Thursday, 29 September 2016


Hi All
Some stuff to get involved in.
Love Helena
-------- Forwarded Message --------
Date:Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:17:58 +0100

Hi Flotsam & Jetsam
with Rising Tide UK's latest 3 announcements for your delectation.

1. #StayGrounded Day of Action against airport expansion @ Heathrow Airport
THIS Saturday 1st October 2016
Heathrow Airport
Meeting at 12 noon.  See below for bloc locations.

As part of a wave of anti-airport actions happening around the planet, including La Zad (France), Atenco (Mexico), Vienna and Istanbul, RtP is organising a day of action at Heathrow Airport and Rising Tide UK wil be there too. According to that scurrilous rag The Times, on 18th October the UK government is due to announce at which London airport it plans to build a new runway and drown any chance of reaching its own inadequate climate targets. There will be two blocs:
BLOC A - a family friendly creative action 
This will inside a publicly accessible Heathrow airport building. The more you can look like a regular traveller, the more you can integrate into the crowd, and the less likely you are to be spotted by security! Watch out for the people waving red hankerchiefs, giving the visual cues for precise timings.

Meeting time:   Arrive between 12pm and 1pm (we will be gone by 1pm)
Meeting location:   Car park of Hatton Cross tube station (Piccadilly Line) to collect a prop and further instructions for where to go next.

What you will be doing:  Act 1 - The Die-In - hundreds of us will lie down on the floor at exactly the same time, representing the 300,000+ people who are already dying each year from climate change related causes.  Act 2 - The Frequent Flyer High Polluters Club : Fast Track Check-in desk - a few people will act like the minority of wealthy frequent flyers, who take most of the flights and are driving the ‘need’ for aviation expansion in the UK.

What to bring: Dress as normal as possible, looking like any other flight customer, maybe bring luggage!  If you want to be a frequent flyer, you
will need to dress smartly, looking like the high earning 'binge' flyers with second homes abroad, who fly the most, without consideration for anyone else.

BLOC B - a critical mass bike ride 
This will be a mass bike ride, visiting a couple of specific locations on the way, including a local immigration removal center. Simply follow the marshals in hi-vis jackets who will lead the way.

Meeting time:  Arrive at 12pm (ride will start at 12:30pm)
Meeting location:   Grow Heathrow (Vineries Close, Sipson, UB7 0JH) to collect a prop and to start the ride.

What you will be doing:   Riding in a RED convoy with hundreds of others, representing the red line that airport expansion crosses, if we want a socially just and liveable planet for all.  Wear red and bring your bike.

More information available here:
Join and share the Facebook event:

2. #AxeDrax Demonstration and Celebration, 22nd October 2016 
Drax Power Station, Near Selby, Yorkshire, near the South Gate from 1pm.
Climate justice groups and activists, including Rising Tide, Coal Action Network and Biofuelwatch will assemble for a demonstration and celebration outside  with speeches starting from 2pm.  See here for an article which explains the background to this #AxeDrax event which marks the 10th anniversary of the first Climate Camp, held at Drax and continues to inspire global activism against the root causes of climate change.  It will celebrate what climate justice activists have achieved in the intervening decade and highlight the work that still needs to be done  including forcing Drax power station to shut down! You can reminisce over those cold wet 2006 nights when the cops' helicopter flattened your tent while you were inside, or, were up a floodlight pylon inside the power station waving your Rising Tide UK flag. Ahhh those were the days!

Saturday 29th October 2016, Park View School, London N15, ROOM F6 at 3pm.
LondonRisingTide and CorporateWatch invite you discuss strategies for  anti-capitalist climate organising in the context of 'green  capitalism'. Corporate Watch published an "A-Z OF GREEN CAPITALISM", a  development of  capitalism explicitly attempting to subjugate the  natural environment and its biodiversity, relegating it to mere  trade-able commodities, thinly veiled with greenwash. Putting a price  on nature means there will inevitably be  someone willing to pay the  price to destroy it. We'll explore some key ideas involved in green  capitalism; case studies, alternatives and how to resist its  manifestations - also how cultures of climate organising in the UK have shifted in recent years. Please come laden with ideas!
That's all for now.
Love  Rising Tide UK,
  c/o LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, LONDON E1 1ES
  Tel: 07708 794665

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

ucu update; COVENTRY UNI DISPUTE/UCU NUS national demonstration Saturday 19 November

1. Will you help staff denied a voice?
What kind of educational institution, when faced with a 100% vote by its staff in favour of being represented by UCU, sacks the staff only to offer them re-employment with a different subsidiary company on worse employment terms and with no union voice?
That institution is a company wholly owned by Coventry University, called CU Services Ltd. The staff concerned, many of whom are on casual contracts, teach English to Coventry's international students. You can read about their shameful treatment in the Guardian today after which I hope you sign UCU's petition.
2. Will you help UCU campaign?
UCU was able to get Coventry University the unwelcome publicity they so richly deserve because members came forward to help us! Now our media team needs help with other issues. We need case studies - anonymous if necessary - to support our autumn campaign and would like to hear from you urgently if you are:
An EU national working in a UK university or college and who is worried about the impact of Brexit on you and your work
A further education (FE) teacher able to share examples of how FE changed the lives of your students
An HE or FE teacher currently employed on a casual or short-term contract and able to show the impact job insecurity has on both you and your students
A senior academic who is worried about the impact of casualisation on the next generation of staff and is prepared to say so.
If any of these fit your experience please contact Matt Waddup at as soon as possible.
3. Will you take action for education on 19 November?
UCU and the National Union of Students (NUS) have called a national demonstration for Saturday 19 November in Westminster. We will use the day to argue for greater investment in further and higher education, better treatment for staff and students and - of course - for the UK to remain open to people from around the world who come to our colleges and universities to work and study. We are running coaches from every corner of the UK so wherever you live I hope you can make it.
Let me know you are coming here.
Thanks for your support.
Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

Friday, 23 September 2016

UCU campaigns update:

In this week’s campaigns update:

Stand with London Met UCU
The union’s dispute at London Metropolitan University stepped up a gear this week with strike action announced for next Thursday 29 September. UCU is campaigning against drastic cuts and redundancies and also the sacking of long standing union reps Mark Campbell and David Hardman.

What you can do:
• Tweet/Facebook your support messages and photos 
using the poster here and tag #WeStandWithLMetUCU
• If you’re in the London area please visit picket lines and 
join the strike rally at 12 midday, Tower Building, Holloway Road, N7 8DB.
• Join one of the local solidarity protests in 
UCU branches across the UK.

Stop the cuts at Hull College
UCU members at Hull College are also being balloted for action against management plans to make over 140 staff redundant – many in essential areas such as library and IT services, college counselling, learning support, and nurseries. Please send messages of support to our local rep Dave Langcaster and also write to the chief executive Gary Warke to condemn this attack on hardworking and dedicated college staff:

Also this week:
1. In the news
2. FE England pay: Association of Colleges (AoC) make a final offer
3. United for Education: UCU and NUS demonstration, Saturday 19 November
4. Your views wanted: House of Lords Brexit inquiry
5. Protest at the Tory conference in Birmingham, Sunday 2 October
6. Stand Up for Education conference, Manchester, 15 October
7. UCU trustee, general secretary, national officer and NEC elections in 2017 – nominations now open
8. Vacancy on the board of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF)
9. ‘Teachers will not be silenced’, World Teachers Day, Wednesday 5 October
10. Challenging the HE Bill: Third Convention for Higher Education

Please click here.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016



We would like to make sure you are aware of the important national demonstration to defend Libraries, Museums and Galleries. Supported by PCS, Unison, Unite, Jeremy Corbyn, Green party plus many local campaigns this is a very important national demonstration for all those who want to see an end to the attacks on our Libraries, Museums and Galleries. Please add your support


We also hope you may be able to support these protests and strikes (see below):
·         Tomorrow Thursday in support of the fourth day of strike action by PCS privatised security guards striking against private company Engie for fair pay
·         Saturday in support of workers at Ritzy Cinema fighting for the London Living Wage

Support from SERTUC Public Services Committee
Date: Thursday 22 September
Time: 9.30 – 10:30 am
Place: 5 Hatfields London SE1 8DJ.
PCS Contact: Sarah Taiwo, email: Tel: 07788 128 008

All supporters welcome even if you can only stay for short time. Please bring your  trade union banners, flags and whistles.
 On the 22 September, Met Police security guards who work for private company Engie will take their fourth day of strike action. To mark the last day of planned action, PCS members and supporters will be holding a protest outside Engie Head Office near Waterloo in central London. 
The guards, who are based at 999 control centres in Bow and Hendon rejected a 1.5% pay offer. They are suffering worsening pay, with real terms rates falling year on year. Starting salaries are now less than £22,000 in London, including working nights for no extra pay. In comparison, security guards still directly employed by the Met Police earn £31,500.
This is the first industrial action that PCS members have ever taken and each strike day since the 9 September has seen 100% turnout by members in the dispute over pay.

Other ways you can show support:
  Donate to our commercial sector hardship fund, account number: 20244707, sort code: 0-83-01
Send cheques to the PCS London and south east region, 160 Falcon Road, London SW11 2LN
Email messages of support to
More information:



Attachments area

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Firefighters, Doctors, Birmingham: Taking the opposition to the Tories.

Firefighters, Doctors, Birmingham: Taking the opposition to the Tories.

Yesterday the shocking news was announced that The Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, was planning to dismiss ALL of it's firefighters. It would then only re-hire those willing to accept an unfair and unsafe 12 hour shift contract. The contract has had no agreement from the Fire Brigades Union who make up 95% of all Manchester firefighters. This is an absolutely disgraceful act, and sets light to the myth of an austerity slow-down, as peddled by Theresa May in her now infamous, 'a Britain not just for the privileged few' speech on the steps of Downing Street. 

If the government thinks it can force through these cuts in one of the most heavily union organised firefighting services in the country, it is obviously planning on doing this elsewhere too... But we must stand with our friends in the FBU and stop this outrage in it's tracks before it can spread. 

Please sign this petition: 'Stand with Manchester Firefighters: No to mass dismissals'

 Please sign and share as widely as you can. 

Junior Doctors are going ahead with their THIRD round of strikes next week, again over another unfair and unsafe contract. The ongoing court case that was crowd funded by the junior doctors is making headlines this week with revelations heard in court that Jeremy Hunt acted illegally over junior doctors dispute. Please also sign and share a petition of support for the striking Junior Doctors here.

It is vital that we get down to a picket line in support of this vital service. 

There should be no doubt that Theresa May plans will be as vicious as her predecessors. She has stood by Jeremy Hunt and recent events in Manchester show the utter contempt her government has for the safety, security and wellbeing of working people.

That is why it's vital to get to Birmingham for the weekend of the 1 & 2 October toProtest the Tory Party Conference
On Saturday 1 October, from 10:30am we will be hosting The People's Conference - Our Alternative to Austerity, in Birmingham Town Hall. 


Speakers include, Ken Loach Filmmaker, Salma Yaqoob Campaigner, Francesca Martinez Comedian, Yannis Gourtsoyannis Junior Doctors Committee, Kevin Courtney National Union of Teachers, Dave Ward Communication Workers Union, Malia Bouattia National Union of Students, Steve Turner Unite the Union, Sam Fairbairn People's Assembly, John Hendy QC Campaign for Trade Union Freedom, Maz Saleem Campaigner, Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition, Weyman Bennett Stand Up To Racism, Ian Hodson Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, Natalie Bennett Green Party, David Edgar Playwright, Kadisha Burrell Campaigner.

The event also includes a Special Advance Screening of Ken Loach's 'I, Daniel Blake' from 7:00pm at Cineworld Broad Street with an introduction from the director himself. 

Limited spaces available, BOOK HERE

On Sunday 2 October, from 11:30am there will be a National Demonstration, 'Tories Out, Austerity Has Failed', at Victoria Square Birmingham.  

Updated transport information can be found HERE.

See you on the streets. 

The People's Assembly Against Austerity

Disabled People Against Cuts

Contact a Family have advised the following for anyone who has a disabled child or is a carer for an older adult. We think this advice should also apply to anyone who might qualify for PIP and who hasn’t yet claimed.

Over the next ten days the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to all those families who are going to be affected by changes to the household benefit cap in November. These letters will be sent out between 19 and 29 September.
The good news is you are exempt from the benefit cap if you have a dependent child who is on either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
If you have a disabled child but haven’t claimed DLA/PIP for them yet, think about doing so now. Getting an award of DLA or PIP at any rate will mean you don’t have to worry about the benefit cap hitting your family.
If you are disabled and think you may qualify even for the lowest rates of PIP please apply now.
What is the household benefit cap?
The household benefit cap limits the total amount of benefits that an out of work family can receive. At the moment the cap is £500 a week for lone parents and couples.
However, from 7 Nov 2016 the government intends to lower this figure to £442 in London and to £384.62 elsewhere for couples and single parents with children living with them. For single people without children the cap will limit overall weekly payments to £296.35 in London and £256.69 outside Greater London.
An extra 88,000 households are expected to be affected by this lower cap. If your benefit income is above the cap then the excess amount is cut from your housing benefit, or from your Universal Credit if you get this instead. The cap is lower for single people without children.

Are families with disabled children exempt from the household benefit cap?

All families with a dependent child on DLA or PIP are exempt from the cap. It doesn’t matter what rate of DLA or PIP your child gets – even if they only get the lowest rate you will still be exempt from the cap.

Am I still protected from the cap if my son or daughter stops being treated as a dependent child?

If a disabled child aged 16 or above either leaves education, turns 20 or claims certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, they stop being treated as a dependent. This means that their parent may then lose their exemption from the benefit cap.
However, the government has said in the autumn it will change the benefit cap rules so that you are also exempt if you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance or get a carer element in your Universal Credit. These changes to the rules for carers will help some parents who care for a disabled young person to remain exempt from the cap despite their child no longer being a dependent. These changes for carers have already been introduced in Northern Ireland.

Benefits included in the cap

The cap applies to the total amount people in your household (you, your partner and any children living with you) get from the following benefits:
Payments towards carer’s costs in Universal Credit won’t be affected by the benefit cap from autumn 2016.

Benefits that aren’t included

You’re not affected by the cap if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit or gets any of the following benefits:
If you have adult children or non-dependants living with you and they qualify for any of these benefits, you may be affected by the cap. This is because they’re not usually included in your household.
Disabled People Against Cuts

UCU London Retired Members Branch, Members' Publications, Seminars and Events

Members' Publications, Seminars and Events
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London Socialist Historians Group seminar series Autumn 2016

All in Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1, at5.30pm. Free without ticket - no need to book in advance. 
  • Steve Cushion: 'A Working Class Heroine Is Also Something To Be: Where women workers fit into "A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution, How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrilla Victory"' - Monday October 10th
  • Ian Birchall: 'Lenin’s Moscow by Alfred Rosmer'  (book launch) Ian will speak on the historiography of the Communist International, and the particular relevance of Rosmer’s work to it. Monday October 24th [This book will also be presented at Bookmarks on October 4th, see below]
  • Simon Hall: '1956: The World in Revolt' Monday November 7th
  • Merilyn Moos: 'Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism' - Monday December 5th

Socialist History Society

  • Paul Frame speaks on Liberty's Apostle: the Life and Times of Richard Price 1723 - 91. Dubbed by an eminent historian as 'Britain's first left-wing intellectual' the Reverend Richard Price was a major figure in the Enlightenment.
    Saturday 1 October 2016, 2.00 - 4.00 - Marx House, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1. Admission free, retiring collection, all welcome.

UCL Institute of the Americas

  • Book launch: Transformations of Freedom in the Land of the Maroons: Creolization in the Cockpits, Jamaica by Jean Besson - October 12th 5:30 PM,  - UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN
    more details...

Bookmarks Events

  • Haymarket Books have produced a new edition of Ian Birchall's translation of Alfred Rosmer’s Lenin’s Moscow. At this event Ian will be talking about how Rosmer portrayed Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev and other leading figures in the Communist International.
    Tuesday 4 October at 18.30 at Bookmarks Bookshop, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE
Copyright © 2016 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Solidarity with Alexandria Shipyard workers & World Teachers Day

World Teachers Day
Egyptian shipyard workers
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World Teachers Day

Academic and political freedom in Turkey was one of the priorities agreed by this year’s UCU Congress
 To celebrate this year’s World Teachers Day, UCU are supporting an event [with the NUT and Amnesty] on Turkey around the theme of “Teachers will not be silenced”.
The event will be held at NUT HQ in Mabledon Place, WC1H 9BD, on the evening ofWed 5 October.
The key note speaker will be from our sister union in Turkey, Egitim-Sen, but there will also be contributions from Education International, Amnesty, NUT and UCU (Rob Goodfellow, UCU President, has agreed to speak), followed by an informal reception with refreshments and cultural activities, organised by Day-Mer.
Initial details are available on Eventbrite...

Solidarity with Alexandria Shipyard workers

Open letter to the global trade union movement
We are writing to ask for your support for a campaign in solidarity with 26 workers at the Alexandria Shipyard Company in Alexandria who are in detention centres awaiting sentence by a military judge on  18 September on charges of refusing to work and incitement to strike. Their trial lacks many rights that civil courts enjoy in Egypt.
more details...
sign the international petition...
Copyright © 2016 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters