Margaret Dewey

Margaret Dewey, who sadly has died recently, was a key part of the lively NATFHE branch at the College of North-West London. She was an ESOL lecturer and at some point in charge of ESOL in the long-gone days when the government encouraged and almost properly funded ESOL, even if college management had, we suspected, a nasty habit of siphoning off some of its funds. The College was spread over many sites (Margaret mainly in Harlsden)  and the union provided a bridge for its left-wing activists. We had a ‘Rank and File ‘ college grouping , even if we didn’t call ourselves that, where we plotted and became good friends.… Read on ...

An end to incorporation

An article appeared in FE week reporting that the government is about to release a white paper on the future of Further Education. It says that the government is planning to take control of the sector.

It quotes Gavin Williamson saying:

“The FE sector is playing a pivotal role in making sure more people can access the high-quality education and training they need to progress and will support our economic recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak. Our reforms will build on and strengthen the excellent work already happening across the country and will ensure the FE sector is at the heart of every community.”Read on ...

Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day, held on 28 April every year, brings together workers and their representatives from all over the world to remember the dead and fight for the living. 

The theme for the day is: ‘Stop the Pandemic in the Workplace.’

Workers are in the coronavirus front line, never has the WMD slogan “Remember the dead, Fight for the living” been so crucial as it is today during the fight against Covid-19. The pandemic is having a major impact on all of us, not just on lives and physical well-being but on our mental health as well, causing people anxiety, worry and putting them under additional stress.… Read on ...

Indro Sen 1952-2020

Former secondary maths teacher, primary school governor,  College of North West London lecturer,  and most importantly trade unionist, Indro Sen has died shortly before his 68th birthday.

In 2016-17 Indro was involved in a dispute at CNWL over his allegations of corruption in an apprenticeship scheme. He was suspended from his job allegedly because of his support at an employment  tribunal for a sacked colleague and his opposition to the CNWL’s merger with Westminster College.

At the time Peter Murry, Trade Union Liaison officer for the London Federation of Green Parties and for Brent Green Party  supported Sen and said,   ‘Both of these are actions are entirely proper for a University and College Union Branch Secretary to carry out.… Read on ...

History does not repeat itself but…

History does not repeat itself but Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament reminds us of how fast the anti-Parliamentary decisions by German Chancellors opened the door to the Nazi Party taking power in January 1933.

Johnson’s intention to prorogue Parliament has disturbing similarities with events starting in March 1930. As in Germany, events unfolded over a couple of years. First, there was May’s failed intention to bypass Parliament and trigger article 50 by invoking an ancient crown prerogative. In 1930, the right-wing Centre Party Chancellor, started to rule almost entirely through the decrees of President Hindenburg, not through the Reichstag. Then, in June 1932, the next Chancellor, Von Papen, another Centre Party member, under the influence of the Nazis, persuaded Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag altogether and lift the ban on the SA.… Read on ...

Solidarity with the Birmingham Muslim community

We condemn this disgusting targeting of our Muslim sisters and brothers in Birmingham and we stand in solidarity with you. We call on all trade unionists to prioritise the fight to defend our communities against racist attacks and call for renewed funding of further education to deliver hope and understanding in the place of the ignorance and hatred that flourishes when educational opportunity is smashed.
We condemn the continual feed of “othering” of Muslims in our media and through institutional use of the Prevent strategy as part of the process of dehumanisation leaving our sisters and brothers open to attack, and continue our resistance to this.… Read on ...

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia and the Labour Movement

What is undeniable is that an atrocity has taken place. Whether or not we discover the full story, Khashoggi is a victim of state murder by agents of a regime synonymous with repression and his death has provoked global outrage. The killing is anything but an isolated event….

Read the full branch statement “Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia and the Labour Movement”, which may be downloaded here….

The last branch meeting also asked Dave to draft a motion formally expressing our position.
This may be read here…

Open letter from UK academics

The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets a dangerous precedent

We the undersigned are writing to express our growing concern about the shrinking space for communities and environmental defenders to engage in civil opposition to fracking developments in the UK.

Sign here…

This week three non-violent campaigners opposing fracking were jailed for 15 to 16 months simply for ‘causing a public nuisance’ and for not expressing regret. Although others have received jail sentences in more recent times, this is the first time since 1932 that environmental defenders have been imprisoned for such long periods of time for staging a protest in the UK.… Read on ...