Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Universal Basic Income

Compass are delighted to announce the launch of a huge piece of work on why we need a Universal Basic Income and how it could be introduced.
Come and join the authors Howard Reed and Stewart Lansley, with Ursula Huws and Labour MP Jonnie Reynold to discuss the growing demands for a UBI and how it could be introduced in the UK.  At the launch event we will have free copies of the brilliant report Howard and Stewart have co-authored.
The event is on Monday 6th June, at 7pm, Committee Room 11 of the House of Commons - sign up here to secure your place, as we expect the event will fill up fast.
Committee Room 11 - House of Commons, London - View Map

Monday, 23 May 2016

Brighton People's Assembly Against Austerity News

Brighton People's Assembly Against Austerity News
Next Organising Meeting Wed 1st June, 7.30pm @ Brighthelm Centre  - all welcome!

Thanks to Mike and John for chairing and Sam and Katie for taking minutes at the May organising meeting. Minutes are here on the website. We agreed that the next organising meeting will have a new format starting with an agreed theme about austerity and led by a local activist. Check out the agenda below:

Part 1: New Lightening Teach-in!
7.30pm We'll start with tea/coffee - bring a snack to share. Then 25 minute teach ins at the start of each meeting on key themes about austerity. We teach ourselves: key points from someone involved in the theme; discussion in small groups, talk in whole group.

7.40pm Lightening Teach in - # 1  Aidan Pettitt on What's going on in Education?

Part 2: Organising meeting
8.30pm       Organising ourselves: Social Media and website development and update ~ Ben

8:40pm       Updates:
                   Voluntary Sector Charter Launch What when and how ~ Mike
                   The Synergy Centre and Workfare report back and discussion ~ John & Sam

9:00pm      Finance Update ~ John

9:05pm      Actions against austerity and group reports: What next, new ideas, who does what?
9:20pm      Announcements: Share your actions/ protests/ calls for support

9:25pm      Next meeting - Wednesday 6 July
                  Agree: Discuss and learn topic, minute taker & chair

9.30pm      End
Launch of local Stand Up To Racism group, Tues 24th 7.30pm @ Brighthelm Centre

There will be two main focuses of the meeting - mobilising  for a counter-demo to the fascist March for Britain "No more Refugees" protest on June 4th and building positive support for refugees and especially the Convoy to Calais on June 18th. Confirmed speakers include Zak Cochrane, Deputy Chair of Stand Up To Racism, Elaine Ortiz of th Hummingbird project, and Andy Richards of Brighton, Hove and District Trades Council.
Local Campaigns: Actions, Events & Meetings
The End of Our (N)HS? The Sustainability & Transformation Plan 

Join the Protest at Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, Tues 24th May 12.30pm onwards @ Brighthelm Centre

What is STP?
Like the rest of the country it is highly unlikely you will have heard of this well-kept government secret which has had barely any media coverage. STP is the government plan for a destructive, England-wide, top-down re-organisation of the NHS, which will result in its wholesale fragmentation. STP is being forced through with NO parliamentary approval, NO consultation and NO local accountability. STP will change all our lives for the worse.

What can you do?
  • Join us all on May 24th.
  • Where do your local councillors stand? Email them – find their address on  http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ 
  • Push your MP to challenge the imposition of this wholesale restructuring and loss of accountability.
  • Write letters to the local and national press.
  • We are also planning a major public meeting –Our NHS: Going, Going…far from Gone,Thurs 30 June 7-9 pm @ St Georges Church 
For more information –email:defendthenhs@gmail.com
Defend the NHS Sussex website
'STREET STORIES' Sat 28th May, 11-4pm @ Brighton Art Market, Brighthelm. Last chance to see this exhibition facilitated by Love Activists Brighton & OpSafe Winter -Brighton.Facebook event page here.

'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 loveactivists@riseup.net
Stop the Fascist March in Brighton
Saturday 4 June: Assemble from 10am outside Brighton railway station

On the 4th of June, a group of far-right racists want to protest in Brighton against refugees.The group, calling themselves "South Coast Resistance" or "Pie and Mash Squad" say they're opposed to our city hosting any refugees whilst British people are homless. In reality, this is simply an excuse for their undisguised racism. These fascists don't care about homelessness, they just want to keep refugees out.
We're calling for people to gather at the train station at 10:30am on Saturday 4th June, to show these fascists they're not welcome in our city.
More details on facebook page. 
  • The Divide - film screening Tues 24 May 8.15pm @ Friends'Meeting House, Ship Street ~ Organised by Momentum & Sussex LRC. The film of the bestseller "The Spirit Level", which highlights the effect on all of our lives of the gap between rich and poor.  Introduction by Mark Serwotka and refreshments will be available beforehand.  Tickets (£4 waged, £2 concessions)  
  • Stand-up to racism & stop witch-hunts Wed 1 June 7.15pm @ Friends' Meeting House ~ Organised by Momentum and the LRC. As Labour's enquiry into anti-Semitism within the Party gets underway, this meeting will discuss the need to fight all forms of racism and take appropriate action against any member who actually has made anti-Semitic comments. But there must be an immediate end to the suspension of Labour members on a spurious basis, into which category the suspension of well-known anti-racism campaigner and Momentum vice-Chair Jackie Walker clearly falls. At this meeting Jackie will speak about stopping these spurious suspensions.  Jackie will be joined on the panel by Ian Saville from the Jewish Socialists' Group.
  • Defend NHS Organising Meeting, ​Tues 14 June 7 – 9pm@ Dorset gardens Methodist Church ~ All supporters welcome are welcome at our regular organising meeting.
  • Bringing Corbyn's New Politics into UNISON, Tues 22 June 7pm @Community Base (South Wing entrance) ~ Organised by Momentum as UNISON conference fringe meeting to discuss not just how vital trade unions are in protecting working people in countering the onslaught from the Tory Government but also how they matter to Jeremy Corbyn as he seeks to democratise the Labour Party and transform Britain.  Speakers include Momentum co-founder Jon Lansman, Ruth Cashman of Save Our Libraries, which campaigns with trade union support to save our public services, and leading UNISON representatives Gordon McKay, Jon Rogers & Dan Sartin, who will discuss how trade unions can be made more democratic. 
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Our mailing address is:
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Friday, 20 May 2016

Keep Racism out of the Referendum, Wed 25th

Rally hosted by Stand Up to Racism - all welcome.

Wednesday 25th May, 6.30pm.
Mander Hall, Hamilton House (NUT Building),
Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD

Say no to Islamophobia/anti-semitism,
Stop scapegoating migrants,
Support the Convoy to Calais

Speakers -
Lord Alf Dubs,
Natalie Bennett,
Lee Wax, rabbi
Talha Ahmed, Muslim Council of Britain,
Colette Levy,
Weyman Bennett & Sabby Dhalu

demand Greece gets a chance to breathe.

Next Tuesday finance ministers from across Europe will be discussing debt relief for Greece. This has happened because people like you have demanded a fair deal for Greece. Now we need to demand Greece gets a chance to breathe. 
Please share this image on Facebook or send a message on Twitter and stand with the people of Greece.  
Greek hospitals are running out of syringes and buses don’t run because of a lack of spare parts. Without proper debt cancellation and a reversal of damaging austerity policies, the people of Greece face many more years, even decades, of stagnation, high unemployment, high poverty and increasing debt. 
A significant write-off of Greece’s debt is the only way to end the never-ending austerity story and give Greece a chance to rebuild its economy and society in the interests of Greece and Europe as a whole.
We must demand that the Eurogroup cancel Greek debt. Please send a message to Jeroen Dijsselbloem the President of the Eurogroup by sharing this image or sending a message on twitter by clicking here.
People all across Europe are taking action this weekend. Together we can demand a Europe that stops punishing the people of Greece. 
Thank-you for standing with the people of Greece. 
Solidarity Forever! 
Owen Espley
Senior Economic Justice Campaigner 
P.S. If you are not on social media you can send a letter to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, c/o Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175, B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgique/BelgiĆ« or you can phone the Council of the European Union on Tel: +32 22816111 [NB It's a Belgian phone number so may incur international charges] or via Fax: +32 22816934

War on Want logoWar on Want fights against the root causes of poverty and human rights violations, as part of the worldwide movement for global justice. Learn more about War on Want here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Why the UK's junior doctors dispute is highly relevant to the UK's EU referendum

Why the UK's junior doctors dispute is highly relevent to the UK's EU referrendum

By Alan Wheatley 
In the run-up to the UK's EU referrendum, we are getting loads of 'prognoses' on what would happen to the UK economy if British citizens collectively chose to opt-out of EU membership altogether. A great many of those 'prognoses' feature the world 'could', yet here I just wish to briefly introduce the matter of fall-out from successive UK governments 'opting out' of NHS involvement in the Working Time Directive (WTD).

(The word 'prognosis' comes from the Greek meaning 'fore-knowing', and is generally used in the field of medicine. In the context of the UK' EU Referrendum discussion and a little known fact I intend to raise here, it is pivotal.)

In 2006, before a Conservative-Lib Dem coalition ousted a Labour Government, London Green Party MEP Jean Lambert produced a report on the Working Time Directive entitled: 'I Must Work Harder?' and sub-titled'Britain and the Working Time Directive'.(1)
Given the report’s findings, Jean makes the point that removing the opt-out from the Working Time Directive not only reduces the costs to society and the economy – it also makes good business sense! - See more at:http://www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk/2006/02/01/must-work-harder-britain-working-time-directive/#sthash.jaANi4dG.dpuf
Given the report’s findings, Jean [made] the point that removing the opt-out from the Working Time Directive not only reduces the costs to society and the economy – it also makes good business sense!(2)
In a 2013 report for the Centre for European Research entitled The Working Time Directive: What's All the Fuss About?, Katinka Barysch noted:
[The] WTD rules have proven hard for the NHS to cope with — harder perhaps than for most other European health systems. There may be a number of reasons for this but the most important one is that the NHS — almost uniquely among western health services — has always relied on trainee doctors (called junio doctors in the UK) to do much of the actual work in hospitals. In most other European countries, trainee doctors are only found in big-city teaching hospitals, while fully trained senior doctors (called consultants in the UK) look after patients in all other hospitals. To put it crudely: most traineed doctors in Europe are there to learn on the job while British ones are expected to do the job. The heavy reliance on junior doctors to provide care combined with a long-standing shortage of doctors, meant that young British doctors routinely ended up working 100-hour working weeks.(3)
Working a 100-hour working week can obviously be very stressful, whether that 100-hour week involves making 'life or death decisions' or not; but consider the outcomes of decisions involved from such a 100-hour working week involving trainees who by definition lack experience!

Given that matter, what does the Health Secretary make of the situation? What is Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's prognosis on the matter of such "heavy reliance on junior doctors to provide care combined with a along-standing shortage of doctors" resulting in 100-hour working weeks for trainees?

Well, in February 2015 the Telegraph announced:
The health service has set aside £26bn to cover medical negligence claims against NHS hospitals, it has emerged.(4)
Vote Leave has argued spuriously that opting out wholesale from the EU would leave our NHS better off.(5) Would not greater adoption by the UK of the EU's Social Charter as a whole be better not only for the UK economy but for our national health as a whole? The Working Time Directive is just a part of the Social Charter, and I would argue that proper implementation of the Social Charter would — rather than merely 'could' — bar the sorts of degrading treatment of jobseekers that Kate Belgrave repeatedly witnesses at the hands of the DWP in her blog Kate Belgrave | Talking with people dealing with public service cuts.(6)

What do you think?


  1. http://www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk/2006/02/01/must-work-harder-britain-working-time-directive/
  2. ibid.
  3. http://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/attachments/pdf/2013/pb_workingtimedir_kb_26april13_bl-7268.pdf
  4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11402075/NHS-sets-aside-quarter-of-its-budget-for-medical-negligence-claims.html
  5. http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/
  6. http://www.katebelgrave.com/ 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

UCU Campaign update: 13 May 2016

Campaign update: 13 May 2016


Higher education (HE) members: strike action 25 and 26 May 2016

Members in HE are called on to observe a two day national strike on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May 2016. Please contact your branch, join picket lines and support fair pay, gender equality and secure contracts in HE.
Members are also asked to work to contract from 25 May. Guidance on working to contract, the strike action and advice for external examiners is still being finalised with our legal advisors and will be issued early next week.

Support fair pay in further education (FE)

Shadow skills minister Gordon Marsden addressed a busy parliamentary event in support of the FE sector, and heard members' concerns about issues including area reviews and social mobility. Other speakers including Green party leader Natalie Bennett, UCU president Liz Lawrence and the NUT's Kevin Courtney reinforced the value of further education and the need to support FE staff. Thanks to everyone whotweeted or sent in selfies with our 'I support the FE pay claim' poster.  Please continue to share #fairpayinFE or campaigns@ucu.org.uk

Other news this week

In the news:

  • UCU confirms industrial action at universities over pay
  • reports on HE access raise concerns about young men and part-time students

UCU national recruitment week: 16-20 May

Next week sees a nationwide drive to encourage more staff to join UCU. There's never been a more important time to build the union and help stand up for education. Please support our national recruitment week by getting involved locally and encouraging colleagues to join at: https://www.ucu.org.uk/joinOpens new window

Defend union reps at London Metropolitan University

Thanks to over 1,600 of you who've signed the petition against redundancies and trade union victimisation at London Met. Please continue to sign and circulate the petitionOpens new window and stand up for our reps Mark Campbell and David Hardman.

Academic related and professional staff

Administrators, librarians, computing and other professional staff in HE are invited todownload our new newsletter '...and related' containing  all the latest news, views and events. Why not circulate copies or hand out the new posters and leaflets to your team?

Demand a vote on TTIP and CETA

While TTIP may be on the ropesOpens new window, there remains a serious threat from CETAOpens new window,  a similar trade deal that could soon be ratified and implemented between the EU and Canada. Tell David Cameron to veto the provisional implementation of the dealOpens new windowand demand a vote on CETA.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Saturday 18 June, Convoy to Calais.

On Saturday 18 June, The People's Assembly, alongside other campaigns and unions, is organising a Convoy to Calais. We will be making a huge political statement about our governments shameful lack of action over the biggest humanitarian disaster since the second world war.

This is a 'protest convoy', we will be taking aid, but more than that - we will be demanding Refugees Welcome Here.  

We have now negotiated a discount with the ferry company & block booked tickets. All ferry bookings should be done through us. Please book asap as spaces are limited.

Click here for full details & to book

Convoy to Calais - Refugees Welcome Here
Saturday 18 June 2016
Assemble: from 8:30am - 9:30am Whitehall, London

New dates added to #JC4PM tour
The JC4PM tour has been travelling around the country attracting thousands of people. Here's the next two dates. The People's Assembly has been invited to speak on many of these events to promote the important work the anti-austerity movement is doing across the country.

Come and support anti-austerity politics with some of the UK's finest comedians, musicians and speakers.

Cambridge - 17th May
With: MC: Arthur Smith, Jeremy Hardy, Hal Cruttendon, Robin Ince, Francesca Martinez, Grace Petrie, Clare Ferguson-Walker, Weyman Bennett, James Meadway.
Tickets from £7.50:

Manchester - 19th May
With: MC: Barbara Nice, Jeremy Hardy, Francesca Martinez, Steve Gribbin, Jack Carroll, Grace Petrie, Gerry Potter, Ian Hodson, Maxine Peake + Diane Morgan, Dave Ward, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP.
Tickets from £5:

The People's Assembly Against Austerity