speakers include Sally Hunt UCU, Gordon Marsden MP, John McDonnell MP, Ian Hodson BFAWU, Kevin Courtney NEU and Jo Galloway UNISON.
Education is under a massive attack. Tuition fees for university have gone through the roof and colleges are in frantic competition with each other to recruit students. Now the employers want to wreck the pensions of Higher Education staff, who have voted 88% for strike action across the country with record turnouts.
This demonstration is scheduled for the last day in the first wave of the university pension strikes. For the first time in history, staff in 61 UK universities will have struck for a full week from Thursday to Wednesday. Some 15 colleges of Further Education will also be on strike in London on the same day.
We welcome delegations and support from outside London and from across the student and trade union movement. You can get in touch by email or by leaving a comment on our website.
Wed, December 13, 2017
6:00 PM – 11:45 PM GMT
London Region University College Union invite you to a XMAS Party. We will have cool sounds from three live acts. Time to relax and catch up with friends!
The Water Rats is 5 minutes from Kings Cross, and has a menu for small and big plates.
Special Guest: John McDonnell MP (shadow chancellor)
Common Denominator Band – Soul and Reggae beats from an accomplished and loved band.
Kali Rayt – Soul r’n’b fusion singer providing music for the fearless and winner of the London Urban Talent award.
Tiger Blossom – A power mix of innovative psychedelic and world music to get the party started.
All funds raised will go to hourly paid teachers taking action in disputes.
Doors Wednesday 13 December 6.00pm.
First Act 7.15pm
£5 (low paid) £10 (solidarity) – EventBrite to book
Organising solidarity with strikers in our universities
Monday 12 June, 6pm
Executive Suite, 1st Floor, Front Engineering Building, University College London
(Torrington Place WC1, opposite Waterstones)
Update (10 June):
Over several months, outsourced cleaners at LSE and security guards at Senate House have been taking strike action, with support from their unions, the UVW and IWGB, in pursuit of basic workers’ rights. Their demands include implementing equal treatment with employed staff, paying sick pay, maternity pay and agreed pay rises, offering a pension, and ending ‘disguised’ zero hours contracts.
The workers’ treatment by our universities is a disgrace. The outsourcing companies are multinational employers that can easily afford to pay up. If the workers win, it will be a victory for outsourced workers, but their victory will also benefit every in-house worker in London colleges. It will show that outsourcing won’t stop us fighting for our rights.
We say: their fight is our fight! It is time to get organised to support the strikers.
URGENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AND CIRCULATION
Lobby of Parliament
Government ‘concessions’ not nearly enough, say academics and UCU
London Region UCU has called a lobby of Parliament today (26 April) at 12 noon. The lobby is supported by UCU and the Campaign for the Public University.
What is at stake
The Government has made some concessions to attempt to get the Higher Education and Research Bill onto the statute books before the General Election. The Bill faced nearly 250 amendments proposed by the House of Lords. They need votes in both Houses of Parliament to get approval.
The House of Commons will take a decision on the future of the Bill later today. London Region UCU has called a protest and lobby in Parliament Square from 12 noon. Union members are being urged to write to MPs.
Analysis by UCU, the Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) and the HE Convention is that these “concessions” do not go far enough.
Yesterday UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt wrote to all members. She writes that
Amendments which are NOW AT RISK include:
- blocking plans for a crude rating of teaching quality
- removing the link between teaching excellence and tuition fees
- ensuring any organisation awarding degrees meet improved quality standards
- removing international students from net migration targets
- protecting overseas staff
Prof David Midgley, a leading member of the CDBU, notes that the Government has provided little detail in its response to many of the Lords Amendments, and some amendments are not addressed at all.
His analysis, published today by the HE Convention, observes that the Government has potentially made minor concessions on points 1 and 3 above, but has refused to remove the link between the TEF and fees, and has made no improvements to protect international students and staff.
LATEST – UCU calls for an international comprehensive academic boycott of London Metropolitan University
Sign the pledge
How you can support the boycott
Members are asked to support the academic boycott in any way that they can. This may include not doing the following at London Met:
- applying for any advertised jobs
- speaking at or organising academic or other conferences
- giving guest lectures
- accepting positions as visiting professors or researchers
- writing for any academic journal which is edited at or produced by the institution in question
- accepting new contracts as external examiners for taught courses
- collaborating on new research projects.
NB: UCU members employed by LMU itself must not participate in the academic boycott in order to protect their contractual position.
Please note that the above advice will not ordinarily preclude members from supporting the boycott with regard to such things as refusing to apply for, or accept an external examiner’s contract, choosing not to provide a visiting lecture at LMU, choosing a research partner and so on since these are generally matters of individual academic autonomy. Members in any doubt about their contractual position should seek the union’s advice before acting.
For the avoidance of doubt, where any of the above activities forms part of your existing contractual duties or where you are otherwise unsure about this you should only refrain from doing them after your head of department (or line manager) has given you prior permission to do so. UCU is not asking or encouraging academics to act in breach of their contracts of employment.
If you have any queries please contact Matt Waddup at firstname.lastname@example.org
What you can do to support London Met UCU
Even if you do not currently engage in any of these activities, we ask you to make a public commitment to boycott in advance, and ask your colleagues to do likewise.
Further, we ask you to write to London Met’s Vice Chancellor and Chair of Governors to pledge your support for our campaign:-
Finally, we ask you to do your utmost to publicise the boycott and the issues at stake.
Letter – Resist the privatisation of HE – we pledge our solidarity to London Met UCU
An abridged version of this letter appeared in the Guardian newspaper on Saturday 6 August 2016.
We the undersigned, commit ourselves to a campaign of solidarity and support for the UCU branch at London Metropolitan University (LMU), in their battle for the future of the university.
The Government is rushing the HE Bill through to its Second Reading in the House of Commons. The Second Reading has been called for Tuesday 19 July.
The NUS, UCU London Region and other organisations have called an emergency protest in Parliament Square at noon.
Emergency Protest against the HE Bill
Tuesday 19 July, Westminster
Assemble 12 Noon, Parliament Square (Westminster Tube)
Called by London Region UCU, NUS, FACE, NCAFC and others
More information, including lobbying your MP…
London Region UCU organised a very successful meeting in Parliament to promote Why FE matters
with Gordon Marsden, Shadow Minster for Lifelong Learning.
This video shows some edited highlights of that meeting.