After the Election: Build the Fightback
Organising for Higher Education Strike Wave 2
Building the Union and Fighting to Win
Saturday 25 January, 11-4pm
Engineering Building, Malet Place
University College London
Called by UCU branches at Brighton, Cambridge, Goldsmiths, Imperial College, Manchester, Newcastle, Queen Mary and UCL. Organised by UCU London Region.
Our union is on a war footing in Higher Education to defend pay and pensions, and to fight casualisation, rising workload and pay inequality. The first wave of HE strike action saw 60 universities strike for eight days over pay and pensions. Many more are now reballoting. HE Sector Conference voted for 14 further strike days in the Spring Term and for branches to start strategic planning to hit the Summer Term.
The whole post-16 sector is under threat from cuts and government-driven market chaos. The Nottingham College strike was a fight for survival at the sharp end. Boris Johnson’s Brexit Government presents new threats — to funding, jobs and to members rights to stay in the UK. What is clear is that it falls to trade unionists to defend our members and our sector now.
Ordinary members are leading pickets and getting involved in their union with a gusto. We have a huge responsibility.
This one-day meeting is organised to give reps from all over the UK, in FE and HE, a chance to meet to discuss how we can best defend our sector, how we can build our union and fight to win.
||Introductory remarks: striking back after the election – with French railway striker
||Negotiation progress: what has been achieved and what is still at stake
- USS – Vicky Blake, Carlo Morelli
- Four Fights – Jo McNeill, Mark Abel
||– lunch break –
||Regional and branch organising for the strikes – and uniting the union
- Migrant members – Asiya Islam
||Reballoting for Summer Term action
Pass this motion through your branch:
[This branch*] resolves
- to build the industrial campaign, e.g. by organising meetings in departments, casualised staff groups, calling protests, etc., to [achieve a high turnout in the ballot and*] prepare for the forthcoming strike action planned for February;
- to support the national UCU activists meeting on 25 January in Central London, to advertise it among members, and to send [X*] delegates, covering expenses.
*amend as appropriate
National organising meeting
Saturday 2 March, 12-3pm
1-19 Torrington Place
University College London
Nearest tube: Goodge Street
Registration from 11.30am
Called by UCU London Region. Supported by UCU Left, Branch Solidarity Network.
UCU in Transformation – Education in Crisis
- After the HE pay ballot – where next?
- What next in the USS dispute?
- After the strikes: building for FE Round 3
- The Augur review, Brexit and the threat of university bankruptcy
The unprecedented USS strikes last year triggered a huge upswing in union activism and membership. HE strikes inspired FE branches to win ballots for pay, despite a decade-long starvation of funds, a million course places lost and redundancies to match. But how do union activists keep up the momentum in the face of new challenges and threats? Continue reading
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.
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.
UCU London Regional Secretary
LATEST – UCU calls for an international comprehensive academic boycott of London Metropolitan University
Sign the pledge
How you can support the boycott
Members are asked to support the academic boycott in any way that they can. This may include not doing the following at London Met:
- applying for any advertised jobs
- speaking at or organising academic or other conferences
- giving guest lectures
- accepting positions as visiting professors or researchers
- writing for any academic journal which is edited at or produced by the institution in question
- accepting new contracts as external examiners for taught courses
- collaborating on new research projects.
NB: UCU members employed by LMU itself must not participate in the academic boycott in order to protect their contractual position.
Please note that the above advice will not ordinarily preclude members from supporting the boycott with regard to such things as refusing to apply for, or accept an external examiner’s contract, choosing not to provide a visiting lecture at LMU, choosing a research partner and so on since these are generally matters of individual academic autonomy. Members in any doubt about their contractual position should seek the union’s advice before acting.
For the avoidance of doubt, where any of the above activities forms part of your existing contractual duties or where you are otherwise unsure about this you should only refrain from doing them after your head of department (or line manager) has given you prior permission to do so. UCU is not asking or encouraging academics to act in breach of their contracts of employment.
If you have any queries please contact Matt Waddup at firstname.lastname@example.org
What you can do to support London Met UCU
Even if you do not currently engage in any of these activities, we ask you to make a public commitment to boycott in advance, and ask your colleagues to do likewise.
Further, we ask you to write to London Met’s Vice Chancellor and Chair of Governors to pledge your support for our campaign:-
Finally, we ask you to do your utmost to publicise the boycott and the issues at stake.
Letter – Resist the privatisation of HE – we pledge our solidarity to London Met UCU
An abridged version of this letter appeared in the Guardian newspaper on Saturday 6 August 2016.
We the undersigned, commit ourselves to a campaign of solidarity and support for the UCU branch at London Metropolitan University (LMU), in their battle for the future of the university.
London Region Organising Day flyer (click to download PDF)
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) email@example.com if you would like to come so we have enough refreshments. Lots of people have already signed up and places are limited.
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.
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