Friday, 28 April 2017

UCU campaign update:

UCU campaign update:

Government rushes through dangerous higher education bill
The controversial Higher Education and Research Bill finally completed its passage through parliament yesterday. MPs and peers agreed to a number of watered down amendments to ensure the bill became law before this parliamentary session ended. Writing in the Huffington Post, Sally Hunt said that in the rush to get it through, the government had managed keep its long-term plans to marketise the sector firmly on track.

College leaders’ pay boost while staff salaries remain frozen 
More than half of college leaders received a salary increase last year – at the same time as their staff were subject to a pay freeze, according to new figures in today’s TES. UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: ‘College leaders who tell staff that the money is not there for a fair pay rise – all while pocketing massive pay rises themselves – are an embarrassment to the sector.’

Find out more about your pay and how it compares to your principal’s and staff at other colleges using our Rate for the Job online tool here.

See here for full update including:
  • In the news
  • General election 8 June: make our voice heard
  • Higher education pay: employers’ final offer
  • Manchester Metropolitan University: management fail to silence campaign to save jobs
  • Further education England pay claim
  • UCU academic boycott of London Metropolitan University
  • Mayoral candidates asked to support FE charter
  • Celebrate May Day: international workers’ day
  • Chechnya: stop the persecution of gay men
  • Workers’ Memorial Day, 28 April
  • Rule 13: procedure for the regulation of the conduct of members

Best wishes

Ed Bailey
UCU acting head of campaigns

Monday, 24 April 2017

UCU London Metropolitan University: academic boycott UPDATE

 Dear colleagues

I wrote to you last month advising of the protracted dispute at London Metropolitan University and the attempts made by the local branch officers in the last few months to negotiate a resolution.

I further advised that the higher education committee (HEC) had taken the decision in October to invoke the first stage of UCU’s agreed censure and academic boycott policy, in an attempt to get the employer to focus their efforts on negotiating a resolution to the dispute.

I also asked members to prepare to support an academic boycott if this proved necessary.

On Friday 21 April, the HEC considered the latest report from the branch officer and an evaluation in regards to the latest progress made in the dispute negotiations. The report and the evaluation were discussed at length, after due consideration of the seriousness of the situation and the failure to date in attempts to resolve the disputes, HEC decided unanimously to support the branch officers' evaluation and as a consequence move to implement an immediate academic boycott of London Metropolitan University.

This is a significant step for UCU and one that has resulted from the union following its agreed and staged process. This process allows for negotiation to resolve the issues that sit behind the dispute and to date insufficient progress has been made in a timely and meaningful way.

UCU branches and members should now observe the academic boycott in the following way:

Members should not:
·  apply for any advertised jobs
·  speak at or organise academic or other conferences
·  give lectures
·  accept positions as visiting professors or researchers
·  write for any academic journal which is edited at or produced by the institution in question
·  accept new contracts as external examiners for taught courses
·  collaborate on new research projects.
This decision is a serious one for both the university and UCU. The branch officers have today written to the vice-chancellor setting out the grounds on which focused negotiations should urgently take place with a view to reaching an agreement that will resolve the dispute and so lift the censure and academic boycott of the university.

To resolve the dispute we require management to:
1.    Negotiate a workload model (equivalent to the previous “AWAM”) that is in-line with implicit and explicit national contractual protections. Explicitly, this model will acceptably account for, and where agreed, imposes a limit on, all non-FST activities including scholarly time; ensure a minimum of 1.5 hours for preparation and assessment for every 1 hour of associated FST (as in the consolidated HPL hour); ensure reasonable and agreed FST reductions for all identified major roles and activities (PAT, course leader and module leader for example).
2.    Reduce casualisation by agreeing with UCU:

2.1 A 'freeze' on the recruitment of new HPLs other than in exceptional circumstances (for example sickness and maternity leave) and that new HPLs should only be employed if cover cannot be found via present HPLs or permanent lecturers;

2.2 Improvements to contractual protections and career opportunities for all HPLs including the implementation of an agreed scheme of transition to fractional roles which considers a minimum of years of service (4 years in line with fixed term regulations), the pattern of work, and equality legislation;

2.3 All HPLs will have at least two months’ notice of any variation to their teaching hours, and any such change to be subject to formal negotiation between the HPL concerned and management (with the right of union representation).

Please send the members and officers of the branch messages of support and solidarity and support the boycott.

Best wishes

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

UCU London Metropolitan University: academic boycott UPDATE

Sunday, 9 April 2017

the prosecution of Crossrail contractors BFK for the killing of Rene Tkacik and two other serious accidents

Sue Tibbles via 

8:22 PM (10 minutes ago)
to gptugreenleftdiscu.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Darren Lewis <>
Date: 9 April 2017 at 19:26
Subject: Supported by SERTUC Construction Committee Silent Vigil -
Wednesday 12 April @ 2pm Westminster Magistrates Court

*Supported by *

*SERTUC Construction Committee

*London Hazards Centre <> *

*Construction Safety Campaign*

*Silent Vigil*

*Wednesday 12 April @ 2.00pm*

*Westminster Magistrates Court,*

*18 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5BR*

*Rene Tkacik <>* was

on the Fisher Street, Holborn, Crossrail site in 2015.

As the prosecution of Crossrail contractors BFK for the killing

of Rene Tkacik and two other serious accidents begins.

Rene was not given any respect or dignity at his place of work

Let the courts now give him respect, dignity and justice

*One death is One too many*

Friday, 7 April 2017

UCU campaign update:

Dear colleague

In this week's campaign update:

Update on higher education pay negotiations 
The second of three pay negotiations meetings took place on Tuesday through the new joint negotiating committee for higher education staff (JNCHES):
·  Pay: the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) marginally improved their opening offer to 1.5%.
·  Gender pay gap: UCEA has offered to develop some further joint work with the unions.
·  Precarious employment: UCEA want to wait for the outcome of the joint working group that already is considering fixed term and variable hours contracts.
·  Workload and stress: UCEA do not want JNCHES to progress this issue at a UK level.
The union’s higher education committee (HEC) meets on 21 April to consider the progress of negotiations.

Further education conference: empowering teachers, learners and communities
As part of UCU’s campaign to showcase the huge contribution further education colleges and their staff make to communities we are pleased to sponsor the one day ‘Reimagining further education’ conference in Birmingham on 21 June 2017 and you can find details and registration information here.

Former England footballer Rio Ferdinand talks here about the power of further and adult education to transform lives and enable social mobility.

See here for full update including: 
·  In the news
·  Staff speak out against redundancies at Manchester Metropolitan University
·  Your union needs you: don’t let anti-trade union law silence our voice
·  Defend jobs at University of Bradford
·  Postgraduates who teach – our campaign for a fair deal
·  Tolpuddle Festival, 14-16 July 2017

Best wishes

Ed Bailey
UCU acting head of campaigns

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Migration after Brexit

Events update 06/04/17

Migration after Brexit

Migration after Brexit: the challenge for labour standards 2017: Liverpool
27 April 2017 - 09:30 - 15:00
Unite the Union, Liverpool

This conference will cover migration policy after Brexit, both from the EU and from elsewhere in the world, and the implications of future labour migration patterns for labour standards. The speakers will bring extensive expertise to the subject, as academics, campaigners and trade unionists.
Speakers include Bernard Ryan, Gracie Bradley, Narmada Thiranagama, Alan Bogg, Owen Espley and Sonia McKay

> click here to read more and book your place

Free copy of Labour Migration in Hard Times for all attendees!
A collection of papers by the UK's leading experts on labour migration on the exploitation of migrant workers and the need for labour law reform.

This book takes up that argument. Calling for a rights-oriented model aimed at ensuring that the legitimate interests of all workers to employment opportunities, to fair wages, and to decent treatment at work are protected, this book offers a welcome route out of the current policy impasse.

Click here to read more and preview the publication
Full day conference and free book from just £25!

The Institute of Employment Rights is offering special discounts for our forthcoming Migration after Brexit conference in Liverpool, with 33% offour usual entry fee and 66% off for students.
General admission is now only £50, or£25 with concessions (including students and the unwaged).

At the conference, leading lawyers, academics and campaigners from across the UK discuss the risks and opportunities Brexit presents for protecting migrant workers' rights.

The debate comes at a time when three million EU citizens resident in the UK remain uncertain about their right to stay; and when the ongoing exploitation of migrant workers has been highlighted by several high profile exposes.

A Dispatches investigation recently found migrant workers are being paid just £3 an hour in the textiles industrysupplying major retailers such as New Look, River Island and BooHoo.

Today, Frank Fields - Chair of the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee - announced evidence that Uber may be deliberately taking advantage of workers who have English as a second language.

He said: "They are well aware that many, if not most, of their drivers speak English as a second language - they recently lost a court case trying to escape TfL's new English testing rules for private hire drivers - yet their contract is almost unintelligible."

Chair of the government's inquiry into the gig economy, Matthew Taylor, has also revealed evidence that employment agencies are abusing migrants' lack of knowledge of UK labour law to avoid providing holiday pay.

Attendees will have the chance to discuss these issues and more with our experts, plus hear from those at the forefront of this issue as to what risks migrant workers face and how exploitation can be prevented and mitigated.

All attendees will receive a free copy of the Institute of Employment Rights' bookLabour Migration in Hard Times – a collection of essays from some of the UK's leading experts on migration and its impact on labour standards in the context of increased hostility towards migrant labour from some sections of the public.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

SERTUC activities and news

SERTUC activities and news

Levellers Day 2017

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

Burston Strike School Rally 2017

Sunday 3 September – note the date now! First confirmed speakers: Len McCluskey Unite, John Hendy QC, Megan Dobney SERTUC; music: Red Flags, The John Ward Band

SERTUC sub-group officers meeting

Wednesday 31 May – all sub-group officers meet to discuss with the office staff their workplans and collaborative work. 2pm to 4pm, Congress House

South East Trade Union Network AGM

Tuesday 6 June – 11am, Congress House

Workers’ Memorial Day events

Chelmsford trades council Friday 28 April

12.30pm at Central Park (near the lake and viaduct at the Memorial Tree). Speaker: Dan McCarthy NASUWT Vice President

Hastings trades council Friday 28 April

Come to the unveiling of the plaque to dedicate a tree in Cornwallis Gardens, Hastings at 12 noon. “Remember the dead, and fight for the living!”

Medway Unison Towns Local Government Branch Friday 28 April

Service at the UNISON Memorial tree 11.45am Rochester Castle Gardens. The theme for the day this year is “Good health and safety for all workers whoever they are” and will focus on inequalities in occupational health and the role unions play in narrowing the inequalities gap.

Waltham Forest trades council Friday 28 April

·        1pm at Waltham Forest Town Hall with speakers from Unite, WF trades council, London Hazards Centre, NUT, Thompsons
·        5.45pm at Low Hall to remember the worker killed on the A406 a couple of years ago
·        After that: a commemoration to remember Marian Nemit, a building worker killed nearby

May Day events

Bedford Monday 1 May

Chelmsford Wednesday 3 May

A musical celebration with Robb Johnson and Rick Christian at the Asylum Club. With speakers and raffle.

Colchester Monday 1 May

Event and social at Firstsite Art Gallery, Lewis Gardens.

Croydon Saturday 13 May details to come

Hastings Monday 1 May

Assemble in Cornwallis Gardens at 1.15pm. March at 1.45 to Harold Place for speeches and music, then at 2.30 to the end of the Pier for speeches and music to 4pm 07776 397 995

Ipswich Sunday 30 April

London Monday 1 May

Assemble at Clerkenwell Green, march to Trafalgar Square
Stewards are needed – please contact Roger Sutton

Norwich Sunday 30 April

Oxford Saturday 29 April details to come

Southampton Monday 1 May

11am to 3pm in Palmeston Park. More details to come

Southend Monday 1 May

12 noon High Street stall, 2pm music at O’Neill’s

Waveney Sunday 30 April

Free festival 2pm with Alex Mayer MEP, Suffolk Pensioners Association, Elizabeth Hodgkin and evening event £5 7pm with The John Ward Band, Luke Wright

Trade Union actions

NUT is supporting Fair Funding for All Schools

Public meeting Tuesday 25 April 7pm in Wandsworth with Rosena Allin Khan MP, Kevin Courtney NUT, Monica Kitchlew-WilsonFurzedown school headteacher, and parents


TUC conference on insecure work

Tuesday 23 May with Frances O’Grady TUC, Matthew Taylor (Taylor Review) and more. Booking (free) now open at

Other actions/events

Sylvia Pankhurst statue…

Following the announcement today of establishment support for a statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett here’s a reminder of the campaign to raise a statue of feminist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst

Culture Matters poetry award – £500

The Bread and Roses poetry award – submissions by 31 May. See here for details

Solidarity and the miners’ strike

Friday 28 April 3-5pm London Metropolitan University with Mike Jackson (LGSM), Sally Davison and Liz French (Betteshanger women’s support group). Register here

Day-Mer Festival in the Park

Sunday 2 July Clissold Park – there will be a SERTUC marquee and affiliates are welcome to join us

Sylvia, a play about Sylvia Pankhurst

·        Wisbech 29 April Rosmini Centre £5
·        Cranleigh 26 May Arts Centre £13.20/£11

All in a day’s work from Britain at Work

Working lives and trade unions in West London 1945 to 1995 £10 Dave

Ruskin House, Croydon – office space

Contact Garry Davis 01737 553 493 or Roy Aird 07941 890 756

Marx Memorial Library classes

Labour, Value and Exploitation with Simon Renton. Alternate Tuesdays starting 18 April 7pm

Russian Revolution Centenary Committee

Commemorating the 1917 revolution; Revolution Centenary: marking 100 years since the October Revolution 4 November

To add to this newsletter contact

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

WATERMELON Conference Newsletter of Green Left Spring 2017 ONLINE EDITION

WATERMELON Conference Newsletter of Green Left Spring 2017 ONLINE EDITION

now posted at 

7th - 8th of April for Take Back Control

Hi Peter,

Ken Loach, Diane Abbott, Dawn Foster and more are coming to Croydon on the 7th - 8th of April for Take Back Control, the first in a series of events bringing together leave and remain voters to make sense of Brexit, take back control from the establishment and bring power back to our communities.
Get your ticket here, now
The day will be a mixture of talks, workshops, exhibitions, food and parties, with other dates in Tower Hamlets, Plymouth, Bradford, Hastings, Barnsley, Norfolk, Dagenham & York.

Another Europe is Possible will be hosting a session listening to your Brexit demands, and working out how we can build towards a people’s deal.

Other highlights include:
  • A screening of  I, Daniel Blake followed by a Q+A with Ken Loach on Friday 7th April.
  • Diane Abbott in conversation with mercury prize nominee Soweto Kinch and journalist Maya Goodfellow on the role of identity and immigration in the Brexit debate.
  • Guardian Journalist Dawn Foster along with local housing activists exploring how we can beat the housing crisis in London.
  • Award winning playwright James Fritz leading an interactive read through of his new play Comment is Free, hailed by critics as “a fiercely current, socially relevant and dramatic depiction of free speech and mob mentality”.
  • Founder of Bursary or Bust Danielle Tiplady, head of Croydon council Tony Newman and Independent journalist Youssef El Gingihy discussing the crisis in the NHS, social care and what we can do about it.
  • Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now, will be hosting a session explaining how the government’s approach to post-brexit trade deals will effect you.
  • A social space with art exhibitions, ping pong, food, live performances and film throughout the day.

There’ll also be a #rumbleinthecronx after party featuring Soweto Kinch, live hip hop and poetry from Shay D and Juliette Burton performing "Decision Time", her show on living with mental health and which recently sold out in Leicester Square.
See you in Croydon on Saturday,

Another Europe is Possible