Youth climate strikes

UCU climate emergency update

An update on various recent developments around UCU's climate emergency work.

Teach the Future: 'write to your MP'

UCU is proud to be supporting Teach the Future alongside SOS-UK and UKSCN  and we are urging all our members to answer the call to support this campaign and write to your MP. A model letter can be found here and members are encouraged to get students to write to their MPs too! Please share on social media and tag @UCU @sosukcharity and #teachthefuture

Teaching & learning about climate change: five minute survey

UCU and SOS-UK are researching educators' experiences of teaching and learning about climate change. You can answer this short survey even if you don't currently or have never delivered any teaching or learning activities related to climate change:

Please share the link so that we can have as many members feed into this research as possible.

Climate Themed Learning Week 10-14 February

Climate Themed Learning Week was held during 10-14 February and our website, which contains a range of resources and ideas, has been really very well received. You can find a wealth of ideas and resources on a special campaign website here. We have received such positive feedback from members (and from external organisations) that we are currently exploring keeping this as a permanent curriculum resource which we can continue to use and update on an on-going basis.

It was also cited in this recent Guardian article.

At the launch of the climate learning week, shadow chancellor John McDonnell called on students to change the mindset of politicians.

We are really keen to know what members and branches did during the week - please contact Marianne Quick so we can collate case studies for our website.

Cradle to Grave conference - Climate Change, Power & Society

On Saturday 8 February, UCU held its annual Cradle to Grave conference at the TUC Congress Centre in London with the theme: 'Climate change, power and society'. 

The event was extremely well attended and it was great to see some of you there. The general secretary, Dr Jo Grady, in her speech gave the commitment that the climate emergency would continue to be a priority area for UCU. A key feature of this is the development of a Green New Deal for colleges and universities which we are looking to launch at Congress 2020.

One of the key pieces of feedback from the conference was how we can facilitate a network of our green reps. We now have over 300 green workplace reps. A network will be an important development if we are to make real changes in the immediate and long-term future. We are now exploring how best we can facilitate such a network in order that you can all share your experiences and support one another in holding our employers to account over the climate emergency.

Trade unions and the environment: green reps role, function & influence April 2020, London

This one day introductory course is for new and existing green reps who have yet to complete training in this area. The course is also open to any other branch reps who have an interest in environmental issues at work.

Apply for the course in London here.

The course will cover the outline below, but we will also look at how the role can influence the bargaining agenda of the branch:

  • the role and function of a green rep
  • how the role integrates with branch structure
  • how to progress issues with the employer
  • organising and involving members
  • campaigning around local and national priorities.

Coming soon...

We are in the process for planning fringe meetings at UCU's annual congress in May to cover divestment (alongside USSDIVEST and People and Planet) and also to see the launch of a model green new deal claim for colleges and universities which branches can lodge with their employers. This will cover negotiating and bargaining advice for branches to submit to their employers to include: divestment, curriculum, travel policies and facilities time for green reps.

There will also be an advanced green reps course in early June - dates to be confirmed.

Last updated: 13 February 2020