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, Four Fights)
||– lunch break –
||Regional and branch organising for the strikes – and uniting the union
++ Migrant members facing deportation after Brexit – 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
Building a democratic, activist-led UCU
2 November 2019, 11-5pm
(doors open for registration at 10.30)
UCL Roberts Engineering Building
University College London
Joint session with Campaign Against Climate Change conference 1.00pm-2.00pm
Opposite Waterstones, Torrington Place
Nearest tubes: Goodge St/Warren St, Euston Sq/Euston, Russell Sq
What a difference a year makes!
One year on from the great USS HE Pension strikes of 2018 and the wave of Further Education strikes that have continued, UCU is gearing up for another strike wave in Higher Education. Nottingham College strikers are in a mammoth fight to stop pay cuts and skyrocketing workload.
Meanwhile the Tory government is in deep crisis, and climate strikes are spreading across the globe.
New struggles bring new questions. What role should UCU activists play? What type of union do we need? How do we encourage and organise a new generation of activists in our union? UCU has had major democratic debates, culminating in a new General Secretary and a commission on Democracy. But how do we organise our branches and Regions to be more effective – and more democratic?
Most of all, how do we organise a bigger, stronger union movement, one that demands people before profit, unites staff and students, and is capable of stopping the market madness in education once and for all?
Come to this one-day conference to debate the future of UCU. It is time to organise the future of our union.
Hosted by UCL UCU. Called by London Region UCU, supported by Branch Solidarity Network, UCU Left and others – To add your organisation’s name click here.
|Welcome – After the Ballots: GTVO and building the strikes – James Richards (Herriot Watt)
- Work till you drop? Pensions, cuts and USS Round Two – Deepa Driver (Reading, NDC chair) and Carlo Morelli (Dundee, UCU Scottish President)
- Organising a united pay fight in Higher Education – Bruce Baker (Newcastle), Mark Abel (Brighton) and Linda Cronin (Roehampton)
- One hundred years of Adult education: the fight for a hundred more – Jan Koene (Sutton College) and Naina Kent (Hackney ACE)
|Climate strikes, UCU and fighting for the future. Can we win free education and socially-responsible science? – Sean Vernell (CCCG, UCU VP FE), James Price (UCL) and the Campaign Against Climate Change TU group
|Resisting casualisation and uniting the union. How do we use the unity of strikes to win members to secure contracts? – Liz Lawrence (Sheffield Hallam retd), Lesley Kane (Open) and Feyzi Ismail (SOAS)
|Equality, from resistance to liberation. How do we win members to defend equality rights? Can we defend migrant students and staff? – Dima Chami (Leeds), and others
|Organising to win: how to turn the tide of marketisation in post 16 education – Vicky Blake (Leeds, UCU Vice President), Nottingham College Strikers and more
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
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.
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.
The 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