Tuesday, 25 October 2016

RMT Support Southern Conductors demo and rally

SERTUC activities and news

SERTUC activities and news

SERTUC Women’s Rights Committee

White Ribbon Day: Let’s end violence against women and girls Friday 25 November 6pm Congress House with speakers: James Chespy White Ribbon Campaign, Hilary Burrage campaigner, Diana Holland Unite AGS followed by a glass of wine! Please register atsertuc@tuc.org.uk

SERTUC TU Education

·         For Union reps courses and H&S reps courses from January 2017, see https://www.tuceducation.org.uk/index.php
·         Any queries? Contact rhancock@tuc.org.uk

Levellers Day 2017

·         Friday 19 May 2017 Levellers Night at the CWU’s education centre and Alvescot
·         Saturday 20 May 20117 Levellers Day commemoration, march and debate at the Burford Recreation Ground

Burston Strike School Rally 2017

Sunday 3 September 2017 – note the date now!

Celebrating 50 years of the 1967 Abortion Act

SERTUC Women’s Rights Committee is supporting Abortion Rights’ events January 2017 to October 2018. http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/the-abortion-act-turns-50/

Trade union actions

RMT Support Southern Conductors demo and rally

Tuesday 1 November Protest 12.30, Rally in Parliament 14.00 with speakers Mick Cash RMT, Manuel Cortes TSSA, Andy McDonald MP, Caroline Lucas MP https://www.rmt.org.uk/campaigns/rail/keep-southern-trains-safe/

Unite supporting a film for a piano to Havana

“In spite of everything” Friday 28 October 7pm, London http://cubanos.org.uk/eventos

PCS, Unison, Unite demonstration for libraries, museums and galleries

Saturday 5 November, assemble 12 noon at the British Library. Here’s the information from the TUC’s latest affiliate, the Artists Union of England http://www.artistsunionengland.org.uk/event/national-libraries-museums-galleries-demonstration/

Trades Council actions

Harlow trades council

Fundraiser for Refugee Treatment Centre, film show plus Q&A with director Wednesday 2 November doors open 7.20pm. 07449 444 770harlowtradescouncil@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1131908703522888&set=gm.1403459586334996&type=3&theater

Bromley trades council

First Annual Conference for trade union members and community activists Saturday 19 November 10am NHS & Social Care facts, Learn about local services, link and work with others. More form bromleytradescouncil@gmail.com

Chelmsford trades council

Banner Theatre with “Chicago: the great teachers’ strike” Monday 28 November 7pm £10/£5. More from acoburn@blueyonder.co.uk

Peterborough trades council

Peterborough Women’s Festival Saturday and Sunday 4-5 March 2017 Women and Education peterboroughtuc@gmail.com for more information

Redbridge trades council annual fundraising dinner

Tuesday 8 November 7pm with Sarah Jackson (co-author of Voices from History: East London Suffragettes) £15 detailsrtucsecretary@btinternet.com 07956 656 086

Other actions/events

SPOT (Solidarity with the people of Turkey)

Conference Saturday 29 October 10am London “Turkey after the failed coup and the battle for democracy”, speakers include Christine Blower NUT, Steve Hedley RMT, Owen Tudor TUC, Chris Baugh PCS, Fatih Polat Evrensel newspaper, Sebnem Korur Financi THRF, Fehim Tastejin journalist, Thomas Marois SOAS, Kate Osamor MP, Aydin Cubukcu journalist, Lindsey German STWC, Barry White NUJ, Weyman Bennett SUTR. More here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/turkey-after-the-failed-coup-and-the-battle-for-democracy-tickets-28564162178

Gender matters in international peacemaking

Saturday 19 November 11am London. Speakers Laila Alodaat WILPF, Kirsten Campbell Goldsmiths Uni, Lisa Gormley LSE, Sarah Ogbay Uni of Manchester. Info here http://www.womensgrid.org.uk/groups/?p=4564

A world to win: posters of protest and revolution

At the William Morris Gallery, London, until 15 January 2017. See http://www.wmgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions-43/a-world-to-win-posters-of-protest-and-revolution/

Fuel Poverty Action AGM

Thursday 3 November Brixton 7pm Contact fuelpovertyaction@gmail.com

The Workers Beer Company wants volunteers from the East of England for the Latitude festival

WBC donates £7 per hour worked to your organisation. Contact dannymackay@hotmail.com with WBC in the subject line for more information

Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign

·         Trade union briefing on Wednesday 2 November 5.30pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/trade-union-briefing-tickets-28221202376?utm_term=eventurl_text

Ruskin College, Oxford

BA International Labour & Trade Union Studies cholmes@ruskin.ac.uk and MA Global Labour & Social Change imanborde@ruskin.ac.ukcourses starting in January 2017 https://www.ruskin.ac.uk/courses2/labour-and-social-change-2/international-labour-and-trade-union-studies-ba-hons-2

Prostate Cancer UK quiz night

NPC lobby Wednesday 2 November

Lobby of parliament Wednesday 2 November 12 noon plus rally in parliament info@npcuk.org

Marx Memorial Library events

·         Course “Trade Unions & Power” 1, 8, 15 November 7pm £30 http://www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk/education/trade-union/trade-unions-power-course
·         Tolpuddle Martyrs: save our history fundraising to preserve the Dorset papers covering the Martyrs 1834 to 1836 http://www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk/support-us/tolpuddle-martyrs-appeal

To add to this newsletter contact mdobney@tuc.org.uk

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Calais Sessions

The Calais Sessions

An eclectic group of musicians from 'the jungle' refugee camp in Calais alongside UK musicians join together and feature in their first album. All recorded in a makeshift recording studio in the camp.

Music made in the Calais 'jungle' by the talented musicians there, facilitated by The Calais Sessions music project.

Listen to the music on "Bandcamp"...
Learn more about the The Calais Sessions project...
Copyright © 2016 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch Committee

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Will YOU join NUS and UCU on Saturday November 19th and march? We are United for Education.

The government is waging war on students and our education. Colleges have been cut to the core, with huge job losses and course closures. Tuition fees are rising and the government is forcing universities to run like businesses. Students are facing higher debt than ever before with maintenance grants and NHS bursaries scrapped, student loan terms changed and tuition fees set to reach £12,000 by 2026. The government has ignored students and staff for too long – this has to stop. Students – let’s march in our thousands and show the government we will not be ignored. Alongside our staff, we have the power to halt cuts and stop fees rising even more. Together we are a force too large to ignore.

 Will YOU join NUS and UCU on Saturday November 19th and march? We are United for Education. #Demo #Nov19

Friday, 21 October 2016

UCU campaigns

UCU logo

Dear colleague

In this week’s campaigns update:

Higher education (HE) pay – next steps
At its meeting on 14 October, the union’s higher education committee (HEC) discussed UCEA’s imposed 1.1% pay award and the final offer of future joint work on casualisation and the gender pay gap. The HEC heard a report summarising the feedback from the consultation with branches and discussed the union’s response. After discussion and debate, the HEC voted to pause and consult members on the next steps by conducting an indicative ballot. The HEC agreed that members would be asked whether they wish to accept UCEA’s offer to continue with the joint work on casualisation and the gender pay gap or whether they wish to take further sustained industrial action with the aim of improving the offer. Members will be provided with a commentary summarising where we are in the dispute and providing information on the consequences of voting to take further action, including the likelihood of an assessment boycott and the union’s plans for responding to punitive pay deductions.

Transforming lives: showcasing the power of further education
As further education (FE) continues to face funding cuts and mergers, UCU has launched a campaign to highlight the importance of the sector and its power to change people’s lives. In the coming months we will, with your help, be showing politicians and decision makers the human face of FE and asking them to give support to the remarkable and hardworking people who work in FE. Please take a look at the stories collected in our Transforming Lives campaign and share the link with colleagues and friends. 

Success at Coventry
UCU is pleased to confirm that staff who were put on FutureWorks agency contracts will now be offered CU Services employment contracts, recognition has now been agreed and in addition, the union and the University have agreed to meet for talks around the issue of dealing with recognition in the group’s companies. Thank you to all members who supported our campaign at Coventry.Please read more here.

Also this week:
• In the news
• Union votes to censure London Metropolitan University
• Victory at Hull College as redundancy threat lifted
• Senior management survey (SMS) to audit university management practices
• Demonstrate for Education: 19 November
• Build the union: recruitment week 21 November 2016
• UCU Learning for Life: develop your career with our CPD courses
• Further education England consultative ballot open
• Save Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire campus
• Ask your MP to Let Refugees Learn
• Further education staff governors’ conference: change with care?
• Disability History Month: 22 November to 22 December 2016
• Equality conference: 1-3 December 2016
• UCU LGBT+ research conference

Please click here.

All the best

Ed Bailey
UCU acting head of campaigns



From Grunwick to Deliveroo - migrant workers, trade unions & the new economy

From Grunwick to Deliveroo - migrant workers, trade unions & the new economy

A one-day conference on migrant workers, trade unions and the new economy.

Forty years ago Asian women at Grunwick led a strike for basic human dignity at work and for the right to join to a trade union. Today these battles are still being fought, often by migrant workers in precarious employment conditions. The experiences of workers at Byron revealed the extent to which migrant workers can be exploited by 'the new economy' and tossed aside when no longer needed, while those at Deliveroo showed that resistance is both necessary and possible.

This one-day conference will bring together campaigners, trade unionists, activists and thinkers to examine the changing nature of work and the terrains for resistance.


Willesden Library Centre
95 High Road
NW10 2SF

Willesden Green tube (Jubilee line)

Although a free event, please ensure you book your place HERE as spaces are limited.

Sessions will include: 

  • The legacy of Grunwick
  • Do we need independent trade unions?
  • Building community support
  • What does Brexit mean for workers
  • Resisting immigration raids
  • Building community support

Confirmed participants are:

  • Rita Chadha (Refugee and Migrant Forum Essex and London
  • Dr Sundari Anitha
  • Suresh Grover (The Moniroring Group)
  • Anti Raids Network
  • Amrit Wilson (writer, activist)
  • Durham teaching assistants
  • Jack Dromey MP
  • Unite Hotel Workers Branch
  • United Workers of the World Union (Deliveroo and other campaigns)
  • More to be announced

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Transforming Lives, a UCU campaign

Transforming Lives, a UCU campaign

 Dear colleague,

I wanted to update you on 'Transforming Lives', a UCU campaign which showcases the power of further education (FE) to change lives.

The first remarkable case studies are collected here.

It is hard not to be moved by the life stories of the amazing people found by project authors Vicky Duckworth and Rob Smith.

The recurring theme in these stories is the influence of a committed and inspiring teacher. Yet since 2010 thousands of teaching jobs have been cut from colleges in order to save money.

UCU has calculated that to replace capacity in further education lost since 2009/10 will require 15,000 additional teachers and £700m additional public investment. That is an essential investment in the people who need FE most.

In the coming months we will, with your help, be showing politicians the human face of FE and asking them to give their support to Adam, Pippa, Herbert and the other remarkable people this project showcases.

Will you help us?

Please share the link with everyone you know by email or social media.

Please share your own stories of transformation here.

Thank you for your support.

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

Sunday, 16 October 2016




Oct 19 - Nov 2Brent Museum and Archives · London


Sat 10:30 AMWillesden Green Library Centre · London
Shared to Brent Fightback


Wed 7 PMSOAS, Khalili Lecture Theatre Lower Ground Floor, Main Building, Thornhaugh Street, WC1H 0XG

Friday, 14 October 2016

Letter to your MP opposing CETA.

Letter to your MP opposing CETA.

Hi all
Please could people sign the letter below to your MP opposing CETA.
CETA is a major new business deal that was negotiated in secret between the EU and Canada over five years from 2009 to 2014. It stands for the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement.
As you no doubt know CETA is TTIP by the back door and will threaten our legislative processes and regulatory standards and everything from
environmental protection, public services, and labour rights to consumer
safety laws and food standards – thereby inhibiting the government from acting in the public interest for 20 years even after leaving Europe.
Would you get behind our campaign to send a letter to MPs re the imminent
voting of CETA in the Council of Europe on Oct 18th and its signing at a
EU-Canda summit on Oct 27th . Please write to your MP and pass on to other
lists that campaign on issues will be affected by CETA such as environment, democracy food and health standards, public services etc and ask them to write to their MP.

Many thanks

Haringey Unite Community

Dear MP

The trade deal CETA is about to be voted on in the Council of Europe in Luxembourg on Oct18th and if agreed, signed on Oct 27th at the summit between the EU and Canada. At present the UK government supports CETA.

CETA is a major new business deal that was negotiated in secret between the EU and Canada over five years from 2009 to 2014. It stands for the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement and it represents one of the ‘new generation’ of trade treaties on behalf of big business that are set to undermine our democracy and destroy our basic rights. CETA will lead not just to economic losses but also to rising unemployment and inequality, with negative implications for social cohesion in an already complex and volatile political context according to the most up to date assessment [1A]

The  UK will be subject to the provisions of CETA whatever our relation with the EU until we formally leave. The referendum last June indicated that the British people certainly did not expect Brexit to mean continuing EU control over our legislative process for a further 20 years. Yet due to Article 30.9 of CETA (the stabilisation or sunset clause)  "in the event that this Agreement is terminated, the provisions of Chapter Eight (Investment) shall continue to be effective for a period of 20 years after the date of termination of this Agreement in respect of investments made before that date", it means that everything from environmental protection, public services, and  labour rights to consumer safety laws and food standards could be under threat - thereby inhibiting the government from acting in the public interest for 20 years. So while the PM is trying to take back control of UK borders at some cost to the economy she is at the same time throwing away control of our legislative processes and regulatory procedures with negligible economic benefits to the UK.CETA is designed to protect the interests of corporations at the expense of ordinary people - to benefit the few at the expense of the many, quite contrary to the Prime Ministers new agenda.

I am very concerned there has been no debate either in Parliament or in the media despite the imminence of the vote and widespread opposition in Europe and the UK.

Could you therefore please ask the following question at Prime Ministers Question time preferably on Oct12th or raise the issue via some other House of Commons procedure.

"Given the fact that  CETA (the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between the EU and  Canada) is about to be agreed on Oct18th and signed on Oct 27th can the Prime Minister ensure there will be a debate on CETA in Parliament  as a matter of urgency?
In the meantime until Parliament  has a chance to debate CETA could she agree the UK government will neither sign up nor authorise ‘provisional application’ of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA)"

CETA has caused widespread opposition throughout Europe. The Dutch and Irish parliaments have passed a motion rejecting provisional application of  CETA. Austrian Vice Chancellor Kern has spoken against it and the government has been shaken by a split.  Luxembourg and Belgium have said they will vote against CETA or abstain. Bulgaria and Romania have issues over visas and will refuse to sign unless addressed. Both the TUC in the UK and trade-unions throughout Europe are opposed. There is a legal lawsuit being brought at the Federal Constitutional court in Germany and a legal challenge to ICS may be brought at the European Court of Justice.

Over 3 million Europeans voted against TTIP and CETA in the European Citizens Initiative of which 500.000 were from the UK. In addition there was a public consultation by the European Commission on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which was opposed by 97% of respondents.(The Investor Court system is only different from ISDS in respect of procedure. In essence it is the same - see below 10, 11)

Below is further  information about CETA and ICS from a number of organisations

Yours Sincerely

[1A] The most recent study of the Economic Impact of CETA on the EU
[1B] Current status of CETA & how it affects the UK after Brexit
[1] War on Want: What is CETA?
Here’s another good guide to what’s in CETA:
Global Justice Now: What is CETA?
[2] Politics: The Canadian trade deal which will let in TTIP by the back door:
[3] This article from the Financial Times is behind a paywall.
“European and Canadian authorities are aiming to ratify the CETA at talks in Brussels next month but political resistance in Austria and Belgium presents a fresh threat to the pact as it cannot come into force without unanimous support from all 28 EU member states. The leadership of the Austrian government is divided on CETA.”
[4] Politico: Europe nears trade deal with Canada:
[5] This article from Politico is behind a paywall.
Junior economy Minister Harald Mahrer: “We expect that this declaration will be finished by next week”
[6] Global Justice Now: CETA: TTIP’s little brother A guide to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada:
[7] This blog gives a good outline on why CETA will weaken our regulations, protections and increase privatisation:
Citizen Action Monitor: CETA: What it is and why it’s bad for Canada:
This article discusses how dangerous CETA is because 80% of US companies have subsidiaries in Canada:
Public Citizen: Tens of Thousands of U.S. Firms Would Obtain New Powers to Launch Investor-State Attacks against European Policies via CETA and TTIP:
Here’s the story about the EU asking Canada to re-work some of CETA:
CBC: EU quietly asks Canada to rework trade deal's thorny investment clause:
[8] 38 Degrees: DIY Brexit results, trade section:
[9] 38 Degrees: 6 things you need to know about CETA
[10] Legal briefing EP Legal Service Opinion on ICS in CETA by Client earth
[11] ISDS Rebranded as ICS, rights for corporations to sue states refuse to die. by Corporate Europe Observatory

UCU campaigns update:

In this week’s campaigns update:

Further education England member pay consultation
Members in further education England are to be consulted on whether to accept the Association of Colleges’ (Aoc) final offer for 2016/17. If you are a member working in an English FE college then please look out for an email inviting you to vote in the consultative ballot which should arrive in your inbox over the next 24 hours. 
For more on the FE England pay campaign please see here.

Urgent: stop the demolition of Calais camp petition
The Calais refugee camp is now under imminent threat of demolition leaving around 9000 refugees facing winter with no shelter. Please urgently support the Care4Calais campaign and 
sign the petition to stop the demolition.

United for Education demonstration 19 November
Please help us make the 19 November UCU/NUS demonstration for education the biggest ever by 
downloading posters, sharing on Facebook and letting us know you are coming here. We also need more volunteers to help steward so please email:ebailey@ucu.org.uk.

Also this week:
• In the news
• Stand up for EU staff and students
• Senior management survey (SMS) to audit university management practices
• UCU offers legal advice on immigration to EU members
• UCU Learning for Life: develop your career with our CPD courses
• LGBT+ research conference 2017
• Voice care for educators
• UCU equality groups conference
• Offenders’ Learning and Skills Services: prison education contracts
Please click here. 

All the best

Ed Bailey
UCU acting head of campaigns

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

UCU: Please help us fight the HE bill.

Dear colleague,

In recent days, hundreds of you have written to your MP about the need to protect the position of EU staff and students in the UK. The message is getting through, and several MPs raised our concerns in parliament this week.

We need to keep the pressure on government to protect our higher education sector. That’s why I now need your help in fighting the Higher Education and Research Bill.

The bill will make it easier for new private providers to award degrees, which poses a real risk to quality and the international reputation of our higher education sector. The government also wants to link rising tuition fees to a flawed new measure of teaching quality, putting more pressure on staff and increasing the financial burden on students.

Please click here to send a message to your MP, asking them to oppose these damaging plans.

Thank you.

Sally Hunt

UCU general secretary