No Racism on Campus

The University College Union (UCU) and Stand Up to Racism are launching a #NoRacismOnCampus tour of university campuses in the autumn term.

Our campuses are often at the forefront of the rise in racism we have seen recently. The rights of EU students and university workers are threatened by Johnson’s right wing vision of Brexit. Institutional racism impacts the experience of BAME staff and students. Muslim students are unfairly targeted by the Prevent agenda. And most recently we’ve seen far right groups like Generation Identity attempt to use pseudo-science racist argument to gain a foothold.

This tour of meetings will bring together students and staff to discuss how we can come together to combat this rise in racism and make our campuses racism-free zones.

Real Living Wage for Mitie cleaners

From Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

I’m writing to you to ask you to support RMT members fighting poverty pay. Network Rail have contracted out the cleaning of six of their stations to an outsourcing company. Our members who clean stations at Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Leeds and Birmingham New Street work for Network Rail but are employed by Mitie Group, one of the biggest outsourcing firms in Britain. At the moment they are paid the National Minimum Wage and they’re fighting to win at least the Real Living Wage.

The treatment of these people is a scandal.Read on ...

 A Jewish Communist in Weimar Germany

Review of
Ralf Hoffrogge, A Jewish Communist in Weimar Germany: The Life of Werner Scholem (1895-1940), Chicago: Haymarket, 2018
by Merilyn Moos

This 600 page book requires a strong interest in revolutionary politics in Germany in the early 1920s. Werner Scholem is a figure rarely heard of in the UK though he was party to the many splits within the KPD (Communist Party) at the very time when a German revolution, post 1919, would have broken the isolation of the Russian revolution and changed twentieth century history. That he fell out with the KPD in the direction of Trotskyism has not helped!… Read on ...

Ariel Settlement University

The motion below has been passed overwhelmingly by Exeter UCU:

Branch notes that Israeli settlements in occupied territory constitute a breach of international law, as is affirmed by (among many others) the British Government, the United Nations (Security Council and General Assembly), the International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention.

Branch notes therefore that, because Ariel University is built in a settlement, for the University of Exeter to recognise degrees from Ariel University, or to collaborate with Ariel University in any way, would be complicity in the breaking of international law.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 ...

Victory for campaigners as government pledges £32.3m to buy back college campus

FE Week Reports:

The government has pledged up to £32.3 million to help buy back a college campus that serves the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire – marking a huge win for campaigners.

The funding will support the recovery and refurbishment of Kensington and Chelsea College’s site on Wornington Road, as well as its merger with Morley College.

The Wornington site was sold for £25.3 million to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 2016, despite heavy local opposition.

This is a hard fought victory for the North Kensington community

An independent review conducted by consultancy firm Kroll later concluded that the sale was not in the interests of its local community and KCC’s new leaders branded the sale as “plainly wrong” and “shameful”.Read on ...

Educational trip to Kraków and Auschwitz

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is again organising an educational trip to the Auschwitz concentration camp and to Kraków in Poland.
The aim of the trip is to offer a greater
understanding of the Holocaust.

We will be based in Kraków, once one of the
great Jewish centres of Europe. Between June
1942 and March 1943, the Nazis ‘cleared out’
the city’s Jewish Ghetto, where the Nazis had
forced Jews to live, and sent all the inhabitants to extermination camps.

Download the details…

Ruskin College under fire for trade union victimisation

Ruskin College in Oxford has been accused of trade union victimisation following a string of disciplinary and redundancy threats directed at UCU members.

Three union reps are facing disciplinary investigations. One of them, Lee Humber, suspended for “spurious reasons” just days after the local branch passed a motion of no confidence in the principal.

Please sign the petition calling for his reinstatement.

The college has said it intends to commence disciplinary investigations into what UCU considers to be the trade union duties and activities of a further two UCU reps. The union said the college should be responding to the issues facing the college, such as financial deficits and course closures, instead of shooting the messengers raising concerns.… Read on ...