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

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

People's Assembly update

The People's Assembly Against Austerity
Dear friends
It's never a dull time in politics! The general election announcement last week has obviously dramatically shifted the political focus and with such a short time frame many activists will now be flat out with campaigning over the next few weeks. This also affects our priorities. So we've made some adjustments to our planned activity.
1) People's Assembly national conference POSTPONED
We have decided to postpone our national conference which was scheduled for Saturday 13 May in London. Whatever the result of the election it will be crucial for us to come together to discuss our response and the next steps for the anti-austerity movement, but of course the results will determine our priorities.

We therefore think it's best to postpone the conference until shortly after the election. If you've already booked a ticket it'll be refunded to you within the next few days. 
2) Election campaigning
The People's Assembly is a broad based campaign involving activists from different political parties. That's why we are not campaigning for any one political party in the general election.

However, the anti-austerity movement still has a role to play in the next few weeks. We want to expose the Tory lies and make sure people know how damaging the Tories have been to our services. We're running a 'Tories Out' campaign over the coming weeks.

Here are some of the key activities we'll be engaged with in the coming weeks:

  • We're working with a group of NHS workers who will be putting on 'Save our NHS' public events across the country
  • We've produced a series of 'Tories Out' T-Shirts, badges, stickers and posters (contact for local group discounts)
  • We're encouraging local groups to organise demonstrations, protests and public events on high streets across the country
  • A number of parents groups and education campaigns are already organising events which we should support
What you can do.
  • Bristol People's Assembly have launched a 'ToriesOut' Demo Bristol, to help radicalise the election campaign. Get along to the Water Fountains in the City Centre at 1pm to make your voice heard. You can find more about their event here on Facebook
  • Manchester People's Assembly are holding a 'How to Trump the Tories - People's Question Time' event, this will be great way to help give our activists the arguments they need to help influence the election. Join them at 3.30pmthis Saturday afternoon at the Manchester Mechanics Institute and get involved with the discussion. For more details check out their Facebook event here.
Why not do something similar where you are?

In the mean time please download our 'Tories Out' poster here:

Stick it up in your window, in your workplace canteen, or community centre, Church or Mosque... or any where you think it will be seen! 

And also visit the People's Assembly shop to get your Tories Out Merchandise here

badge.jpg tories_out_tee.jpgtories_out_bag.jpg
Follow this link to take you to our shop.

We'll be announcing a date for a new post election People's Assembly conference soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that, and why not organise some street activity in your area to add some People's Assembly energy into getting rid of this Austerity Government!

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us 

See you on the streets!

The People's Assembly Against Austerity

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

Join us in Oxford on May 13th to demand a halt to the destruction of our NHS.

Assemble 1 pm Saturday May 13th, Manzil Way green, East Oxford, OX4 1YH
Called by Unison Oxfordshire Health branch and supported by Oxford KONP.
Printed leafelts and posters available on request (please see attached sample)

*Stop the STP cuts to local general, community and mental health services
*Stop handing NHS services over to fat cats to be run for profit at the expense of patients
*Stop driving essential staff out of the NHS with attacks on pay and conditions
*Defend free healthcare for all

Ever since 1948 the National Health Service has been the envy of the world. It is the greatest contribution towards social and health equality. The NHS is an example of how a caring society can create good and safe care based on social solidarity. The NHS is the best way to ensure fair access to treatment for the acute or long-term sick, and those with complex or costly health needs, irrespective of their ability to pay. Yet the UK's greatest achievement is being destroyed before our eyes by people who believe health should be a commodity available to only those who can afford it.

The sustained cuts and privatisation of the NHS is fundamentally undermining healthcare for the majority in the UK. The latest attack is being carried out under the misnamed “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” - but in fact mask £22 billion cuts in the next 3 years.

Last winter saw the worst NHS crisis ever, yet the government's STP cuts mean a third of Trusts are planning to close A&E departments, making future winters far worse.
Waiting times are on the increase across the board. These included ambulance call out times being below target, no rise in A&E attendance but increased waiting times, and a rise in operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons. Sick people are waiting weeks to get an appointment to see their GP, yet surgeries are being earmarked for closure.

STP cuts mean half of NHS Trusts plan to reduce community hospitals, and almost half plan to slash hospital beds. Instead of standing up to the government for the people of Oxfordshire county NHS bosses are planning county wide cuts that will effect us all.

Essential NHS staff have been under sustained attack with wage cuts for almost a decade while workloads have increased. Staffing is critical to safe and effective services but the government has created a staffing crisis with 20,000 too few nurses. A&E departments alone need an extra 3,000 doctors. The latest 1% offer to NHS staff is an insult the hard work and dedication and will do nothing to remedy the staffing crisis.

The government's refusal to grant rights to EU migrants working in the NHS has caused a collapse in recruitment from the EU, and the removal of the bursary has caused a collapse in applications to start the nursing degree.

Cuts and privatisation are being touted as the only way to save the NHS – yet these are the cause of the problems. We are being told that NHS funds have to be cut to save the economy – but the wealthiest people are being given tax breaks – money that could be spent on looking after our sick.

It is possible to stop the destruction of the NHS. 250,000 people marched for the NHS in March 2017 and tens of thousands have protested across the country in campaigns to defend local hospitals and services. We need to build the pressure to halt the attacks.

Join us in Oxford on May 13th to demand a halt to the destruction of our NHS.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Green Capitalism

hi everyone
We’d like to invite you to participate in our upcoming symposium on
green capitalism on 8th May in London, organised by Corporate Watch,
radical academics and others.
It will be held at City University, central London: in the afternoon. We'll confirm times, rooms etc
as soon as possible.
The symposium follows the publication of Corporate Watch’s A-Z of Green
Capitalism, which can be downloaded for free:
Please note: the event will be wheelchair accessible, there are
accessible loos close to the rooms and if anyone has specific access
requests they can contact the organisers who will try to make things
work for them.
Let us know if you can make it. Feel free to invite people.
More on the content:
What are proposed as solutions to climate and broader environmental
crises in the name of 'Green Capitalism' actually further contribute to
these crises because they rely on the logic of commodification of nature
rather than its protection. A 'Green Capitalism' is a contradiction in
terms, but a very powerful ideological tool. Understanding the myth of
green capitalism arms us with arguments against it, as well as for a
real ecologically sustainable future.
Rather than a traditional academic format we want to bring together
those with similar perspectives and collectively develop our
understanding of current trends in green capitalism, both in terms of
policy developments and the more philosophical ideas underpinning these,
and discuss ways of opposing capitalist solutions to ecological issues.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Welcome to the Brighton People's Assembly April newsletter.April 17

April 17 Newsletter
View this email in your browser (
Hello Friends,

Welcome to the Brighton People's Assembly April newsletter.

Our monthly Brighton People's Assembly meeting is now on 3rd Monday of every month.

However, this month the 3rd Monday   falls on Bank Holiday, so we have arranged to meet on   Tuesday 18 April 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm instead at the Duke of Wellington, Upper Gloucester Road, Brighton ( .

Our meetings are informal and we aim to create an atmosphere where everyone feels able to contribute.  We discuss alternatives to austerity, develop action plans, campaigns and support other groups.  All are welcome to contribute and help organise. Please visit our website if you want to check out our aims. (

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you soon.

Brighton People's Assembly Meeting
Debates and planning. - All welcome
Tuesday 18 April 19:30
Upstairs at the Duke of Wellington
70 Upper Gloucester Rd, Brighton BN1 3LQ (

Ken Montague was a popular and very active participant in Brighton People's Assembly.  Ken sadly passed on last last year.
In keeping with Ken’s expressed wishes, his funeral was a small, private affair for family, close friends and representatives of groups he campaigned with. A larger number of people wanted to acknowledge his political life, and his widow Janet, children Brendan, Kate and Alex and comrades in Brighton, warmly invite you to celebrate Ken’s life-long contribution to the wider struggle.
The celebration will take place on  29^th April,Hanover Room, Brighthelm Centre, North Road,  Brighton BN1 1YD.

** Speakers will include:
* Hannah Barker - Chair
* Sabby Sagall – SWP, and long-time friend
* Phil Mellows - SWP Brighton
* Jonathan Neale - Campaign against Climate Change
* Janet Geary

It's very important that those wishing to attend RSVP to Davy Jones ( by Monday 24 April so that Janet (Ken's widow) can know who to expect.

Sussex Defend the NHS - Next organising meeting Tuesday 9th May 19:00 to 21:00 hrs

Dorset Gardens Methodist Church Brighton BN2 1RL (
Local Campaigns: Actions, Events & Meetings

'Love Kitchen' is still being set up every Sunday where possible. See the facebook page for details ( . Donations of food and equipment welcome. No cash donations accepted.

If you would like to be part of the Love Kitchen Crews or coordinate please email

It's still chilly at night and our wish list is growing to help those living on
the streets. Please drop off at the Love Kitchen or email to arrange:
* Self inflating roll mats
* Sleeping bags (season 4)
* Bivvy bags (they help to keep sleeping bags dry)
* Thermal underwear & socks (men & womens)
* Waterproof trousers/jackets
* Thermos flasks
* Gloves & hats

** Twitter (
** Twitter (
** Website (
** Website (
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Our mailing address is:
Brighton-hove peoples assembly
6 Mountfields, Brighton, United Kingdom
Brighton, BN1 7BT
United Kingdom

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Axe Drax Investors' demonstration

Hi Friends, 
Please support us on Thursday from 12.00 to 2.00 p.m. Drax, the massive polluters and forest destroyers are clearly so rattled by our persistent critical presence outside their London AGM every year that they have run and hidden from us. This year Drax hold their AGM inside the power plant itself in rural Selby, North Yorkshire. Our colleagues in the north plan to make sure their climate crimes continue to be exposed and will be greeting them at Selby with a noisy, colourful and expert condemnation of their death-dealing greed. In London, we will be visiting two of Draxs' major investors, Schroders and Invesco, calling them to divest from this shameful malignancy. Please join us even for just a short visit during your lunchbreak and help us make our point

Drax power station is a dangerous waste of bill payers' money, receiving £1.5 million in subsidies
every day to destroy forests and contribute to climate change.