Friday, 17 February 2017



This coming Monday, 20 February, is a day of action against Trump and in support of migrants.  Since his inauguration, Trump has attempted to push through an agenda of division, racism and bigotry. But this has been met by big resistance, from the shutdown of US airports to the mass protests here in the UK
In London the following events are planned:
3pm, Parliament Square. Called by Stand Up To Racism and People’s Assembly,
6pm, Parliament Square. Called by Stop Trump.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

UCU: short film of our annual ‘Cradle to Grave’ conference

UCU: short film of our annual ‘Cradle to Grave’ conference 

Dear colleague

I’m pleased to invite you to watch this short film of our annual ‘Cradle to Grave’ conference which took place last weekend bringing together progressive voices in defence of public education.

This year the focus was on what a post-Brexit future holds for further and higher education and we were lucky to have an excellent range of speakers including shadow chancellor John McDonnell MP, author Melissa Benn, political commentator Steve Richards, and academics Professor Kalwant Bhopal, Dr Vicky Duckworth, Dr Rob Smith and Sir Peter Scott.

The event saw the launch of our booklet produced with Refugee Action challenging negative perceptions about refugees and a central theme of the day and of my speech was the urgent need for us as educators and trade unionists to stand up for progressive values and against the racism of Donald Trump and the populist Right.

I hope you enjoy the film – please share it with colleagues and friends and also support the national ‘One Day Without Us’ day of action in defence of migrants on Monday 20 February.

Thank you.

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Video: Climate Change Refugees conference 11/2/2017

‘Climate Refugees’- The Climate Crisis and Population Displacement: Building a Trade Union and Civil Society Response

Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change and Friends of the Earth, supported by the TUC, FBU, TSSA, CWU, PCS, NUT, Unite, Unison, Stand Up to Racism & BARAC UK
Saturday 11th February 2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017


As part of the TUC #Heartunions week, The Show Culture Some Love Campaign has organised a day of action on 14 February alongside a number of trade unions, campaigns and groups across the arts and culture sector. Please come along to the events or post a selfie!

In Birmingham the Show Culture Some Love Campaign invites you to come and give Birmingham Museum and Arts Gallery ‘A Great Big Hug’ on Valentine’s Day. We will be meeting at 13.15 Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH.

In London we will be participating in a walking tour celebrating the Capital’s cultural heritage and the unions that represent the people who make it all possible. Facebook event

The tour is being supported by TUCHeartUnions, Artists’ Union England, BECTU, Equity, FDA, General Federation of Trade Unions, Musicians’ Union, NUJ, PCS, Prospect, Southern & Eastern Region of the TUC (SERTUC) and the Writers Guild of Great Britain.

Between 12.00-14.00 we will be visiting Palace Theatre • Curzon Soho
• National Gallery (Between 12.15-12.30)
• English National Opera• Royal Festival Hall• BFI• National Theatre• ITV• Tate Modern • Globe Theatre

Securitas – running down conditions in the Culture sector
Protest at Tate Modern from 1.45pm
Sign the EqualiTate petition
Privatised workers employed by Securitas at Tate and National Gallery in PCS members have been facing problems with this company.

Please sign our petition and circulate widely. If this private company is allowed to get away with bypassing the union and eroding our terms and conditions then this will give the green light to other companies in our sector to do the same.


Equality and Human Rights Commission workers sacked by email
EHRC sacked PCS and Unite members while on strike against redundancies giving them a day to clear their desks

Picture House strikers fighting for a living wage
Support their demonstration on 25 February

Friday, 10 February 2017

UCU campaign update:

 UCU campaign update:

One Day Without Us, 20 February: UCU celebrates migrant contribution
20 February is United Nations World Day of Social Justice and UCU is supporting the One Day Without Us mobilisation which invites supporters to celebrate the contribution migrants make - link arms, hold up posters and post selfies with hashtags #ucu and #1DayWithoutUs. More information, programme of events and downloads here. Dr Michiel van Ingen from LSE says why education staff and students should support the day of action here.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt argues here that the education community can be a positive force to help shape society and be a vehicle for change following the Trump election and Brexit vote. UCU’s ‘Cradle to Grave’ conference on the defence of public education takes place this weekend on the theme of ‘Education without borders’ with speakers including shadow chancellor John McDonnell, political commentator Steve Richards and campaigner Melissa Benn.

National bargaining in further education
As the Association of Colleges (AoC) considers abandoning national pay bargaining UCU has called for a commitment from colleges to abide by what is agreed nationally on pay. Speaking in the TES this week, UCU head of further education, Andrew Harden said ‘UCU remains committed to national bargaining, but that commitment must be shared by colleges.’

See here for full update including:
  • In the news
  • Closure of Manchester Metropolitan University Crewe campus: no to redundancies
  • Trade union victimisation at University of Liverpool: reinstate Dawn Holdman
  • Hourly paid lecturers win better contracts thanks to UCU
  • Professional development courses
  • UCU trustee, general secretary, officer and national executive committee elections 2017 - ballots open
  • 'Truth for Giulio' campaign for student murdered in Egypt
  • Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI)
  • Academic-related, professional staff meeting
  • Membership portal and support site: 'My UCU'

Best wishes

Ed Bailey
UCU acting head of campaigns

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


It's obvious Donald Trump, is a racist, sexist and bully. He's also very far from being the President 'for the people', he's already cutting corporation tax, attacking the unions and trashing the meagre social care provision that exists in the United States. That's why the People's Assembly is playing a key role in building the movement to challenge Trump and his policies. As Theresa May gets closer to and closer to the Trump administration he poses a very real threat to the people of Britain too, May is already opening the door to US firms to buy up parts of the NHS in new trade deals with Trump. This has to be stopped. 

It's vital we bring the broadest coalition of organisations together, say not to Trump, no to racism, no to sexism no to austerity
Trump and everything he represents, is not welcome in the UK. 

All progressive organisations are welcome, if you or your organisation is interested in getting involved with the mobilisations against Trump, please get in touch us by emailing us at


Join us on Saturday 18 February at 10am - 5pm, Friends House Euston organised by the People's Assembly, Unite the Union, CWU, NUT, Muslim Association of Britain, Stop the War Coalition, Stand up to Racism, and others.

Registration, speakers and agenda will be available soon. 

Check out Facebook Event and share widely
Nearly Two Million people signed the petition calling to 'Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit'It's clear that the majority of people in this country do not want him here. Even John Bercow spoke against the Trump Visit. Despite this, Theresa May has dismissed the wishes of the people and said the visit will go ahead. 

The petition will be debated in Parliament on Monday 20 February. A day of action across the country will take place to coincide with the debate in parliament. 

In London protests will take place in Parliament Square as the reading happens and continue into the evening. In other towns and cities protests will take place and the National Union of Students have called on students to a walk out of lessons. More details of the day of action will be available soon. 

The other key issue is the NHS, already facing a humanitarian crisis, with new Trade deals with the states on the cards, the NHS could be facing it's final moments if we're not ready to stand and fight for it. 

Join us Saturday 4 March, 12pm Tavistock Square for the #OurNHS National Demonstration.  

Click here for the Facebook Event and share widely

See you  on the streets. 

The People's Assembly Against Austerity

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

'1.5 oC to stay alive'?: climate change, imperialism and 'co2lonialism' in the Caribbean

'1.5 oC to stay alive'?: climate change, imperialism and 'co2lonialism' in the Caribbean

Wednesday February 15th, 2017 5:30 PM
UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN
Attendance is free of charge but registration is required
Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins (University of Warwick) - Existing discussions of climate change reduce it to a technical problem to be solved by better science, engineering or economics. Taking responses to climate change in the Caribbean region as case study which is instructive for responses globally, this article examines the social and political relations of climate change to argue for an alternative understanding.
This paper will argue that any analysis of climate change must take into account the ways in which the histories of imperialism and colonialism that have shaped contemporary global ‘development’ pathways. The paper will also chart the ways in which the region’s vulnerability to temperature rises of more than 1.5oC of warming comprise an existential threat that is structured by contemporary social relations which are imperialist in character. I suggest that the only hope for any kind of political and ethical response to climate change must be conceived of in terms of a politics of climate justice which acknowledges the climate debts owed to the region.
Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins : "My work centres on the social relations of climate change, with a particular focus on the Caribbean region. In my research I consider the sociology and politics of climate change in the Caribbean, investigating what climate justice means in the context of global historical, and present, inequalities. I am particularly keen to bring a sociological lens to bear upon what are often very unsociological, and depoliticised, discussions of climate change." Dr Sealey-Huggins is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Global Sustainable Development programme in the School for Cross-Faculty Studies at the University of Warwick.
Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.
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