Solidarity and Wider Campaigns:

1. UCU disputes across the UK

Our branch is not alone in its dispute with University management. UCU branches across the UK are fighting to defend jobs and conditions as the Covid-19 crisis continues to hit education sectors hard.

Please check this page for a round-up of the on-going campaigns and requests of support. Our branch will continue to send solidarity messages to our colleagues.

2. Research by Durham University on wellbeing during Covid-19

A team of researchers based in the Department of Psychology at Durham University is developing a research project that explores the impact of social class on the wellbeing of UK university staff during the Covid-19 pandemic and they are asking for participants to the survey they recently launched. With the aim of impacting on policy, they are requesting support from staff at a range of universities and employed in a wide variety of roles. Please use this link to access the survey or visit the project on Twitter: @SESWellbeing_HE.

3.  Black Lives Matter

In the last month or so, two Black men have been killed after contact with the police in South Wales. Following the death of Mohamud Hassan, who was tasered more than once and came into contact with 52 officers during his short stay at the South Wales Police station in Cardiff, another young black man, Moyied Bashir, died recently after being aggressively restrained by the police at his home in Gwent, whilst in a mental health crisis. You can read more about Moyied’s case here and support his family’s campaign to bring justice for him here.

Solidarity & Wider Campaigns (February 18th 2021:

1. Rural Primary School Closures 

 

A number of primary schools in Wales are at risk of closure with the implications that some pupils might have to attend school in England (without the possibility to learn Welsh) and/or travel greater distances to reach school. Schools are very important to small communities and governments should be investing in more schools with fewer pupils rather than fewer schools with more pupils. You can read more about it in this Guardian article  and sign the following petitions against the closure of two Welsh schools:

Ysgol Mynyddygarreg.

Churchstoke Community Primary School.

 

2. Free School Meals in Wales 

 

Child poverty across Wales, and the UK, is on the rise but the Welsh Senedd if failing to act on this, namely by refusing to provide free school meals to all Welsh children or even to expand their eligibility (currently only available to households with less than around 7K/year), despite pressure from a number of Welsh councils and groups like People’s Assembly Wales or the Child Poverty Action Group. It is even more shocking that in England and Scotland all children get free meals in the first three years of primary school but in Wales they don’t. You can support the campaigns requesting free school meals to all children and requesting guidelines on how these are delivered during the pandemic by signing the following petitions for the Welsh Senned:

Free school meals for all pupils in Wales

Revise the guidance for Free School Meals, removing the option for delivery of food parcels 

Solidarity and Wider Campaigns (April 22nd 2021):

1. Stand Up for Sleep-In Pay Unison Campaign

On 19 March 2021, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that care workers’ sleep-in shifts do not count as working time and do not need to be paid in line with the National Minimum Wage.

The decision is an insult to care workers who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic – and there are real concerns that some employers will now use this as an opportunity to cut care workers’ sleep-in rates.

You can sign a petition to show your support for care workers and send a message to the Prime Minister here.

2. Kill the Bill Protests

The Police and Crime Bill is a new piece of draft legislation that includes major government plans on crime and justice in England and Wales and, among other things, will hand police and the Home Secretary greater powers to crack down on protests. This can have great implications for Trade Unions and our ability to effectively organize industrial action (our main bargaining power). Protests against the bill have been going ahead in England and Wales since it was announced and have already resulted in a delay of amendment votes by the bill committee, now scheduled for June. Protests will continue to maintain the pressure and resist this dangerous bill. A strong union presence is paramount.

People’s Assembly Wales shares regular updates and details of protests in Cardiff on their Facebook page and you can also subscribe to their mailing list by contacting them on cardiffpeoplesassembly@gmail.com

Solidarity and Wider Campaigns (March 31st 2021):

1. Support Independent Media

Independent media platforms are increasingly important as mainstream media becomes more dependent on political and economic powers.

voice.wales is a media platform giving voice to workers in Wales and the people and topics often ignored or misrepresented by mainstream media. voice.wales has covered UCU disputes and issues faced by Cardiff University staff many times, including twice this year. Please consider supporting them by subscribing to their website: https://www.voice.wales/

 

2. British Gas 

British Gas is forcing its workers to accept a 15% pay cut, on top of worsening terms and conditions, or face getting the sack. British Gas workers have been striking for weeks about this, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the news. The more companies get away with putting the brunt of the pandemic onto the workers, the bigger the post-pandemic crisis will be. Please help their action by signing a petition against making workers choose between accepting a 15% pay cut or losing their jobs and by sharing their struggle widely.

Solidarity and Wider Campaigns (March 26th 2021):

1. UN Anti-Racism Day – #WorldAgainstRacism
Saturday 20 March marked the UN Anti-Racism Day and events were organised by the Trade Union Council (TUC) and Stand Up To Racism to renew the commitment to oppose racism across the world. You can read about the protests all over the world here.

2. Solidarity with Bristol – End Police Brutality
Over the last weeks, large protests have been organized around the UK against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021, which increases police powers to target protests (with potential implications for industrial action) and to target Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

As news from the violence during the protests in Bristol earlier this week emerged, what initially seemed the result of the violent nature of the protest (police officers reported to be severely injured, police vans set on fire and the police station vandalized) was shown to be only one side of the story. The police retracted claims of grave injuries, journalists reported being harassed by the police and unable to carry out their jobs, and demonstrators claimed that the protest was peaceful until the police charged at them with horses, dogs, pepper spray and batons.

In the aftermath of police violence at the vigil for Sarah Everard in London, and the ongoing cases of two young black men who recently died after contact with South Wales police, the violence against protesters in Bristol continues the worrying trend of excessive use of force by the police, legitimized by the new bill.

A protest in Cardiff to resist this is going ahead TODAY at 6pm by the City Centre Police Station.

Solidarity and Campaigns (March 18th 2021):

1. Sexual Violence in the Workplace
UCU national put together a survey for members on sexual violence in the workplace. Please use the links below to take the survey – there are separate surveys for caseworkers/reps and members with no official role in the Union. You can find more information about UCU sexual violence task group here.
Caseworker/rep survey
Members survey

2. Closure of Newcastle Universitys London campus
Newcastle University’s London campus is set to close on 31 September 2021, and staff face the prospect of either a move to Newcastle or redundancy. Please sign this petition questioning and challenging the rationale for the closure of the London campus and rejecting the inadequate compensation that has currently been offered to staff for either relocation or redundancy if this goes ahead.

3. Global Women’s Strike (GWS)
GWS is an international network campaigning for a living wage for mothers and other carers, co-ordinated by the International Wages for Housework Campaign & the author and activist Selma James. You can find more information on their website and follow this link to endorse their open letter to governments demanding a Care Income for all caring workers.

4. People’s Assembly Wales Campaign – Free School Meals
Earlier this month, a Scottish budget was passed that will roll out free school meals to ALL primary school children in Scotland by August 2022. The Welsh budget, passed last week, will continue to deny free school meals to over half of children in poverty in Wales.

You can watch here the People’s Assembly Wales Rally for International Women’s Day – Poverty is a Feminist Issue, which included a message of solidarity to the Free School Meals campaign by our Anti-casualisation Officer Renata Medeiros.

Solidarity and Wider Campaigns (March 4th 2021):

1. UCU Solidarity Movement

Solidarity has always been at the heart of the trade union movement and the Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated once again why that is so important. UCU has a new movement to build solidarity among branches and with other unions and causes across the UK and the world. You can keep updated on the actions and event of the movement here.

You can also sign up to the mailing list here, or follow the movement on facebook or twitter using: #UCUsolidaritymovement.

2. Prison education – has your MP signed the motion?

UCU has worked with MPs in Westminster to get a parliamentary motion tabled calling for more investment in prison education technology and greater support for staff and prisoners. You can read the motion in full here.

Please contact your own MP and encourage them to add their name to the current list of signatories, you can find your MP’s contact details here.

Solidarity and Wider Campaigns (11th February 2021):

1. Solidarity with other UCU branches 

 

Brighton strike to defend IT jobs

Members at University of Brighton are taking strike action next week 8-12 February over plans to make IT staff compulsorily redundant. Please tweet support to #SaveBrightonITstaff.

To make donations to their strike fund please use:

UCU Brighton University SO224

Sort code: 608301

Ac. no. 40000280

 

Stop job cuts at University of Leeds: sign the petition 

The University of Leeds is proposing job cuts in medicine and biological sciences. The university refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies, reports an operating surplus of 38 million pounds and has failed to provide any financial rationale for the cuts.

 Please sign their petition to stop job cuts here.

 

University of Liverpool threat to jobs and Covid research 

University of Liverpool UCU branch is consulting members over potential industrial action to stop plans to sack 47 staff from health and life sciences. The cuts are impacting a faculty that is part of Liverpool STOP COVID, a city-wide group whose aim is to decrease the burden of the pandemic locally, nationally and globally. You can read more about their dispute here.
Defending jobs at University of Central Lancashire 

The UCU branch at the University of Central Lancashire is resisting compulsory redundancies, has lodged a dispute and an industrial action ballot opens next week ballot. We will send them a message of solidarity from the branch.
Save London weighting – proposed cuts to teaching grant in London 

The Westminster government has recently announced cuts to the teaching grant in London and the removal of London weighting for institutions in the capital. UCU are campaigning against the decision 
2. Primary School Closures 

Powys County Council is proposing to close a number of primary schools, including Churchstoke Community Primary School, which serves a small village in North Wales, near the border. The alternatives schools are mainly in England, meaning the pupils won’t be learning Welsh. Please support the campaign to keep the school open. You can sign their petition here. 

We need more schools with fewer pupils and not fewer schools with more pupils!
3. Petition: Protect our news media from monopoly control 

A free, diverse and independent media is vital to the functioning of any democratic society. But the British media landscape is increasingly dominated by a small number of corporations and very wealthy individuals.

The Project for Peace & Justice, founded by Jeremy Corbyn and recently launched, is calling on Parliament to establish a new independent commission into broadcasting standards. You can support this petition here.
4. Key Workers Pay Rise 

Throughout the pandemic key workers have risked their lives to take care of us. But despite this they get paid 8% less than the average workers. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is asking us to show support by joining the key workers campaign to win a pay rise and sign their petition here.

Solidarity and Wider Campaigns January 27th 2021:

1. Zero-COVID Coalition
Campaigners, trade unionists and politicians held an online rally on Sunday with over 2000 participants to launch the Zero Covid Coalition demanding that the government pursues a “zero-Covid” strategy in order to eliminate the virus. You can find more details and support the campaign on their facebook page here and sign the People’s Assembly Wales zero-COVID petition here.

2. Black Lives Matter campaigns in Wales
In the aftermath of the death of Mohamud Hassan, following his detention by the South Wales Police, and with the Justice4Mohamud, FreeSiyanda and Justice for Christopher Kapessa campaigns ongoing in Wales, Black Lives Matter Cardiff and Vale is organizing a public talk, “Can the Police be Reformed?”, on Thursday 28 January at 8pm.

You can find out more about the talk and the campaigns here.