For several years the Horse Show has provided a platform for the Bahrain royal family – guilty of violently suppressing pro-democracy protests at home – by inviting them as guests of honour; accepting their financial support; displaying Bahrain signage; and naming events after members of the Bahrain royal family, no questions asked. Photographs of the King of Bahrain sat alongside the Queen at the event are trumpeted both within and outside Bahrain as evidence of acceptance by the international community.… Read on ...
The Home Secretary’s statement in Parliament yesterday is good as far as it goes. She promises:
- A new taskforce dedicated to helping those affected
- Plans to work with departments across government to gather evidence on behalf of immigrants – documentation for every year is usually expected, such as bank statements or payslips
- A pledge that all cases will be resolved in two weeks
- All fees for new documentation waived so people are not “out of pocket” – normally £229
- A new website will be set up with information and a direct contact point
This is the very least they could do.… Read on ...
Given the rise of Islamaphobia and other forms of racism, this branch calls for the Government to immediately fund free ESOL classes in FE colleges and elsewhere within the public sector. While the facilities to learn to speak English should be the right of all migrants, we are especially concerned with the older non-English speaker who is likely to be especially isolated and disadvantaged.
Motion from the UCU London Retired Members branch, passed at the National Pensioners Convention, London Region AGM… Read on ...
As part of the growing racist atmosphere, we note the recent increase in deportations, particularly of retired people from the Caribbean. We shall support and encourage campaigns against deportations both at a local and national level, working where possible with other trade unions trades councils and the TUC. We welcome the initiative from Caribbean Labour Solidarity to initiate such a campaign in London.
- Man living in UK for 56 years loses job over immigration papers…
- Disabled Briton held in immigration removal centre for four months…
- ‘I’ve been here for 50 years’: the scandal of the former Commonwealth citizens threatened with deportation…
In 1983,9.8% of single women took out mortgages against the view that the mortgage world is a man’s world. In 2017,62% of first time buyers were women compared to 38% of men.
The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 finally outlawed discrimination against women seeking to obtain goods,facilities or services,including loans or credit.
Until then women seeking a mortgage were asked for male guarantors but even with the act women were still viewed as a financial risk until the 1980’s when the government urged banks to lend more to stimulate growth leading to a lending boom which some women could tap into if they had the money and a decent salary.… Read on ...
Deportation-threat academics allowed to stay in UK
Two Durham University academics, members of UCU, and their daughter who were ordered to leave the UK within 14 days have been told they can stay in the UK.
Dr Ernesto Schwartz-Marin, Dr Arely Cruz-Santiago and 11-year-old Camila faced leaving the country by Saturday 24 March.
The Home Office said the couple breached rules by spending too much time abroad during their visa period.… Read on ...
Over 100 University of London cleaners, porters, security officers, gardeners and others are preparing for the biggest-ever outsourced workers strike in UK higher education, and they need your help.
These workers, who are demanding for an end to outsourcing, an end to zero-hours and for pay rises, are close to a historic victory that could end years of discrimination at the university.
Friends and colleagues of murdered Cambridge PhD student Giulio Regeni gathered to protest at the Egyptian embassy with campaigners from Amnesty International and the UCU union on 2 February, marking the second anniversary of the discovery of his body. This protest followed a vigil of around 150 people in Cambridge on the anniversary of Giulio’s disappearance.
Giulio’s friend, journalist Laurie Blair spoke at the protest:
“We, the friends of Giulio Regeni, will not forget about him.… Read on ...
In Britain, politicians and the media scapegoat migrants and refugees. They are blamed for lowering wages and inadequate public services, when, in reality, the blame lies with austerity.
EU nationals are used as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations. Black and Asian people continue to face discrimination and everyday institutional racism.
Of all the countries in Europe, Britain took in the lowest number of asylum seekers by head of population: less than 0.1% .compared to, for example, Sweden with almost 2% and Austria with 1%.… Read on ...
Things are looking up in the campaign to Save Kensington and Chelsea College, as these two reports from FE Week show:
Milton promises to find ‘the right solution’ for ‘precious’ Kensington and Chelsea College
The furore surrounding the future of a west London college in the shadow of the Grenfell Tower has made it to the House of Commons, after the skills minister promised to find the “right solution” for a “precious” community asset today.… Read on ...
Campaign to oppose Thames bridges at Gallions Reach and Belvedere –we may just have a victory!
BARC is a local community group formed in opposition to the building of large ‘road’ bridges planned in South-East London. In 2015 Transport for London (TfL) and Bexley Council wanted to build new tolled road bridges across the Thames at Gallions Reach and Belvedere – two large residential areas in South-East London. These were not intended to be ‘cozy’ little crossings for local traffic: the Belvedere bridge was to be 4 lanes and more akin to an urban motorway than a picturesque route across the Thames.… Read on ...
SENTENCES HANDED DOWN TO RELATIVES OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER MR ALWADAEI AND SITUATION IN BAHRAIN
This is the title of Early Day Motion 509 that we would like to urge your MP to sign. It can be read here on the Parliament website…
And here is the page through which anyone who needs to can find their MP’s contact details https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
Urgent Statement by academics and activists
We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is not breached by Turkey and that the people of Afrin in Syria, be allowed to live in peace.
Afrin, whose population is predominantly Kurdish, is one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria. With very little international aid, Afrin has taken in so many Syrian refugees in the last five years that its population has doubled to 400,000.… Read on ...
Release from the University of the West Indies – Office of Professor Hilary Beckles – Historian – Vice Chancellor
The democratic, nation-building debt the American nation owes the Caribbean, and the Haitian nation in particular that resides at its core, is not expected to be repaid but must be respected. Any nation without a nominal notion of its own making can never comprehend the forces that fashion it origins.
Haiti’s Caribbean vision illuminated America’s way out of its colonial darkness.… Read on ...
March and Demonstration
12pm, Saturday 3 February
Assemble Gower Street Central London WC16
The NHS Winter Crisis has now descended into a perpetual year round crisis. A crisis that has brought staff to their knees and patients languishing and even dying in overcrowded waiting rooms and hospital corridors.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
It is time this Government stops blaming patients, nurses, doctors, immigrants, flu and the elderly for their shortcomings. It’s time they start listening to the country who is sick of empty promises from the mouths of cowardly politicians. … Read on ...
16 days of activism against gender based violence is an international campaign that organises at all levels, including the United Nations, Governments, NGOs and trade unions.
It’s initiated by The Centre for Women’s Global Leadership, a feminist human rights organisation. The activism period is 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) – 10 December (International Human Rights Day).
UCU is supporting this campaign and will be using this period to focus on our priorities and suggest 16 ways in which branches and members can get involved.
UCU’s higher education committee has agreed to launch an industrial action ballot in the dispute over the future of USS. They have said serious and sustained industrial action is required in the face of damaging proposals from the employers which would effectively destroy the pension scheme.
- USS pensions already LOWER than school teachers and ‘new’ university academics
- employers can afford to pay more but REFUSE
- latest proposals end guaranteed pensions and REDUCE retirement income for all.
“This branch deplores the decision to expel Emeritus Professor and distinguished mathematician Moshe Machover from the Labour Party for alleged ‘anti-semitism’.
Moshe is an Israeli citizen of Jewish heritage who has been a life-long critic of Zionism and of Israel which he has defined as a ‘settler/colon state’.
He is a life-long socialist and committed opponent of all forms of racism.
We consider this expulsion to be an example of attempts to re-define anti-semitism so as to include all critics of Zionism and of Israel.… Read on ...
Currently, there is a consultation of UCU members in pre-92 universities on their willingness to undertake industrial action to stop the destruction of the USS pension scheme. Carlo Morelli and Marion Hersh, members of the UCU Joint Negotiating Committee for USS, make the case for voting YES for action to defend pensions.
USS is consulting with employers and has suggested closing the Defined Benefits (DB) pension scheme and replacing it by a fully Defined Contributions (DC) scheme or significantly reducing the threshold e.g.… Read on ...
London Region UCU is supporting the precarious labour protest on Wednesday 27th September, the day of the Uber employment status appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
9-11am Employment Tribunal, EC4Y 0DS London
The case against Uber brought by two trade unionists could have wide ranging consequences for all workers in the so-called gig economy.
As the media spotlight will focus heavily on this trial, this protest is a way of turning some of that media interest to other precarious workers’ struggles happening now in the UK.… Read on ...
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a document expressing “grave concern” to the Bahraini government at the allegations of arbitrary arrest and detention of three relatives of Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei, as well as death threats and treatment amounting to torture.
Security officers arrested AlWadaei’s brother-in-law Sayed Nazar AlWadaei, mother-in-law Hajar Mansoor Hasan, and maternal cousin Mahmood Marzooq Mansoor in March 2017. They were reportedly targeted in relation to Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei’s human rights work.… Read on ...
Esmail Abdi, leader of the Tehran branch of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association, was unjustly sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Court.
The February 22 verdict came eight months after he was arrested while en route to Armenia to obtain a travel visa to attend Education International’s World Congress in Ottawa, Canada. In custody since his arrest, Abdi was charged with “gathering and colluding with intent to harm public order” and “propaganda against the system.” His colleagues say that these charges were prompted by his legitimate trade union activities and leadership role.… Read on ...