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.
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
Morning picket lines
1pm London Met University, Tower building, Holloway Road
Zero tolerance for zero hour contracts
End all forms of casualisation
#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
Outside Downing Street,
Wednesday 27 January 2016, 6pm
Called by London Region UCU
Supported by Action for ESOL and Stop the War Coalition
UCU London Region, jointly with Stand Up to Racism, is calling an emergency demonstration on Wednesday 27th January at 6:00pm outside Downing Street.
Many colleagues will have been shocked and angered to hear Muslims scapegoated in a radio interview by David Cameron for not integrating into British society because they don’t speak English.
He announced £20m ‘extra’ funding for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) as part of a plan to ‘integrate’ Muslim women.
This is a scandal. There has been a furore in the press and I’m calling on you to join me next Wednesday at Downing Street to challenge this.
The sheer hypocrisy is staggering when people are desperate to learn English and are being turned away because of funding cuts by this and the last government he led.
ESOL funding has been cut by £160m since 2008. £45m was cut in the summer two weeks before the start of the new term, on top of the 24% cut to the Adult Skills Budget earlier last year.
It is frustrating to see the PM try to make political capital out of our students when we know the reality is that they are being denied the right to learn English. David Cameron did exactly the same thing in the summer when he spoke about how women needed English, and then went on to cut ESOL provision two days later.
Two thirds of ESOL students are women. They were the hardest hit by cuts and £20m will fall far short of what is necessary, especially when we consider that how many ESOL providers have lengthy waiting lists. At Lambeth College where I teach ESOL, the number of teachers has been cut from 65 to 31 in the last 18 months.
The language the PM used to single out Muslims is both inflammatory and islamophobic. It’s part of a racist narrative that says people don’t want to learn English and don’t want to integrate. It simply isn’t true. David Cameron suggests that if Muslim parents don’t speak English this could lead their children to become terrorists. It is dangerous to conflate these issues.
If the government are saying 850,000 people need English. Why only target a small proportion of Muslims? People of other faiths, or non, as well as men need to speak English too.
The government will implement plans in October for spousal migrants (and their children) to take a test after two and a half years to demonstrate English language improvement or face deportation.
His comments have caused widespread concern and criticism including from Baroness Warsi, John Prescott MP, Andy Burnham MP, Shabana Mahmood MP, Leader of the Lib Dems Tim Farron, Michael Rosen, Sally Hunt UCU General Secretary and more.
We should condemn these comments and call on David Cameron to restore ESOL funding and stop scapegoating Muslims.
More urgently we have to unite to speak out and stop Islamophobia and scapegoating of Muslims in our schools, colleges and communities.
Join me on Wednesday.
What we want:
UCU London Regional (FE) Secretary
& Action for ESOL
* According to the Daily Mail, the PM’s proposal is that the women would be expected to have reached the A2 – elementary – level after two-and-a-half years, and B1 – intermediate – after five years.
G03, Department of Geography
26 Bedford Way
University College London
Members of UCU in the London Region members are invited to participate in our second Organising and Networking day on Saturday 31st January.
Hackney College, N1 6HQ
Nearest tubes: Old St/Liverpool St/Hoxton Overground.
11am — 4pm.
We are particularly keen to encourage new or prospective reps to attend. The aim of the day is share experiences and to develop our networks across the region through practical workshops with some guest speakers.
Please email (Rose) firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to come so we have enough refreshments. Lots of people have already signed up and places are limited.
Wednesday 12 November, 6pm
SOAS Vernon Square campus
Vernon Square, Penton Rise
Open to all UCU members – Please send reps from your institution
Called by London Region UCU