Post-ballot Strike Co-ordinating Meeting, Monday 16 April, 6pm

What next after the e-ballot?

  • Date: Monday 16 April, 6pm
  • Location: UCL Cruciform Lecture Theatre 2

London Region UCU is organising an open meeting to discuss what next after the e-ballot, where reps and activists can come to discuss the next stage in the dispute. 

The USS ballot will close on Friday 13th and some branches are due to strike on Monday 16th. The result will be public, one way or another, by Saturday, and most likely by mid Friday afternoon.

If the vote is NO, several London branches will take a week of strike action from 23 April. We will need solidarity from branches that are not striking!

The larger the turnout and the greater the vote NO the easier it will be to put the action on.

Outside of London, some branches are set to strike from Monday 16th.

If the vote is YES, then industrial action will be stood down, and reps will want to discuss what we do next!

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UCU – A union transformed

A UK-wide activists’ assembly and organising school#UCUTransformed

Saturday 28 April, 10.30-5pm

UCL Roberts Engineering Building
Torrington Place WC1

Nearest tube: Goodge Street. Map

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Speakers include: Manali Desai (Cambridge), Jo Grady (Sheffield), Dennis Leech (Warwick), Carlo Morelli (Dundee), Nita Sanghera (Bourneville College), Sean Vernell (City and Islington) and many more.

The USS ballot is over, but the dispute isn’t. We need to recognise the solidarities our dispute created and cemented, rise to the challenge of building on these solidarities, fighting for collective interests, and build the alternative university many of us got a chance to experience or envisage during the dispute. Come join us and be part of that conversation. – Jo Grady, University of Sheffield

Hosted by London Region UCU. Supported by UCU branches at Liverpool University, Dundee University, Goldsmiths College, Newcastle University, King’s College London, University College London, University of Brighton, Sandwell College, City and Islington College and Lambeth College… and more.

10.30am-11.00am Registration
11.00am-12.15pm Workshops
i) Moving into Action: Campaigning to GTVO and organising strikes
Westminster Kingsway speaker
ii) #NoCapitulation: Using social media
Jana Bacevic (Cambridge), Rhiannon Lockley (Halesowen)
iii) Democratising the union: putting members at the centre of change
Jo Grady (Sheffield), Carlo Morelli (Dundee)
iv) Reclaiming our Colleges: Students and workers organising together
Sean Wallis (UCL), Feyzi Ismail (SOAS)
12.30pm-2.00pm HE open session: The USS pension dispute – reclaiming our Universities – (fighting to win)
Marion Hersh (Glasgow), Dennis Leech (Warwick), Sam Marsh (Sheffield), Carlo Morelli (Dundee)
FE open session: Pay and conditions in FE: Coordinating to win
Nita Sanghera (Bournville), Sean Vernell (City & Islington)
2.00pm-2.30pm Lunch
2.30pm-3.45pm Workshops
i) Building solidarity across the labour and trade union movement
Hull, Bradford and Liverpool speakers
ii) Equality Through and Through: Integrating equality demands in our industrial campaigns
Manali Desai (Cambridge), Dave Muritu (Sandwell)
iii) At the Heart of the Union: casualised workers in industrial action
Amy Jowett (Hackney ACE), Sai Englert (SOAS)
iv) An Injury to One… Defending international workers and students (fighting racism on campus)
Ioanna Ioannou (UCL)
3:45pm-5.00pm Closing session: Organising to win – building a democratic, campaigning union
Mandy Brown (Lambeth), Nita Sanghera (Bournville) and others tbc

UCU – A union transformed
– building a fighting union

A UK-wide activists’ assembly and organising school with practical sessions and discussion

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. In the first week of the strike 3,200 people joined UCU. Many of these new members are BAME, women and young members starting out their careers.

In FE 15 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.

UCU is in transformation.

This UCU UK–wide activist assembly, hosted by London Region UCU, invites all branches that want to be a part of developing a new campaigning UCU to come to the school. Each session will be led off by UCU members who have been on the front-line of this transformation; building the strike votes and picket lines, developing imaginative social media campaigns and creative campaigning strategies. Each workshop will be looking at ways that women, BAME, LGBT+ and disabled members can ensure that their concerns are central in shaping the union.

Equality issues have to be at the heart of a fighting UCU.

If you are in a branch that is about to enter into a dispute or in a branch that hasn’t yet been energised by the recent campaigning activity around USS and FE pay come along and be a part of the event.

**There will be a collection for a hardship fund on the day to help towards the cost of the fare for those who have travelled from outside London to get the meeting**

It is very likely that we have not seen the end of industrial action in this dispute over the future of the USS. While we must ensure that the terms of reference and appointments to the Joint Expert Panel are agreed transparently and without mission-creep, it is also precisely the right time to discuss the democratic structures of UCU to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position to robustly defend our pension in six months’ time, should we need to do so. – Sam Marsh, University of Sheffield.

Education Demo #2, 14 March

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Rally and Strike Meeting in Westminster Central Hall from 2pm

Confirmed speakers to include:

  • Joanna De Groot, UCU President
  • John McDonnell MP
  • Catherine West MP
  • Sean Wallis, UCU NEC and HE Convention
  • Chair: Rachel Cohen, UCU NEC

Following a very successful demonstration on February 28th, when 5,000 staff and students in Further and Higher Education marched, London Region UCU has called a second demonstration to Parliament within the fourth week of USS strikes.

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. Workers ranging from senior academics to postgraduate teaching assistants have begun a programme of an initial 14 days of strike action, closing 65 universities across the UK. We have seen massive pickets on our campuses, and the overwhelming support of students.

16 colleges of Further Education are also in dispute in defence of their pay and conditions. Further Education has lost 15,000 jobs, and one million adult education places, and lecturers have seen their wages cut by 21% since 2009.

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.
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Demo route

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Education Demonstration, 28 February

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Rally in Westminster Central Hall from 2pm

Speakers included

  • Sally Hunt UCU General Secretary
  • John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor)
  • Angela Rayner MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Education)
  • Gordon Marsden MP (Shadow Minister for HE, FE and Skills)
  • Frances O’Grady TUC General Secretary
  • Sean Wallis UCU NEC and convenor of HE Convention
  • Shakira Martin NUS President
  • Elisa Benn Grenfell College campaign
  • Jo Galloway UNISON Head of HE, London
  • Chris Williamson MP
  • Ian Hodson BFAWU President
  • Kevin Courtney NEU General Secretary
  • Khadeja Ali City & Islington HPL
  • Nadia Sayed QMW student, Stand Up to Racism
  • Sean Vernell UCU NEC, FE national negotiator
  • …and many striking workers from across the union

marchEducation 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. Workers ranging from senior academics to postgraduate teaching assistants have begun a programme of an initial 14 days of strike action, closing 61 universities across the UK. We have seen massive pickets on our campuses, and the overwhelming support of students.

This demonstration and rally took place on the last day in the first wave of the university pension strikes.

16 colleges of Further Education were on strike in London on the same day in defence of their pay and conditions. This was their first day of a two days of strike as part of an escalating strike campaign. Further Education has lost 15,000 jobs, one million adult education places and lecturers have seen their wages cut by 21% since 2009.

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.

A delegation from UCU’s sister trade union in Germany are coming over especially to join us. If you care about the future of education and scientific research in the UK, join us too.

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Demo route

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London Region Xmas Party 13 December

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)

Acts:

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

Tickets

£5 (low paid) £10 (solidarity) – EventBrite to book

Open Solidarity Meeting for trade unionists – postponed

Organising solidarity with strikers in our universities

StrikingForEquality

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.

Emergency Lobby of Parliament over HE Bill – 12 noon 26.4.17 – Parliament Sq

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:

  1. blocking plans for a crude rating of teaching quality
  2. removing the link between teaching excellence and tuition fees
  3. ensuring any organisation awarding degrees meet improved quality standards
  4. removing international students from net migration targets
  5. 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.