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240110 TUC protect the right to strike march and rally large

TUC rally on Saturday 27 January: mass UCU turnout needed

11 January 2024

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) have called a rally and protest against the government's outrageous minimum service level legislation. This is the latest in a series of all-out attacks on workers from this government. 

Minimum service levels in education would be a disaster and their plans would attempt to force UCU members to cross their own picket lines. We cannot and will not accept this.

The rally is being held in Cheltenham. It is 40 years since GCHQ workers there had their right to be trade union members removed by the Thatcher government. The subsequent Labour government reversed this.

We should welcome the fact that a major event is being held outside of London. It is important that all branches are represented on the day and we encourage as many members as possible to come along.

The key timings for the day (Saturday 27 January 2024) are set out below:

  • 12 noon: gather at Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham GL50 1UL
  • 12:30: march departs through town centre to Pittville Park (approximately 1 hour walk)
  • 13:30: rally in the Tolpuddle Tent at Pittville Park
  • 15:00: event closes

This is a brilliant opportunity for us to promote the union and our members' causes. The national union will provide merchandise and materials on the day and we encourage everyone attending to wear the union's colours and for branches to bring their banners.

We are also adding political pressure to the government to end their attacks on the right to strike. Earlier this week I, along with general secretaries from other education unions, wrote to our employers. I called on them to join us in setting out their concerns and opposition to the government proposals and to commit to working constructively with us and other education unions. 

We will continue to keep updated with the steps that we are taking to fight these proposals through every avenue. 

See you in Cheltenham.


Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 12 January 2024