Category Archives: Education

Decolonising education: confronting racism on campus

Speakers include:

Kate Osamor MP • Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, poet and activist • Priya Gopal, Academic at University of Cambridge • Nita Sanghera, UCU Vice-President • Myriam Kane, NUS NEC • Naima Omar, Student Stand Up to Racism • more tbc

Sessions include:
Decolonising education • Challenging Islamophobia and Prevent • Kicking fascists off campus • Defending migrant students & workers • Confronting institutional racism

We have seen a massive rise in racism across society, from Tommy Robinson here to Trump in the US.

Students are often on the sharp end of this. Muslim students are treated as suspects from the Prevent agenda, EU nationals have their rights threatened by Brexit, and BAME students face institutional racism.

We have also recently seen attempts by the far right to gain a foothold on campus with groups like Generation Identity appearing at universities including Manchester, Bristol, Wolverhampton and Birkbeck.

This conference will bring together students, staff and education workers to discuss how we can decolonise our campuses and make them free from racism.

#LoveOurColleges – lobby/demo/rally

We are seeking help in promoting the #LoveOurColleges campaign against cuts in FE in England.  This will centre around a week of action, beginning on 15th October.  In addition to a media splash on the Monday and local activity on the Tuesday (more info to follow in due course) the week of action will include a demo, parliamentary lobby and rally in Westminster on:

Wednesday 17th October 2018

 #LoveOurColleges is being organised by a campaign coalition, which in addition to UNISON includes UCU, GMB, NUS, NEU, ASCL and the employers body Association of Colleges.

Three key actions we are looking for help with are as follows:

  1. Ensure FE members across all unions know about the event, encourage them to commit to attending and discuss joint travel arrangements with other unions at their colleges.  UCU in particular are laying on coaches.
  2. Intelligence on how many members are attending and from where etc.  This is a joint campaign with the AoC, college principals are being encouraged to allow staff to take time off from work to take part in the event.
  3. Activists should share info about the lobby etc. on social media.  Here are the twitter and facebook event links https://twitter.com/hashtag/loveourcolleges   https://www.facebook.com/events/2220544781546432

The timetable for the day is as follows:

11.30am – 12.30pm: Coaches arrive in London. Drop-off likely to be Waterloo Place (where march will form up). Provision to be made for those who may wish to go directly to Westminster rather than join the march, (venue TBC, likely Methodist Central Hall) with staff on hand to sign in, provide briefings and any other support.

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Union-led march from Waterloo Place to Parliament Square – all welcome. Others to have lunch, or begin holding meetings with MPs.

1.30pm – 2.30pm: Rally in Parliament Square. All encouraged to join.  (UNISON has a speaker slot at this, though as its the day of the NEC the speaker is still tbc)

2.30pm – 5.30pm: Lobby of parliament.

New school year, same funding crisis

As schools across the country prepare to open their gates, the school funding crisis is deepening.
91% of schools will have lower per pupil funding in 2019/20 than in 2015/16. Every day headteachers will have to make difficult decisions – decisions about which basic supplies they can afford, which staff will have reduced hours because there’s simply not enough money.
But don’t just take our word for it. Courageous heads like Robin Bevan are speaking out about how these cuts are affecting children.

Want to know more about UCU members’ fight to defend their pension scheme?

UCU’s higher education committee says serious and sustained industrial action is required in the face of damaging proposals from the employers which would effectively destroy the USS pension scheme.

Information for those affected by the strikes: Why we’re taking action over USS

The employers want to end guaranteed pension benefits.

They say your final pension should depend on how your ‘investments’ perform and not on your contributions.

We say it’s wrong to risk our members’ futures.

Fighting fund

Information about how to donate to the UCU fighting fund is here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/fightingfund

Make a direct bank transfer, or set up a regular standing order, to:
Account name: UCU Fighting Fund
Sort code: 60-83-01
Account no: 20179432
Reference: ‘Fighting Fund Voluntary Levy’

or send a cheque (payable to ‘University and College Union’) to:
Fighting Fund donation
Finance Dept
University and College Union
Carlow Street
London
NW1 7LH

Demonstration

The London demonstration on 28 February has a webpage here: https://uculondonregion.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/education-demonstration-28-feb

Against Underhill Ark Academy

The Mayor, Sadiq, passed this back to the local Council. Residents are upset by conservative councillors such as Wendy Prentice who made deeply derogatory comments in public – at Town Hall planning meeting – about the existing local secondary school – TTA – (The Totteridge Academy) (see Facebook link).

Ark Pioneer, is planned to stand across the road from TTA, which is currently achieving good GCSE results and has renewed local backing, as well as spare capacity.

Some residents will go into the office to see the Conservatives. Please support the protest outside the office on:

10th January, SATURDAY. 10.00 am to noon.

Venue: Conservative HQ , High Barnet – 163 Barnet High Road.

Thanks!

UCU Strike Brighton University Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th

Members of the UCU at the University of Brighton will walk out on strike on Thursday at 1pm in dispute about compulsory redundancies. They will continue their strike on Friday and then begin a work-to-contract the following Monday. Further strike action is planned for December. The action follows a ballot which returned majorities in favour of action of more than 85%.

If you can head down to any of the Uni sites from 8pm on Friday to show support on the picket lines please do.

Please send messages of support to ucubrighton@gmail.com

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