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.
Wednesday 25 May
GENDER PAY EQUALITY DAY
Morning picket lines
1.30pm UCEA, Tavistock Square
End the Gender Pay Gap Now!
Protest at UCEA’s offices on Tavistock Square
March to UCEA:
2.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square
Strike rally and activists’ forum
- John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor)
- Shelly Asquith (NUS vice president)
- Michael MacNeil (UCU)
- Donna Merriman-Rowe (UNISON)
- Rachel Cohen (City University UCU, UCU NEC elect)
- Mark Campbell (London Region UCU HE)
- Alex Kenny (NUT NEC)
- Christina Paine (UCU Anti Casualisation Committee)
- Frances O’Grady (TUC General Secretary, invited)
Thursday 26 May
Morning picket lines
1pm London Met University, Tower building, Holloway Road
Zero tolerance for zero hour contracts
End all forms of casualisation
Bursary Or Bust National Demonstration!
Saturday 4 June
ASSEMBLE: ST THOMAS’ HOSPITAL @ 1PM
Twitter #bursaryorbust @nhsbursarycuts
Facebook Group: nhsbursarycutsforum
#Bursaryorbust is a grassroots campaign set up by students to save the NHS bursary and oppose the imposition of tuition fees on health care students.
The NHS bursary gives means tested financial support to those studying to be nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. In the 2015 Autumn Statement, Georges Osborne announced plans to axe the NHS Bursary and replace it with a system of loans. We believe axing the NHS Bursary is unfair and unsafe.
Firstly, students work on placement for up to 50% of their courses. We believe that paying to work is wrong. Continue reading