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The Friday email: 28 June 2024

28 June 2024

UK general election 2024

With the UK general election taking place next week, UCU has set out a bold vision for a fairer and more sustainable post-16 education system that has the interests of students and staff at its heart.

Our manifesto sets out demands for wide-ranging reforms of funding, regulation and staff engagement across further, higher, adult and prison education.

Higher education policy is devolved and many of UCU Scotland's demands are directed to the Scottish rather than UK government. UCU Scotland has a manifesto for this election that members living in Scotland are encouraged to use to contact candidates in the general election.

What you can do in the run up to polling day (Thursday 4 July):

Reclaim Higher Education updates

Last week UCU held a Reclaim HE live event, featuring general secretary Jo Grady, industrial correspondent Alan Jones, Goldsmiths UCU branch and former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell. We reflected upon UCU's demands for the next government and what UCU members can do to continue to push for the radical reform of education that we all need. You can watch this on catch up on YouTube.

Please support the following university branches where UCU members are continuing to defend jobs and education:

  • University of Central Lancashire: an industrial action ballot launched this week over UCLan UCU's dispute with management over job cuts; the ballot will close on 15 July 
  • Goldsmiths, University of Londonthis month UCU announced a global academic boycott of Goldsmiths over management's plans to cut one in six academic jobs. Goldsmiths members are already undertaking a marking boycott and have been striking in a dispute over management's attempt to sack these staff
  • Middlesex University has announced that a further 181 people are at risk of being made redundant. This follows the reduction of teaching disciplines last November where 23 posts were at risk
  • University of Portsmouth: in its ongoing campaign to defend jobs and education at the university, Portsmouth UCU launched an online petition, which has already received over 1,000 signatures, asking for the withdrawal of compulsory redundancies. Please show your support by signing the petition here.

Prison education: unlocking futures

Prison education is in crisis: the funding model does not work and there are significant staff recruitment and retention problems. Prison educators change lives and deserve better. That is why UCU is developing a campaign urging significant reforms. We want to see a prison education service run on a not-for-profit basis, the implementation of Joint Unions in Prisons Alliance safety recommendations, and the application of Fair New Deal for pensions. For further information on the campaign, or to get involved, please contact UCU national organiser Ronnie Kershaw.

Coventry Adult Education Service UCU petition

Coventry Adult Education Service UCU branch are asking for support with signing the e-petition, 'Save the Adult Education Service creches and course provision'

A major restructure was announced in January 2024. The employer's proposals mean creating a mixture of some new lecturing roles on different contracts and redundancy as part of a £700k cost-saving exercise. The service will also lose all seven creche facilities that have been provided to learners' children for many years. Twenty-two out of twenty-three creche staff will be losing their jobs at the end of July.

The Coventry Trades Union Council have put the petition on the Coventry City Council website. Please note that only individuals who live, work or study in the Coventry area are eligible to complete the petition.

Disabled People's Manifesto

The Disabled People's Manifesto, authored by Deaf and Disabled People and Disabled People's Organisations, demands action to address issues faced by disabled people, calls for fundamental change within the UK government and covers vital areas such as representation, rights, independence, and inclusion. See also UCU's equality page for more information.

General secretary hundred day plans: giving members a voice

UCU general secretary Jo Grady has produced a set of discussion documents on the following areas:

  • building local bargaining in higher education
  • building local bargaining in further education
  • building and improving on our equality and policy work
  • building and improving on our legal scheme
  • improving participation in our union's democracy.

Click here to download the hundred day plans document and select a date below to register for an online briefing:

UCU continuing professional development workshops

Join us for the following 90-minute online interactive workshops that are free and open to all UCU members:

Please look out for our Monday CPD email with details of all the online workshops running this term.

Ceasefire NOW!

UCU joins with many others in Palestine, the UK, and beyond to reiterate the demands for an immediate ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, and the lifting of the siege of Gaza. 

We are very concerned by the sharp rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia across the UK and beyond since October. We restate our unwavering opposition to all forms of antisemitism and Islamophobia--hate has no place on our campuses or in our society. UCU also has a dedicated 'Ceasefire Now' web area where you can find downloads, information and resources.

Urgent appeal: support rescue workers in Ukraine

On behalf of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine (NGPU), the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign is organising an appeal to assist a miners' rescue squad in the Donetsk region of East Ukraine, who undertake rescue and firefighting in the towns under regular bombing. Donations will be used to pay for PPE and rescue equipment.

Durham Miners' Gala 2024

Join UCU Northern region and UCU members from all over the UK in Durham on Saturday 13 July 2024. 

Hosted by the Durham Miners' Association (DMA) since 1871, the motto for the Durham Miners' Gala is 'the past we inherit, the future we build'. The Gala is usually the largest trade union and labour movement event in Europe and is a unique and inspiring spectacle. The 138th Durham Miners Gala will also mark the 40th anniversary of the Miners' Strike. Click this page for more information and if you can attend please let us know by completing this very short form by Monday 8 July 2024.

Friday Email will return

Due to essential maintenance, the next Friday Email will be sent out on Monday 8 July and then return to normal on Friday 12 July.

Last updated: 28 June 2024