Report back from Resisting the Market conference

Resisting the Market, Uniting for: Pay, Pensions, Democracy, Equality and Justice

Organised by UCU Transformed, UCU Left, Branch Solidarity Network and OurUCU

Saturday 13 October 2018

This was an inspiring conference bringing people together who have fought for pensions and pay and campaigned to reclaim their university, are fighting precarity, oppose racism on campus and want to bring all staff in-house.

100 people attended from around 50 university and college branches.

mark abel

Most of the day was made up of workshops hosted from a diversity of campaigns. The day ended with a general assembly and discussion of the success of the pensions and pay campaigns and how to win the coming battles including the pay ballot closing on the 19th.

Workshops

Deepa DriverThe morning workshops included a meeting on USS: Where next after the JEP report? The session was run by a USS Briefs team including Felicity Callard, Jo Grady, Jaya John, Deepa Driver (left) and Carlo Morelli, national negotiator.

There was a very informative presentation on Adult Education, Devolution and Apprenticeships. Forogh Rahmani, a senior policy advisor from the London Mayor’s office, outlined how they were preparing for the devolution of adult funding. It was refreshing to be in a dialogue with policy makers who are listening and want to engage with unions. A link will be available here to the presentation. Continue reading

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What next after the JEP: how can we build the pay fight?

London Region UCU Open Activist Meeting

Pensions and Pay – What next after the JEP and how can we build the pay fight?

Monday 17 September, 6.30pm

Room 1.20, Engineering Building, University College London
Entrance opposite Waterstones/ULU on Torrington Place. Nearest tube Goodge St.
Map and directions

All members welcome

This meeting is for members in Further and Higher Education to hear about the USS dispute and to discuss how we unite the union to fight over pay.

The report of the USS Joint Expert Panel has been published at www.ussjep.org.uk

USS branches are strongly encouraged to organise local meetings next week to discuss the report and next steps in the campaign.

UCU London Region has called a meeting for Monday 17 September for colleagues from all parts of the HE sector to discuss what the report means and to debate next steps in the campaign.

With ballots taking place over pay in both Higher and Further Education, one logical conclusion is that any cost increase imposed over pension costs should be billed to the employers in the pay campaign.

Useful links

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

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!

Facebook event

UCU – A union transformed

 

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

Saturday 28 April, 10.30-5pm

Statement from final session

The 14 days of strike action against the attack on USS and the thousands of new members who have joined UCU show the massive potential for action to transform our union. The same process of transformation seen in USS HE branches is under way in FE, which have had a wave of strikes over pay and conditions, and in post 92 universities, illustrated by the recent disputes at Brighton University and LMU. However, we are deeply concerned about the opaque and undemocratic behaviour of the UCU leadership.

The imagination and enthusiasm shown by UCU members has been inspiring. We have seen expansion and participation at branch level. But this process has been uneven. We face an urgent task to maintain our numbers and develop the democratic control of our union, and our disputes, by our members.

We need to use the energy of recent disputes to continue the fight on pensions, but also to open up new fronts on equal pay, and put equality, disability, discrimination and casualisation – in its different forms – at the heart of the union.

The USS dispute has shown that a new generation of activists, including student activists, can be won to our union. It is vital we maintain the momentum and ensure it truly represents our members. The union must support members in developing alternative proposals to set against destructive management agendas of cuts, redundancies and punitive performance management.

We need to develop a genuine network of solidarity amongst branches. No UCU branch should fight alone. We support the establishment of a UCU solidarity network, and agree to meet again as a national group in the autumn term.

Resources

Event details
union-transformed-flyer

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.

 

Timetable

10.30am-11.00am Registration
11.00am-12.15pm Workshops
i) Moving into Action: Campaigning to GTVO and organising strikes
Jim Wolfreys (King’s), 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) * Activist Guide * Ten points
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.

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.