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.
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.
The management and board of governors of Lambeth College are planning to sell off the Brixton Centre to property developers.
The Brixton centre runs courses for students with learning difficulties and disabilities, for young people who need a second chance at education and for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students who need English to improve their lives.
These courses are essential for the community of Brixton and for the borough of Lambeth, where many people are in low-paid jobs, are unemployed or don’t speak English and desperately need education to improve their situation.
Please join the campaign to stop education attacks and stop the sell-off of the Brixton Centre of Lambeth College.
Youth Employment is now over 1 million. 60% of young black men are unemployed – so why are FE colleges being sold off?
Stop the Sell-Off – Join the Campaign – Brixton Needs a College!
What you can do
- Join the lobby of the governors meeting 5pm Thursday 14th November – 45 Clapham Common Southside (Clapham Common Tube)
- Join the lobby of Lambeth Council 6pm Wednesday 20th November – Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton
The HPL Action Toolkit, an initiative of London Region UCU, has been published on our new website.
For more information click on the link above or explore the menu at the top of the page.