Historic pay and casualisation deal at London CCCG FE colleges

Congratulations to UCU members at CCCG. This is a brilliant victory by your members. Staff working in FE are among the lowest paid in the education sector. This award, alongside the fractionalisation agreement is an important step in ensuring staff are valued for the vital work they do. Congratulations to the governing body in agreeing this bold and progressive step forward and I hope this signals a change in direction that the whole sector can follow.

In Solidarity

— John McDonnell MP, shadow chancellor

wkcDear Colleagues

UCU branches met today across the Capital City College Group (CCCG – City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of North East London) and agreed to settle on the 2018/19 pay claim. After several weeks of negotiations, the governors have agreed a pay offer of 5% to all staff in the group who earn less than £55k. Senior managers that earn between £56k up to £76k will be awarded 3% and those earning £76k+ will not get a pay increase this year.

The CEO has waived his right to an annual bonus.

The 5% award will be back-dated to September and is worth up to £2K pa which works out as up to £140 per month take home and will be put into the December pay packet. This will mean staff should expect up to £600 extra in their December pay packets.

This is an historic deal which will, we hope, give other colleges the confidence to follow. CCCG is the largest group in London and the third largest in the country. Continue reading

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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

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

Protest: Restore funding to ESOL: don’t scapegoat migrants

Outside Downing Street,
Whitehall SW1
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.

Speakers include

  • Shakira Martin, NUS Vice President FE
  • Danielle Tiplady, student nurse fighting cuts to the student bursaries
  • Maz Saleem, Stop the War Coalition

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.

We should promote the Action for ESOL Manifesto and hold meetings with local MPs and in our colleges and communities on it to restart a debate about what is required.

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:

Mandy Brown
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.

Press

29 April: Planning meeting for UCU Anti-Casualisation Day 2014

Dear London Region colleague,

This year’s national Anti-Casualisation Day of Action is on 7 May.

At the last London Region meeting we agreed to build for a successful day.

We’ve organised a planning meeting for Tues 29th April at UCL.

flyer

From your branch, could you get a couple of your most active casualised / hourly paid colleagues to the meeting, along with a branch rep? We hope this will be a good opportunity for casualised colleagues to meet each other, get more involved and build for a successful campaigning day on 7 May.

The meeting is Tues 29 April 6.00pm.
UCL, Room B15, Darwin Building, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT
A map is below.

How to find the Darwin Building, UCL

How to find the Darwin Building, UCL

Stop the Sale of Lambeth College Brixton Centre!

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