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Protest Against Austerity

30 JUNE – STRIKE FOR OUR FUTURE!

Today’s students are tomorrow’s pensioners…

30 June – Strike for our future!

On June 30 nearly a million workers could be on strike together, from the PCS, UCU, NUT and ATL unions. This includes teachers and education workers in schools, colleges and universities.

Workers are striking to stop changes to their pension schemes. Bosses and the government want workers to pay more and receive less. Some workers could lose tens of thousands of pounds that they have already paid in.

Young people who have already been hit by education cuts, tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA would also have to look forward to growing old in poverty. French students took action alongside workers to defend pensions last year. Their slogan was “today’s students are tomorrow’s pensioners.”

Student protests alone caused a major crisis for this government. Students and workers together can take the resistance to cuts even further.

Resources:

Facebook event for 30 June: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=227447003939150

Strike petition for students: http://educationactivistnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/30-june-petition.pdf

Strike leaflet for students: http://educationactivistnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/leaflet-may.pdf

“Strike for our future” poster: http://educationactivistnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/todays-students-tomorrows-pensioners.pdf

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Education Crisis

IN DEFENCE OF TEACHER EDUCATION

On the launch of the SCETT Publication: In Defence of Teacher Education (March 2011), Professor Dennis Hayes, Hon. Secretary, the Standing Committee for the Education and Training of Teachers (SCETT) said:

“Today SCETT publishes this important short work, In Defence of Teacher Education, which provides a unique defence of education as a field of study essential for future teachers. It is addressed to the Coalition government but should be read by all teachers, teacher trainers, academics and all those with an interest in ensuring that our children are taught by teachers who understand what they are doing and who believe that teaching is a profession and not merely a ‘craft’.  

The 15 contributors include leaders from all the major teaching trade unions, national educational organisations and distinguished academics. If the Coalition is serious about developing their thinking about teacher education they must engage with the arguments that SCETT’s contributors present and we are happy to discuss them with Mr Gove, Mr Gibb, Mr Hayes and their advisors.”

For further information and comment contact:

Dennis Hayes – Tel: 07791 200 341 – Email: d.hayes@derby.ac.uk

At the SCETT Website: http://www.scett.org.uk/activities/in-defence-of-teacher-education.aspx

In Defence of Teacher Education (PDF): http://www.scett.org.uk/media/3583/in_defence_of__teacher_education_scett_march_2011.pdf

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Education Crisis

NEW FRONTS IN THE FIGHT FOR EDUCATION

1. Thursday 24th February: Day X4

Walk out for education

Today’s papers have been full of reports that Oxford and Cambridge are set to charge the maximum £9,000 tuition fees and speculation that other universities could soon follow suit. An education from a top university could soon cost over £30,000 in fees alone. Leading vice-chancellors have already publicly urged MPs to back huge rises in tuition fees, a measure they believe is ‘reasonable’ – but these same Vice Chancellors are some of the highest paid bosses in the public sector with most receiving more than £200,000 a year.

The Vice Chancellors’ lobby group Universities UK will be holding its Spring Conference on Thursday 24th February – and students will be taking to the streets in protest for Day X4. Walkouts and protests in London will converge in a mass picket of the Universities UK conference, and this will be replicated by campus protests across the country.

For more information download the flyer to or join the event on Facebook (and invite all your friends):

* Flyer for LONDON

* Flyer for OUTSIDE LONDON

Event page on FACEBOOK

2. Support the Strike

Students and staff unite for education

Last term students walked out and occupied to try and defeat the introduction of tuition fees and abolition of EMA. This term it could be our lecturers who take action. Every UCU member in Higher and Further Education is being balloted over strike action to defend jobs, pay and pensions.

The experience at King’s, Sussex and Leeds last year shows that when students come out and mobilise in support of strike action by staff it creates a united defence of education that can win real results. We encourage all student supporters of EAN to do everything they can to get their classmates to support the strike.

EAN strike leaflet

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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Austerity

CRITICAL LABOUR STUDIES 7th SYMPOSIUM

19th and 20th February 2011
Location: The Manchester Museum , The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester

PROGRAMME:

SATURDAY

9.00-9.30 – Registration

9.30 – 11.00 – Restructuring and Unions

‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Culture? Industrial Restructuring and Culture Change: The Strategic Response of Organised Labour’ – Discussion generated by Bill Gray, Convenor, (Tata, Corus UK, Scunthorpe) and Ian Greenwood, (Leeds University Business School, Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change, CERIC).

‘Changing union and management strategies in a context of restructuring, marketisation and privatisation – the CWU in Royal Mail’ – Stephen Mustchin, David Beale, (University of Manchester )

‘Milking the Masses for Inspiration’: The Outsourcing of Creative Labour by Apple and Google’ Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn (Luleå University of Technology) Debra Howcroft (University of Manchester)

11.00-11.15. Coffee and Tea

11.15-12.15 Migration, Exploitation and Labour

‘Networks of Support for New Migrant Communities: Institutional Goals versus Substantive Goals?’ Robert MacKenzie, Chris Forde and Zinovijus Ciupijus, (Leeds University Business School)

‘Lets get back to normal’? Migrant workers, sectarianism and some problems with the labour movement in the north of Ireland ” Brian Garvey, Paul Stewart, Jolanta Kulinska, Sherley Dolo, Andrius Cislikaukas

12.15 – 1.00 Lunch

1.00-2.00 Activism and New Agendas in the Current Climate

‘Who is The Activist?   Biographies of worker activists from the North East’ John Stirling (University of Northumbria) and Jo McBride (University of Bradford), Discussant: Shirley Winter

‘Prevailing languages of class – fairness and equality in trade union discourse’ Sian Moore (London Metropolitan University)

2.00-3.00 – Communities, Renewal and the Worker Representation

‘Active unions, active communities: a local example of trade union/community engagement’ Jane Holgate CERIC Leeds University and John Page, Secretary of Hackney Unite

‘The Role of Trades Councils’ Geoff Brown Secretary of Manchester Trades Council

‘Developing the Trade Union Branch: the case of the UCU’ Beverley Woodburn UCU

3.00-3.30 Coffee and Tea

3.30 – 4.30 Politics, Academics and Worker Struggle

‘The BA Dispute in 2010’ – Speaker from UNITE BASSA

‘Objective but Not Detached: In Defence of Partisanship in Employment Relations Research’ Professor Ralph Darlington University of Salford

4.30 Book Launch

Tommy McKearney IWU – organized labour and politics in Northern Ireland ‘From Insurrection to Parliament’ (Pluto Books)

5.30 CLOSE OF DAY

SUNDAY

9.00-9.30 Coffee and Tea

9.30-10.45 Left Behind: Young Workers

‘Young workers in crisis’ – three presentations – Lef Kretsos (Coventry University), Mel Simms, Manuela Galetto (Warwick University)

‘Emerging prospects and constraints on getting labour history into the schools: a US perspective’ Anthony Tambureno (West Virginia University)

10.45-12.00 Internationalism and Work

‘International Political Economy of Work and Employability‘ Phoebe Moore, Salford University

‘Flexicurity and atypical employment as integrated parts of the new neoliberal employment agenda: a view from Greece and the European South.’ Stelios Gialis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

‘China and the International Labour Movement’, Charles Umney, University of Leeds

12.00-12.30 LUNCH

12.30 -2.00 – The End of the Public and Free University Britain ?

Cases from the frontline: UWE (Andy Danford, UWE) and Sian Moore (London Metropolitan),

Discussion

2.00- 3.00 CLS Meeting

Finish 3.00

Organisers: Jane Holgate, Debra Howcroft, Miguel Martinez Lucio, and Jo McBride
Contact: miguel.martinezlucio@manchester.ac.uk, or debra.howcroft@mbs.ac.uk

Cheques for £60 (waged) or £40 (unwaged) (which includes all food and refreshments) should be made out to ‘Critical Labour Studies’ and sent to Miguel Martinez Lucio (staff), Manchester University , PMO Division, Manchester Business School, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB.

Please do confirm you are coming so we can plan the catering and support

For Updates, Changes and Accommodation Links Check – http://criticallabourstudies.org.uk/site  
For Hotels in Manchester you can try: http://www.booking.com/city/gb/manchester.html
Manchester Business School has some cheaper accommodation: http://www.mbs.ac.uk/aboutus/conference-hotel/hotel-services.aspx

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Critical Hope

POINTS-BASED IMMIGRATION IN CONTEXT

Points-Based Immigration in Context: Research and Campaign Strategies

http://www.pbiscampaigning.org/

Conference 16th October 2010
10am-4pm
University of London Union
Malet Street
London WC1

This conference will present new research on issues related to the points-based immigration system (PBIS) as it affects Further and Higher Education. This is a system that unfairly restricts the ability of international students and staff to come to the UK, turns staff into immigration officials and treats international students as potential threats to national security.

The conference will assess:

a) The wider significance of immigration;

b) The full consequences of PBIS on the university;

c) The characteristics of new systems of regulation and surveillance in universities and colleges.

The conference aims to offer both expertise in research but also a focus for campaigners who object to the fundamentally discriminatory nature of the rules.

Speakers:

Les Back (Goldsmiths)

Tom Hickey (Brighton)

Georg Menz (Goldsmiths)

Liz Fekete (Institute of Race Relations)

Edgar Whitley (LSE)

Valerie Hartwich (Manifesto Club)

Joel Heyes (UKBA worker and PCS rep)

Susan Robertson (Bristol)

Andy Goffey (Middlesex)

Su-Anne Yeo (Goldsmiths)

Clare Solomon (ULU)

This event is free of charge. Please go to the ‘contact’ page to register: http://www.pbiscampaigning.org/contact

Supported by Universities and Colleges Union, University of London Union, Manifesto Club and the Centre for Cultural Studies, Department of Politics, Department of Media & Communications at Goldsmiths

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Education Crisis

EDUCATION ACTIVIST NETWORK MEETING

Education Activist Network 

The last few weeks have seen the Con-Dem government up the ante on austerity, suggesting first 25% and then as much as 40% could be cut from parts of the public sector, including education.  When the academic year starts again after summer it will be in the context of an unprecedented attack on jobs and education.

We will also have opportunities to draw the resistance together around national strike ballots in the UCU and a national demonstration from NUS.  The Education Activist Network national conference on 31st October can be an important part in this process. 

To discuss the lessons of recent struggles and the prospects for those ahead, and particularly to get involved with planning and building for the national conference, come to our organising meeting:

6:30pm Wednesday 14th July

King’s College London

Room D11, French Department, East Wing, Strand WC2

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Education Crisis

EDUCATION DAY OF ACTION

Day of action on Monday

This Monday 21st June has been declared a day of action for education by a coalition of education unions, with protests organized at colleges and universities across the country.  A full list of these protests is available at http://unitedforeducation.org.uk/21-june-whats-happening-where-you-are/

In London there are a number of rallies and protests, mostly at around noon, but some in particular deserve support.

At University of the Arts, UCU members will be on strike on the day with picket lines at 272 High Holborn, Central St Martins, Chelsea School of Art and Design and London College of Communications as well as a rally at 12.30pm at Chelsea College of Art.  At Westminster University where UCU members face up to 50 percent pay docking for taking action short of a strike over job losses there is a rally at 12pm at the Regent Street site (309 Regent Street).

3pm, London South Bank University

At LSBU where management are breaking from national bargaining, the joint trade union action group has called a protest at 3pm and is asking other colleges and universities to join them.  Many universities and colleges holding rallies at 12noon or 1pm, and should aim to send support to South Bank afterwards.  Student campaign groups from Middlesex University and King’s College London will be coming, and we call on students and education workers from across London to join them.

Education Activist Network National Autumn Conference

31st December – save the date

In the new academic year we will be holding a conference to build our resistance to David Willetts’ cuts and “reforms”.  After the success of our February teach-in we have high hopes.  More details of speakers and participants will follow soon, but activists should save the date and aim to win support from their union branch or campaign group.

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Philosophy

MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY PHILOSOPHY CAMPAIGN – UPDATE 26th MAY 2010

Campaign update Wednesday 26 May 2010 (http://savemdxphil.com/)

1. John Protevi and Todd May have posted a petition calling for an international academic boycott of Middlesex University, http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/academic-boycott-of-middlesex-university.html. Several hundred well-placed people have already signed it, in the space of a few hours. Please spread the word about this, far & wide.

2. The poet Michael Rosen renounced his visiting professor at Middlesex today. He explained that “On account of the action of Middlesex University over the Philosophy Department, I would like to inform Professor Ahmad that I would like to renounce my visiting professorship. I do not wish to be a visiting professor at Middlesex University. Best wishes, Michael Rosen.”

3. This morning, professors Osborne and Hallward were denied managerial permission to attend an emergency meeting of their union, the UCU, scheduled for Friday 28 May. They were also denied permission to attend the UCU annual general meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, and a meeting of the University’s self-constituted Professors Group.

4. Collective pressure to greylist i.e. boycott Middlesex University is growing rapidly. The external examiners for the Middlesex Philosophy department have already announced their refusal to collaborate with next month’s assessment boards, and colleagues in other departments may soon follow suit. A boycott by external examiners will have a significant and immediate impact on the University.

5. Last Friday Middlesex management told the four suspended students that their hearings would take place this Friday 28 May at the Hendon campus. Fiona Fall, who will preside over the hearings, suddenly decided this morning that it would be ‘better for the students’ to hold the meeting at Trent Park instead, since it is their ‘home campus.’ The four students explained that they would nonetheless prefer for the hearing to go ahead at Hendon as originally planned. But Fiona Fall has made up her mind. ‘As my understanding is that a rally of support is being organised at Hendon,’ she told one of the students, ‘I have decided that Trent Park continues to be the best most calm place to hold the hearings for both students and the panel.’

5. Confirmed speakers for the rally at Hendon on Thursday 27 May from 4pm include Alex Callinicos (KCL), Richard George (Campaign for Better Transport; Plane Stupid), Paul Gilroy (LSE), Nina Power (Roehampton), Jim Wolfreys (UCU), among others. Please circulate the rally announcement and flyer (http://savemdxphil.com/) to everyone who might be sympathetic.

The Campaign
26 May 2010.

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Higher Education Crisis

KING’S COLLEGE LONDON STRIKE ON THURSDAY 6th MAY

UCU is seeking a halt to the redundancy process underway at King’s which has seen 164 jobs put at risk.

A major feature of the strike held by UCU members at King’s on 30 March was the solidarity shown by other universities and colleges, and by local workplaces. On Wednesday 5 May higher, further and adult education institutions across London will be on strike. King’s will also be out on strike on Thursday 6 May.

Staff and students at King’s are holding a public meeting to discuss how we can build the resistance underway against education cuts.

King’s blog site: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/unions/ucu

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STAFF AND STUDENTS RECLAIM KING’S COLLEGE LONDON

Last Tuesday’s (30 March) strike in defence of education at King’s exceeded all expectations. More than 250 people joined loud and vibrant picket lines on all four King’s campuses. Security guards at one campus indicated that numbers entering their building were as much as 75% down. At the main building on the Strand only a small trickle of students and staff went in.

Support for the strike was boosted after the latest hapless intervention by senior management, who refused to allow non-UCU staff to take annual leave yesterday. This prompted more than sixty of those obliged to work on the Strand to sign a card expressing solidarity with the pickets. Members of other unions on all sites brought refreshments out to colleagues on strike and stood with them during breaks. Local cafes displayed UCU material explaining our reasons for striking. Students brought cakes for pickets, played musical instruments, set up stalls and hung a huge banner over the entrance to the Strand: ‘Education massacre: do not enter.’

Messages of support have flooded in from King’s alumni, students and non-UCU staff, as well as from universities and colleges across the country. Colleagues brought solidarity greetings and donations in person from UCL, Westminster, QMW, London Metropolitan University, the Institute of Education, Southwark College, City and Islington College, Tower Hamlets College, the University of the Arts and the London Nautical School. Supporters also came along from local workplaces, including the National Theatre and the National Gallery, and from other unions, including the NUT, PCS, Unite and Unison.

Around 50 people attended a lunchtime rally at Waterloo, while more than 200 students joined pickets for a rally on the Strand, which took place in an electric atmosphere. The huge crowd heard speeches from UCU representatives at King’s and elsewhere, from members of other unions and from a Sussex student who told of their struggles with their own management. Many students heard for the first time of the appalling treatment of our colleagues in Engineering by King’s management. The ‘We Support our Teachers’ campaign was a lively presence throughout the day. Dozens of students expressed their disdain at the way the College’s senior management addresses them in Orwellian ‘Newspeak’. Many have written to the Principal and Vice-Principal complaining that they feel patronised by senior management.

Our campaign in defence of education at King’s is partly about our colleagues’ livelihoods, and about the lack of regard shown to them by senior management. But it is clear that it is also about much more than this. The creeping culture of managerialism in universities is also an issue. The support we have received from students, and from colleagues who are either members of other unions, or not yet members of UCU, is an indication that this campaign is also about defending the values that underpin education at King’s and elsewhere, which include collegiality, respect for individuals, cooperation, intellectual integrity and academic independence.

The verve, humour, creativity and imagination of yesterday’s pickets offered us all a glimpse of the potential that exists within this institution for staff and students to make education at King’s more rewarding and more enjoyable. All too often this potential is either stifled or by-passed by the dead hand of senior management.

Our thanks and congratulations go to all who took part yesterday, and to everyone who showed their support for our campaign. Senior management teams across the country are offering no resistance to government cuts. They are determined to follow the example set by King’s and impose redundancies and department closures on their staff and students. The magnificent collective response to these attacks that we have seen at Leeds, Sussex, Kent and King’s is a powerful reminder to all that if we stand together we can defend our education system from the ministers and managers who want to turn it into a marketplace.

Jim Wolfreys

President KCL UCU

Please continue to send donations and messages of support to: ucu@kcl.ac.uk

For more information on our dispute see: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ucu

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KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, TUESDAY 30 MARCH: CELEBRATE RESISTANCE TO EDUCATION CUTS!

Tuesday 30 March will see the first ever local strike against management by UCU members at King’s College London. We have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action against a £27m cuts programme that has put 205 jobs at risk of redundancy, with more to follow. 

* Whole departments are set to close – Engineering, Dental Mictobiology, American Studies, Equality and Diversity – with other areas also under threat – Palaeography, Logic, Linguistics, the Institute of Psychiatry, Biomedical and Health Sciences.

* All this in a College where 202 staff earn over £100k a year, with a combined salary bill of £29m, and where a £100k salary cap would save £9m a year.

* Management have by-passed the proper channels of consultation to impose redundancies. Most staff learned that the country’s oldest Engineering department was to close via the College’s website, before any formal consultation had taken place.

All this helps explain why King’s staff returned the highest proportion of votes in our union’s history (85%) for some form of industrial action. But this fight is not about King’s alone. If our management’s redundancies are not stopped, it will give confidence to every management team in higher, further and adult education, who believe that the top-down management model in place at King’s can impose cuts on everyone, everywhere. More seriously, it will convince any future government that education is a soft target as they try to recoup the billions spent on the banking sector.
 
Speaking at King’s four days before the strike Tony Benn told students and staff that, ‘What you’re doing is educating College management in the importance of education.’ At a time when Peter Mandelson is attempting to prevent young people from going to university, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is contemplating cuts that will be ‘worse than Thatcher’, we also need to educate the present government, and its successor, about the importance of education. So our fight is also your fight.
 
We are calling on everyone to join us on our picket lines (7am to 5pm) on Tuesday 30 March. We want our strike to be a lively celebration of resistance to cuts and a demonstration of our resolve to defend our colleagues’ jobs and our students’ education.
 
Join our rallies on Tuesday, open to everyone:
 
Tues 30 March 1pm KCL Strand and Waterloo site entrances
http://www.kcl.ac.uk/about/campuses/strand.html
http://www.kcl.ac.uk/about/campuses/waterloo.html

Tues 30 March 6pm London School of Economics, U8, Tower One, Ground Floor http://www2.lse.ac.uk/mapsAndDirections/findingYourWayAroundLSE.aspx
 
Please send donations and messages of support to: ucu@kcl.ac.uk
 
For more information on our dispute see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ucu
 
In solidarity,
 
Jim Wolfreys, President KCL UCU 

Justine Stephens, Head of Campaigns, UCU, Carlow Street, London, NW1 7LH

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SOLIDARITY WITH THE KCL STRIKE

Lecturers at King’s College London have voted to take strike action this Tuesday – in a ballot that broke the record set at Sussex two weeks ago, which in turn had broken the record set last month in Leeds.  There is a report from the KCL dispute on the Guardian website.  It ends by asking readers “If jobs must go, how should it be done?” – but recent battles at Leeds and Kent put us in a good position to respond: No ifs, no buts, no education cuts!

Now that King’s is in the eye of the storm, solidarity from across the sector is crucial.  Nearly 1000 staff and students came together to march on London this Saturday against education cuts, and now we need to throw that same unity behind the KCL dispute.  Use the attached collection sheet to get donations in your college or workplace, and send photos of yourself holding up the placard to educationactivist@googlemail.com

Click here to download placard

Click here to download collection sheet

Other reports

This Saturday up to 1000 students and education workers demonstrated against the cuts http://wp.me/sPFyW-128

A united staff and student campaign has defeated compulsory redundancies in Uni of Kent http://wp.me/pPFyW-1T

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