Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Green Party has suspended campaigning today after last night's terrorist attack in Manchester.

roysandison via lists.riseup.net 

8:54 AM (31 minutes ago)
to greenleftdiscu.
The Green Party has suspended campaigning today after last night's terrorist attack in Manchester.

All national campaigning events, including the billboard launch and Welsh Green Party manifesto launch are cancelled.

In a statement following the attacks, the Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:

"Our thoughts are with those affected by this appalling incident in Manchester. For young people to be targeted in this way is utterly atrocious.

"As ever our emergency services have done us proud - and we pay tribute to the police, firefighters and paramadics who stepped up in this time of need.

"Our country will never be divided by terror. The people of Manchester showed last night just how strong the bond of friendship is between the people who live on these islands - and in the coming days and weeks we'll show that we won't let terrorism tear us apart."

Monday, 22 May 2017

The RMT is holding a one-day strike on 30th May on Arriva Rail North, Virgin East Coast and Southern.

Dear CATP supporter,
The RMT is holding a one-day strike on 30th May on Arriva Rail North, Virgin East Coast and Southern. You are invited to join us on the Southern picket-line on the edge of Victoria Station 8.30 - 10am.
The RMT fight to Keep the Guard on the Train has spread from Southern to elsewhere in England. Southern recently announced that Disabled Passengers were no longer welcome to use 33 of its stations on a Turn-Up-&-Go basis as they had stopped using guards.
But getting rid of the Guard also has terrible implications for Non-Disabled passengers too. You'll remember that  guards who spend several months training have 35 safety-crucial competencies - - including the ability to safely evacuate a crashed train (if the driver is trapped in the front) and to use special equipment to turn the nearest lights to red in order to prevent another train running into the back/front of the crashed train.  Only 30% of trains run without a Guard. 
ASLEF now have an overtime ban on these same lines.
Please put the date/time in your diary! Hope to see you on the picket-line. The action supports the need for nationalisation of our railways, the need for safe numbers of well-trained staff on all railways and making rail more accessible.
In Solidarity,
Jan Pollock
CATP Co-ordinator
A nationwide billboard campaign is being launched today across the country accusing Theresa May of being a 'threat' to our public services. The People's Assembly has hired over 40 billboards, mostly in key marginal seats, which display a large picture of Theresa May with the words 'I am a threat, to your local hospital, to your child's education, to your standard of living, to your job security, to your pension, to you peace and security'.


We are launching a crowdfunding drive alongside the billboard campaign so we can organise more advertising in the last week of the election campaign. We want to put up more billboards, adverts and organise actions across the country to expose the truth of Tory policies. We're taking back space that's usually only reserved for the big business and corporations. The more money we raise the bigger impact we can have, but we only have a very short time to make this happen and we've now used up every penny we have! The Tories get massive donations from a few millionaires but we have the strength of our numbers. Please donate!
Sam Fairbairn, National Secretary of the People's Assembly, said "
She is a threat to everything we rely on from cradle to grave. The crisis in the NHS was created by the Conservative government and they're doing nothing to address it. She's snatching free school lunches off infants while her plans to restructure our education system will leave schools without proper funding. University students are being strapped with lifelong debt. Employers are allowed to get away with paying poverty wages on insecure or zero hour contracts and she wants to rob people's houses from them & their family cover the costs of looking after them in old age."
"In one of the most important elections for generations we want to expose the lies behind Theresa May's soundbite rhetoric. We'll do everything we can to make sure Theresa May and her government for the super rich isn't returned to Downing St."
We're also asking everyone to get down to one of the billboards and take a snap and share online with #ToriesOut.

Why not save the image and make it your cover pic on Facebook or Twitter?


  1. Barking (Rainham Road)
  2. Barking (Ilford Lane)
  3. Birmingham (Summer Hill Road)
  4. Birmingham (Tyburn Road)
  5. Birmingham (Lichfield Road)
  6. Birmingham (Bordesley Green Road)
  7. Birmingham (Lodge Road)
  8. Birmingham (Long Acre)
  9. Birmingham (Bordesley Green Road)
  10. Birmingham (Bordesley Green Road)
  11. Bolton (Bury New Road)
  12. Brent (Chamberlayne Road)
  13. Bristol (Laurence Hill Roundabout)
  14. Cardiff (Cowbridge Road West)
  15. Cardiff (Cathay's Terrace)
  16. Cardiff (Nantgarw Road)
  17. Carlisle (Port Road)
  18. Coventry (Albany Road)
  19. Croydon (London Road)
  20. Croydon (Stafford Road)
  21. Croydon (Purley Way)
  22. Leeds (Bridge Road)
  23. Manchester (Grosvenor Street)
  24. Manchester (Oldham Road)
  25. Manchester (Rochdale Road)
  26. Manchester (Hyde Road)
  27. Sheffield (Broad Lane)
  28. Sheffield (Penistone Road North)
  29. Sheffield (Neepsend Lane)
  30. Sheffield (Abbey Lane)
  31. Wandsworth (Garratt Lane)
  32. Wandsworth (Upper Tooting Road)
  33. Wandsworth (Putney Bridge Road)
  34. Manchester (Bury New Road)
  35. Wandsworth (Upper Richmond Road)
  36. Wandsworth (St Johns Hill)
  37. Birmingham (Summer Hill Road)
  38. Wood Green (Turnpike Lane)
  39. Birmingham (Icknield Port Road)
  40. Leeds (Tong Road)
  41. Sheffield (Penistone Road)
  42. Southampton (Mountbatten Way)
  43. Wandsworth (Swandon Way)
  44. Westminster (Harrow Road)
For a full list of exact dates for each billboard you can download the spread sheet here.  

The more you can do to help with this initiative the bigger the reach it will have, so please make a donation and get down to one of the sites and help us spread the message online. Let's take back the space and get the #ToriesOut.


The People's Assembly Against Austerity

Friday, 19 May 2017

Day Of Action - Vote for Education on Wednesday 24th May!

Attached is a flyer for this Wednesday's London Region Day of Action - Vote for Education .

Please let me know if you or anyone from your branch has registered for the Education Hustings and if your branch can send a delegate to the rally at 5.30pm

Day Of Action - Vote for Education on Wednesday 24th May!

We are calling on all branches in colleges, universities and adult & community learning to:

* Register for the TES Education Hustings 6.30 – 8.30pm

supported by London Region UCU, with Angela Rayner and Justine Greening. The event is FREE and you can register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/ e/tes-general-election-2017- education-hustings-tickets- 34435597800<https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tes-general-election-2017-education-hustings-tickets-34435597800>

Please request two tickets each so you can bring a colleague

* Join the rally in Old Palace Yard  5.30 – 6.30pm

Opposite Westminster - Link<https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Old+Palace+Yard,+Westminster,+London/@51.4990738,-0.1278307,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x487604c3870a0ed3:0xe20f4a7e79ad159d!8m2!3d51.4990738!4d-0.125642> to map  We have invited the NUS to join us in a rally to demand:

- Scrap HE and FE tuition fees

- Reverse the HE Bill

- Bring back the EMA Education Maintenance Allowance for FE Students

- Reverse the historic neglect of FE and increase funding

- Fund 10,000 new FE lecturers

After the rally we will March to the TES Question Time at  Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW , which is ten minutes' walk from Old Palace Yard.

* Encourage all staff and students to vote  in the general election on June 8th.

Links to  lesson materials from ACTION FOR ESOLhttp://actionforesol.org/ ;  Promote the Migrant Vote' via Migrants Organise http://promotemigrantvote.org.uk/ and attached materials from a UCU member at City and Islington College

* Distribute the flyer around your workplace and encourage people to sign up for the TES Question Time at 6.30pm and join the rally at 5.30pm.

In the last two weeks, Labour has announced it will scrap university and adult FE tuition fees and reverse the 'history of neglect' in FE:




Register to Vote Now! Join the rally! Come to the TES Question Time! Vote for Education!

Best wishes
Mandy Brown
UCU London Regional Secretary

Monday, 15 May 2017

four key transport access pledges

Banner "Four election demands for accessible transport
Dear Alan,

The general election is fast approaching, and with some major changes due in UK politics over the next few years it’s more important than ever to ensure Disabled and older people’s voices are heard.

There are 13 millions Disabled people in the UK, but all too often our views are overlooked. It’s now twenty years since our right to access services was passed into law – but many of us face a daily struggle to even use our local bus service. It’s time all the parties gave the Transport access the priority it deserves.

Since Theresa May’s election announcement last month, Transport for All (TfA) has reached out to all the major parties asking that they sign up to four key transport access pledges and encouraging them to commit to transport access in their manifesto.

  1. Restore deferred Access for All funding and commit to continuing the scheme beyond 2019.
  2. Enshrine the right to access in law.
  3. No more rail staff cuts.
  4. Strengthen the law around wheelchair priority on buses.
Make your voice heard
General elections are a great opportunity to influence the views of candidates in your local community. We need as many Disabled and older people from across London to reach out to ensure our voices are heard.

  • Register to vote by 11:59pm on 22 May.
  • Sign up for a postal vote, if you’re concerned that you may be unable to vote on June 8th.
Ask your candidates to sign up our four demands for accessible transport
  • Challenge your candidates at a hustings event. Transport for All is organising a few hustings (e.g. Redbridge). Click here for more information.
  • Write to your candidates. We created a template letter which you can download on your website: just click on the following button.
Write to your candidates
Alternatively, please contact Catherine: catherine@transportforall.org.uk.

Best wishes,


Sunday, 14 May 2017

#TrashTheTories Maidenhead - Saturday June 3rd meet for 2pm at rail station forecourt.

Maidenhead - Saturday June 3rd  meet for  2pm at rail station forecourt.
Please join us if you can as Maidenhead which is Theresa May’s constituency has been chosen for Disabled People Against Cuts last national demonstration before the General Election.
With the station as the starting point at 2pm DPAC will take its message #TrashTheTories to the heart of Theresa May's constituency to highlight the horrors that disabled people have faced on a daily basis since they came to power in 2010.
The UN has found the UK government guilty of the grave and systematic violation of disabled people's human rights and we will be making it clear that enough is enough, to the voters of Maidenhead.
The Tories have heartlessly attacked disabled people with their vicious anti-austerity cuts which have hit disabled people 9 times more than any other group and those with the highest support needs 19 times more.
In all the years we have been campaigning, it has never felt so desperately important to get the public to understand; Tory policies are starving, isolating and ultimately killing us.
Trains to Maidenhead leave from Paddington station about every 15 minutes and take between 30-47 minutes. The train company is Great Western and return fare is £11.80.
Some funding is available to cover travel costs and if you need help with these email usmail@dpac.uk.net

Friday, 12 May 2017

Indro Sen's appeal against dismissal to be heard today

Indro Sen's appeal against dismissal to be heard today

Sen teaching students in a park in his spare time back in 2007
Indro Sen, College of North West London, and UCU represenattive will be presenting his Appeal against dismissal from his post at the College of North west London today.  Sen has been supported by many trade unionists, students and ex-students and Brent Green Party LINK

A petition in support of Sen will be presented  LINK along with comments from some of his supporters:

Click to enlarge
Meanwhile comcern over precarious employment such as zero contracts and fake apprenticeships are likely to become General Election issues.   The College of North West London was the victim of an apprenticeship fraud LINK and the UCU called for an public inquiry LINK.

On Wednesday the Metro reported on the Superdrug apprenticeship scheme where young workers alleged their was not real apprenticeship, just a company ploy to emply them on low wages. LINK

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Government’s Air Quality Action Plan is so flawed it is no wonder they wanted to bury this until after the election


The Government’s Air Quality Action Plan is so flawed it is no wonder they wanted to bury this until after the election says BWTUC 

Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council (BWTUC) slammed the Government newly published plans to improve air quality as being totally ineffective and that they will utterly fail to remove dangerous pollutants from the air in Wandsworth. 

The Government were forced to produce an Air Quality plan for consultation by the courts this month.¹ They had tried to use the election as a reason to delay publication but this was rejected by the Court. 

Graham Petersen, spokesperson for BWTUC, said "if this document represents their vision of how the public will be protected from air pollution it is no surprise they wanted to keep it under wraps. 

If this is how you respond to the Number 0ne public health hazard then the Conservative Party have lost all credibility on this important issue. Instead of providing clear leadership from central government, control measures have largely been delegated to local authorities. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t the same government that have stripped local government finances to the bone. A public health emergency that claims the lives of around 40,000 people every year requires a clear national direction. 

People in Wandsworth are in the front-line of toxic air. We have the most polluted street in Europe – Putney High St. Levels in some parts of the borough show over 2 twice the legal limit of 40ug/m³ for nitrogen dioxide. ² In April, the Wandsworth Guardian quoted a report that showed 29 schools in the borough located in areas exceeding the safe legal limit.   Wandsworth Council’s own Air Quality Action Plan identified the importance of a campaign ‘to national government towards a non-diesel economy’ as a priority action. If they are serious about this then the Council should join us in condemning these inadequate proposals.

BWTUC believes that new statutory duties are required under a Clean Air Act that provides a national plan covering low emission zones, clean energy public transport provision, and duties on manufacturers and employers. 

Currently businesses pay a fraction of what it costs the NHS to treat victims of toxic air. Yet it is employers that are the root cause of diesel emissions from their transport fleet as well as the individual work journeys to and from work made by their staff. 

That is why BWTUC believe that air quality is a workplace issue. It is also why we provide funding for awareness raising initiatives like the Greener Jobs Alliance training modules on Air Quality which will be launched at the end of the month.³ 

It is clearly now a political issue in this election. The Government have shown they have no effective strategy. This is not strong leadership, it is passing the buck, and relying on a voluntary approach
 that will not deliver on the scale required.

Contact details: Graham Petersen email:grahampetersen4@hotmail.com / Tel 07879492339
Notes to editors
¹ ‘Improving air quality in the UK: tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities’. May 2017. Consultation closes June 15th, 2017. BWTUC will be responding to this consultation.
² Nitrogen Dioxide levels exceed the legal limits in large parts of Wandsworth according to data from Kings College London. REF BWTUC press release   http://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/?page_id=642
³ The Greener Jobs Alliance is funded by BWTUC and provides regular updates on air pollution and other environmental issues. On May 27th it will be launching a new set of Air Quality training modules at the University and College Union Annual Congress in Brighton  http://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Climate Change: Top Ten Election demands from the Greener Jobs Alliance

Climate Change: Top Ten Election demands from the Greener Jobs Alliance

The Steering Committee of the Greener Jobs Alliance has put forward these 10 election demands to ensure that climate change should be central to the General Election campaign.

1.     Keep the Climate Change Act 2008. Stick to the UK’s legally binding commitments to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 as a minimum. Ensure that UK energy and industrial policy is effectively aligned with the Committee on Climate Change projections and carbon budgets.

2.     Trust the people with a massive boost to energy democracy. Support a new wave of community based solar and onshore wind projects with ambitious feed-in tariffs wherever there is local support. Lift the ban on onshore wind projects. Support for local authorities to set up municipal energy supply companies.

3.     Ban fracking and respect local democracy wherever fracking applications are opposed by local communities.

4.     Cut energy bills and carbon emissions with a nationwide home insulation programme. ‘Retrofit’poorly insulated homes and build new, low energy social housing, using as far as possible direct labour, and supported by high quality vocational education and training. Make ‘Energy efficiency’ a national infrastructure priority to create decent jobs, reduce fuel poverty and reduce fuel bills.

5.     Make education for sustainable development a core priority across the education system. Prioritise research funding that will promote the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

6.     Create a million skilled climate jobs: invest in all forms of renewable energy, low carbon jobs and skills, including electric vehicle manufacture, rail investment, and build a full supply chain to make and supply renewable energy technologies in the UK.

7.     Create a new Green Investment Bank in public ownership and with full accountability. Use the green bank to support Regional Development Board investment in green energy and transport infrastructure projects.

8.     Create a National Climate Service to oversee the transition to a low carbon economy This to include a Ministry for Climate Jobs, Skills and Social Protection’ to equip the UK to a transformation of the world of work working across all Government departments and industrial sectors.

9.     Introduce an Environment Protection Act to incorporate vital European directives into UK law. Commit the UK to retain membership of the European Court of Justice to ensure that our citizens have the same environmental protection rights as all EU citizens, wherever environmental standards are at risk.

10. Introduce a Clean Air Act to tackle air pollution once and for all. Place a clear legal responsibility on employers and businesses to address air quality and develop a network of low emission zones in pollution hot spots.

Declaration of interest: I am a member of the Greener Job Alliance 

Ritzy Cinemas dispute/ sanitised history /University of Puerto Rico

Ritzy Cinemas dispute
Ritzy Cinema workers have been campaigning for Picturehouse and Cineworld Cinemas to pay the London Living Wage across all London cinemas for just short of ten years. In a repeat of one of the largest strikes in UK cinema history in February, five Picturehouse cinemas went on strike simultaneously on Easter Saturday 15 April. There was further action on May 1st.
Workers at Picturehouse cinemas have been striking since last September for the Living Wage. Picturehouse continue to refuse negotiations despite owner Cineworld announcing £93.8 million profit for 2016 last month.
Members of the campaign have been calling for a public boycott of Picturehouse and their owners Cineworld since 25 February.
Will a sanitised history be launched with Mayflower 400?
Danny Reilly of the newly formed Mayflower Mavericks Campaign examines emerging issues around the plans to celebrate the 400th anniversary in 2020 of the pilgrims’ voyage to the US in Plymouth.
University of Puerto Rico
The students of the University of Puerto Rico are currently on indefinite strike against massive cuts in funding for both public education and the health service. The Branch Secretary has sent a message of solidarity.
More details...
 Ritzy Cinemas dispute/ sanitised history /University of Puerto Rico