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Campaign update: 02 June 2017


General election: vote for education

With the country about to go to the polls in next week's general election UCU has been helping make post-school education a key issue for political parties with our GE2017 and UCU Scotland manifestos. You can compare the main parties' promises on education using our policy comparison page here

UCU's Congress discussed the election last week and while re-emphasising that UCU is not affiliated to any political party decided to recommend to members that on this occasion they vote Labour.  However you vote, please use your democratic right and also encourage students to do the same.

UCU Congress 2017: the challenges facing education and our union

UCU's annual Congress took place over the bank holiday weekend and you can find details of all decisions taken and motions voted on here. Addressing conference, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt delivered a damning critique of the government's record on education and set out the challenges facing the union, including the fight for better pay and conditions, Brexit, funding for further education and building our membership in university and college workplaces. 

Other news this week

1. In the news

  • Why universities need real strength and stability
  • Colleges more confident over finances
  • Universities' race and diversity failings

Read all about it here.

2. Say no to job cuts at University of Manchester

UCU members and students are gearing up for a major campaign at University of Manchester with over 900 staff currently uncertain about their future as management plans to axe 171 jobs. With the university in a strong financial position and no economic rationale for the cuts, the proposals have caused widespread anger and campaigners have reported hundreds attending UCU meetings and volunteering to help oppose job losses. Please sign the petition here and send messages of support to

3. We are international: let's keep it that way  

Find out more about our campaign to defend the rights of EU nationals including posters, stickers, our guide to Brexit and post-school education and legal support for those concerned about your right to work and residency in the UK. 

4. Strike action ballot at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College

Following the closure of the A-level department at the college's Ealing Green site, UCU members are being balloted for strike action over threats of compulsory redundancies and cuts to courses. Union campaigners held protests earlier this year over the decision to axe A-levels, leaving many students stranded halfway through their studies and threatening jobs at the college.   

5. Learning for life: develop your career with UCU's CPD programme

The following courses are available for registration free to UCU members:
Change management, Brighton 19 June
Assertiveness skills, Brighton, 19 June
Classroom management, Exeter, 19 June

6. Lewisham Southwark College UCU campaign to defend jobs and education

Following an organisational review 85 Lewisham Southwark College staff continue to be threatened with compulsory redundancy and members are being balloted for strike action as the union campaigns for jobs and future provision for our students. 

7. Stand up for Sen: reinstate sacked union rep

Please sign the petition to reinstate our rep at the College of North West London, Indro Sen. Sen was sacked for actions in assisting a former colleague at an employment tribunal case and members at the college are currently being balloted for strike action. 

8. Know your rights: London event for fixed and part-time staff

Find out more about your rights at work and our campaign for better contracts in education. A morning workshop for London region members takes place on Wednesday 21 June at UCU headquarters, Carlow Street, NW1 7LH starting at 10:30am. Register by emailing  

9. Heriot-Watt University campaign to save 100 jobs

Please sign the petition calling for no compulsory redundancies at Heriot-Watt University. The employer has just closed its voluntary severance scheme but will not rule out compulsory redundancies. UCU fears jobs are still at risk with the employer citing 'the Brexit effect' as the rationale. 

10. Syria: exiled academics tell their stories

The Council for At Risk Academics (CARA) helps academics in immediate danger and those forced into exile. In this 3 minute video, two CARA fellows from Syria, Reem and Saeed, explore what they had to leave behind, talk about what they are doing now and discuss their hopes of returning in the future. 


Last updated: 23 October 2017