Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Joint unions' petition in defence of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Dear colleague,

I’m writing to ask you to add your name today to the joint unions' petition in defence of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Sign now here:

On 26 October, members of UCU will join members of NUT, ATL, NASUWT, NAHT, ASCL and UCAC in a mass lobby of Parliament.

Thousands of teachers and lecturers will be in London taking a message to politicians of all parties from a united education profession: we will not be forced to work longer, pay more and get less to satisfy the government’s deficit reduction programme.
The petition will be printed and handed in to the government on the day of the lobby, along with petitions from schools all over the UK.

Please help us to make this petition as big as possible. Sign it and forward this email to all your colleagues:

Thank you for taking the time to read this email,
Sally Hunt,
UCU General Secretary

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Green Party Trades Union Group sends its support and solidarity to the teachers and students of Kenton School

The Green Party Trades Union Group sends its support and solidarity to the teachers and students of Kenton School and their supporters who are protesting against plans to make their school in to an Academy. We believe this protest is part of wider struggle for the equal provision of good quality education to all and we think that the defense of this at Kenton School sets a magnificent example to others.

Peter Murry (secretary) Green Party Trades Union Group

Africa demands climate justice

acknowledgements to Douglas Rouxel

There will be a series of meetings organised by the World Development Movement taking place in October that could provide an opportunity to link up with students and other climate activists. In London and Leeds they will be taking place in University buildings. UCU’s motion on Education for Sustainable Development was adopted at the Education International Congress this year. Branches are urged to support their nearest event.

Africa demands climate justice

More than ever before, rich industrialised countries are using the UN climate talks as an excuse to advance corporate interests. In the run up to the climate talks in Durban, South Africa, this December people across Africa and the world are demanding climate justice.
Join us to hear speakers from social movements on the front line of the campaign in Durban. Find out how you can take action against the UK’s unfair policies that are prioritising corporate profits via discredited institutions such as the World Bank. Not only will this fail to tackle climate change, but it will also deepen existing global inequalities.

3 October: Milton Keynes
4 October: Leeds
5 October: Lancaster
6 October: Derby
6 October: Glasgow(linked event)
10 October: Brighton
11 October: Bristol
12 October: Eastleigh
13 October: London

Bandile Mdlalose is general secretary of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a shack-dwellers’ movement in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. She represents Abahlali on the civil society committee set up in response to the coming UN climate talks in Durban, working on mobilisation and education. She will be speaking in Milton Keynes, Leeds, Lancaster and Derby on WDM’s speaker tour.
Desmond D’Sais coordinator of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, which mobilises local people against industrial pollution. A veteran campaigner on local and global environmental justice issues, he’s centrally involved in organising the alternative civil society space during the UN talks. He will be speaking in Brighton, Bristol, London and Eastleigh.
Milton Keynes: Monday 3 October
7pm at Madcap Theatre, Creed Street, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5LY. [Google map]
With Bandile Mdlalose and Deborah Doane (WDM director).
Leeds: Tuesday 4 October
5.30pm, Geography Lecture Theatre (G23), University of Leeds East Building, University Road, Leeds LS2 9JT [Google map]
With Bandile Mdlalose, Murray Worthy (WDM policy officer) and Simon Lewis (climate scientist, Leeds University).
Organised jointly with Leeds University Union and University of Leeds School of Geography
Lancaster: Wednesday 5 October
7pm at Gregson Community Centre and Arts Centre, 33 Moorgate, Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 3PY. [Google map]
With Bandile Mdlalose and Sarah Reader (WDM climate justice campaigner).
Derby: Thursday 6 October
7pm. Central United Reformed Church, Becketwell Lane (off Victoria Street) Derby DE1 1JW. [Google map]
With Bandile Mdlalose and Kirsty Wright (WDM climate justice campaigner).
Organised jointly with Derby Climate Coalition
Glasgow: Thursday 6 October
Linked event:Climate justice now: climate change, debt and Scotland’s role in global justice
With Lidy Nacpil from the Philippines. More information
Invite people on Facebook here.
Brighton: Monday 10 October
7pm at Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD. [Google Map]
With Desmond D'Sa and Deborah Doane (WDM director).
Bristol: Tuesday 11 October
7pm at Unitarian Meeting House, Brunswick Square, Bristol BS2 8PG. [Google Map]
With Desmond D'Sa, Murray Worthy (WDM policy officer), and Alice Cutler (Trapese Collective).
Invite people on facebook here
Eastleigh: Wednesday 12 October
7pm at The Point Theatre, Leigh Road, Eastleigh SO50 9DE. [Google Map]
With Desmond D'Sa, Sarah Reader (WDM climate justice campaigner) and David Lane (Eastleigh Transition Network).
Invite people on Facebook here.
London: Thursday 13 October
7pm at University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY. [Google map]
With Desmond D'Sa, Maria Adebowale (director of Capacity Global) and Kirsty Wright (WDM climate justice campaigner). Plus poetry from Selina Nwulu.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Fringe on 1 million Climate jobs at Green Party Conference 9/2011

Speakers from Sheffield Climate Action

Fringe on 1 million Climate jobs at Green Party Conference 9/2011: Questions and discussion with Martin Empson (Campaign against Climate Change TU group) & Jenny Patient (Sheffield Climate Action)

Questions and discussion 2


Legal Aid and Justice for All Motion

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill is at the Committee Stages of the Commons. If passed, it will remove access to advice for 650,000 people a year in employment law, welfare benefits, housing, debt, immigration, etc. In light of this, Conference calls on the Green Party Campaigns Committee to support the "Justice for All" campaign which campaigns for everyone, no matter what their financial means to be treated fairly under the law and for free legal advice.

Robin Hood Tax Motion

Conference welcomes the endorsement of a Robin Hood Tax by Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy and calls on the UK Government to follow the lead of France and Germany in regulating speculation on international financial markets and generating the revenue needed to fund public investment. Conference calls on Green Party Parliamentarians to raise this with the UK Government in advance of the G20 meeting in November at Cannes.

Anti - ATOS Motion

Conference expresses deep concern at the use of ATOS to assess incapacity benefit receivers for their ability to return to work. As evidence continues to mount that the work capability assessments are being used politically to remove Employment and Support Allowance payments, with 12 doctors referred to the General Medical Council in August, Conference calls on the party leadership to demand that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions removes ATOS as its assessor of benefit claimants.

Nuclear Waste Disposal Motion

We call on policy committee to develop a policy on legacy high and intermediate level radioactive waste in time for Spring Conference 2012. The policy to be based on best environmental practice, not political expediency We also call on Conference to support Allerdale and Copeland Green Party and other local groups, including West Cumbria Friends of the Earth, Radiation Free Lakeland, and CORE in their work to oppose the deep geological disposal plans and to call for alternative disposal methods to be revisited. Inparticular lobbying local authorities not to proceed to the next stage of the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) process (January 2012), at which stage the right of withdrawal would be severely compromised..

NHS Listening Exercise Motion

The Green Party reaffirms its commitment to a fully publicly funded NHS and its opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill, deplores the fact that the Conservative / Liberal Democrat government ‘listening exercise’ has (unsurprisingly) proved to be a sham, and demands that the Government abandon forthwith in its entirety this Bill which, if passed, will lead to the marketisation and privatisation of the NHS, having no lesser ultimate consequence than the complete destruction of our National Health Service. Conference calls on GPEx to make active campaigning against this Bill a priority.

Emergency Motion on National Planning Policy Framework

Conference condemns the Coaltion Government's proposed National Planning Policy Framework. The Green Party believes a function of the planning system is to protectpeople and the environment not to generate unsustainable economic growth. The abolition of targets for building on brownfield land, the lack of any understanding of sustainabilitycoupled with a presumption in favour of development will make it a developers' charter.Conference calls on elected Greens at all levels of government to campaign vigorously against the NPPF and for the Green Party as a whole to campaign against these proposals to ensure we protect our communities, countryside and quality of life from unrestrained development.

Bombardier - Rail jobs

The Green Party condemns the Tory/Lib Dem coalition government decision to give the order for new rolling stock for Thameslink to Siemens. This failed to take into account the effect on the UK economy and jobs.

Derby-based Bombardier, the last remaining train builder in this country has announced the loss of 1400 jobs as a result of not winning the bid. The Bombardier factory in Derby is now under threat and so are thousands more jobs in the Derby area in other rail businesses that supply the factory. We need more train carriages for our railway , both to replace those that are life-expired and to increase the size of the fleet in order to reduce overcrowding and carry more passengers.

Conference instructs GPEX to write to the Sec of State for Transport requesting him to reconsider the allocation of the Thameslink trains contract to Siemens and to ensure that British jobs in the industry are protected.

Emergency Motion on the English Riots

Conference is appalled at the outbreak of violence, looting, arson and murder that took place in English cities in August. The riots were a manifestation of anger that has deep roots and obvious triggers. The roots include inequality, loss of social cohesion, cuts in local public services, unemployment, increasing poverty, resentment against the police,consumerism and gang culture. The triggers were the Police’s killing of Mark Duggan and

their exceptionally inept handling of its aftermath. To address these problems we advocate immediate action to reverse the cuts in public services, increase support for disadvantaged communities and provide a 100% earnings disregard for work of local benefit. In punishing rioters there should be more use of restorative justice and community payback orders. There must a
These measures, however, will not deal with the roots of the problem. We call for a public inquiry into the deeper causes of social breakdown which lie as much in the excesses of the powerful as in the conditions of the powerless. This inquiry should seek to create a consensus for remedial actions which need to be as radical as those that created the welfare state 60 years ago.

Conference calls upon our elected representatives put forward these measures at every relevant opportunity.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Fringe on Free Schools: Green Party Conference autumn 2011

Introduction and talk by Martin Francis

Councillor David Williams (Oxford).

Douglas Rouxel UCU (University & College Lecturers' Union) National Executive (personal capacity).

Fringe on Free Schools at Green Party Conference 9/2011:Questions and discussion (part 1)

Fringe on Free Schools at Green Party Conference 9/2011:Questions and discussion (part 2)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

TUC statement on pensions

Speaking at a press conference today (Wednesday) TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'The TUC's public service unions met urgently today after the conclusion of the TUC's annual Congress to receive a report on the most recent round of negotiations with the government on public service pensions and to consider the next steps in their united campaign to defend decent pensions for millions of public services workers as part of their battle for decent pensions for all.

'The TUC and unions are committed to continuing the talks with the government, and with the relevant employers in each of the separate major public service pensions schemes, but the government is urged to bring new proposals to the table urgently to make progress possible. Today's meeting also agreed, however, given the failure of the government to engage properly in the negotiations, to step up the campaign and to hold a first day of action on Wednesday 30 November.

'Each union has been asked to consider taking what they judge to be the most appropriate form of action possible to show their support for this united campaign.

'This would range from strike action, where ballot mandates have been secured from members and unions judge that appropriate, through to lunchtime meetings, rallies and joint events with community groups and service users. The intention will be to take the call for pensions justice for both public and private sector workers to every corner of the land on that day in the biggest trade union mobilisation in a generation.
'Further consideration is being given to what further action may be appropriate beyond the day of action if progress towards a settlement is not secured.

'A further meeting will be held before the end of September to receive reports from unions on plans being made.'

'This call reflects the huge anger of public service workers over the threat to their pensions and the deep frustration over difficulties of securing government engagement in meaningful negotiations. This planned day of action will be an unprecedented coming together of the whole public service workforce and the communities they serve in a united demand for pensions justice.

'We remain absolutely committed, in good faith, to seeking a fair negotiated settlement of this dispute so that this action will not be necessary. But the government needs to understand the strength of unions' resolve reflected in today's decision.'

- All TUC press releases can be found at
Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E:
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E:
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E:
Press release (500 words) issued 14 Sep 2011

AGM and NALM Conference 2011

For anyone interested in public and patient involvement in the NHS, even more important now, this is the main grassroots organisation of patients and public. LINks will shortly be abolished and replaced by Healthwatch.


AGM and NALM Conference 2011
CREATING HEALTHWATCH       Dynamic - Empowering - Inclusive
  • FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2011 - 11.00am – 4.30pm
National Union of Teachers,Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1
Key national speakers include:
  • Cynthia Bower - Chief Executive, CQC
  • Joan Saddler - National Director of Patient and Public Affairs (DH)
  • David Behan - Director General of Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnership
  • HealthWatch as corporate bodies
  • The Future Forum
  • Complaints advocacy HealthWatch England
  • Information/signposting/advice services HealthWatch
  • Programme Board
Determining NALM policy for 2011–2012   +   Annual General Meeting

Thursday, 8 September 2011

PCS at the Green Party conference

from PCS website

5 September 2011
PCS will be lobbying this weekend's Green Party conference in support of an alternative to the coalition government's policies of cuts and austerity.
The union will have a stall at the four-day event and PCS speakers will address two fringe meetings.
Caroline Lucas, the Green’s first MP and vice-chair of the PCS parliamentary group said: “We are delighted to have PCS at our conference. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the union as we battle for a fairer world.”
The conference is at Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, S1 1WB.
On Friday 9 September at 3pm PCS will jointly host a meeting called ‘Just pay’ – as part of the union’s campaign for a living wage.
Speakers will include Green Party Euro MP Jean Lambert and PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh.
On Saturday 10 September at 6pm PCS vice president John McInally will speak at a meeting called ‘Inequality – enough’.
Later this month and into October PCS will also be lobbying the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative conferences.
JustPay! Campaign
There is an alternative - economic arguments against the cuts
Demonstrate at the coalition conferences
It's time to take sides - join PCS

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Green Party calls on Andrew Lansley to resign over Heath Bill

London Greens - Join 
WEDS 7TH SEPT 6.30 PM - 10 PM
or march across Westminster Bridge with health workers 
ST THOMAS' HOSPITAL @ 6.30 PM ( £2 wax torches)

The Health Bill's third reading  - Lib Dems threaten to rebel  - 
This Bill still threatens the existence of our NHS - see Press Release :

Green Party calls on Andrew Lansley to resign over Heath Bill

Caroline Lucas - "The Health and Social Care Bill would set the legal stage for private companies to be allowed to run much of the NHS and for market forces to determine the way health services are provided. Like the many constituents who have contacted me in recent weeks to voice their opposition to the Bill, I believe this is totally unacceptable."

The Health and Social Care Bill returns to Parliament this week for its third reading.

The Green Party is calling for the resignation of Andrew Lansley, as new research demonstrates the poor outcomes of the proposed Americanised system of healthcare.

It also comes as some hospitals face major funding problems, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where managers are considering a proposal to shut St Mary's, Paddington, and sell off the site to property developers to make up for a £100m debt. (1)

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP is giving her full backing to amendments to prevent NHS privatisation, and she supports the 38 Degrees petition against the Bill, which is now heading towards 450,000 signatures.

Caroline Lucas said: “I have been working closely with 38 Degrees on the crucial campaign to protect the NHS – and am doing all I can in Parliament to support the opposition to the Government’s dangerously flawed proposals. The Health and Social Care Bill would set the legal stage for private companies to be allowed to run much of the NHS and for market forces to determine the way health services are provided. Like the many constituents who have contacted me in recent weeks to voice their opposition to the Bill, I believe this is totally unacceptable.”

Stuart Jeffery, health spokesperson for the Green Party: "The NHS needs reform, but the direction that the Conservatives and Lib Dems are taking the NHS in will bring the system far closer to the US version of health care. The US system is constantly found wanting.

“We welcome new research which demonstrates clearly that the US system was one of the least cost-effective in reducing mortality rates, while the UK was one of the best (2). MPs should take note of this when then vote on the bill this week.

"The US system of health care is predicated on competition and insurance, both of which are enshrined in the draft Health Bill. Moving the UK towards the US system will either cost lives, or it will cost taxpayers billions.

"Despite the rhetoric of Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories, competition and markets in health care increase costs and make outcomes worse. Markets require the threat of failure, yet no sensible government should be introducing failure into health care. Claims that the NHS won't be privatised are simply untrue. Revelations this week have shown (3) that takeover discussions started last year. It comes as no surprise that the Health Bill absolves the Secretary of State of his duty to provide health care. (4)

"Andrew Lansley should therefore resign immediately as Secretary of State for Health for his disgraceful attempt to destroy the NHS. He is not fit to lead health care in this country and clearly does not want to do so either.

“The NHS may not have been safe in Labour's hands but in Conservative hands it is in immediate peril."


1) ht tp://
2) Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Short Reports July 2011 available at:
3) Overseas management of hospitals discussed
4) Legal opinion on 'Duty to Provide"

Romayne Phoenix
London Campaigns
Green Party

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Manchester Rally October 2nd

What do the Coalition government cuts mean for us? The Con-Dem Coalition government wants to boost profits for the wealthy by cutting £87 billion off public services and the welfare state. These cuts will wreck millions of lives through: Mass job cuts - ½ million jobs are set to go in the public sector alone.

For every job lost in the public sector at least one is also lost in private sector, effectively doubling the damage done by public sector job cuts. 

A devastating loss of public services with closure of social care services, youth centres, libraries and much, much more;

A massive assault on pensions and wages;

Cuts in housing and disability benefits and tax credits; 

Forcing people to work for pittance wages;

Forcing young people to give up their education or face life long debt;

Making people work longer for smaller pensions;

Allowing private companies to take overthe NHS to run for their profit and not patients’ needs.

If not stopped the cuts will decimate the welfare state for us and for future generations and risk plunging the British economy into further difficulties and another round of cuts as has already happened in Greece and Ireland. The government claims cuts are necessary to reduce the debt created by bailing out the banks. Yet this debt is only one fifth of what it was after WWII when the NHS was formed and millions of council homes were built.

The Con-Dem Coalition could pay the debt back over a longer period without slashing jobs and the welfare state - instead they are using the problems in the banking system as an excuse to fundamentally change our society to meet the wishes of big business.

There is an alternative We could raise revenue by:
Progressive taxation;
Plugging tax loopholes;
Collecting the tens of billions of pounds
of unpaid corporation tax and taking the bankers bonuses.

If the government can support money being spent to bail out negligent bankers it could boost the economy, protect public services and end mass unemployment by creating a million green jobs.

Is it possible to stop the cuts?
Absolutely. Over the last year the outrageous lie that we need to sacrifice jobs, wages, pensions, benefits and public services to pay off the public debt caused by bailing out the banks has been met with waves of protest. From the rallies against the austerity budget in October 2010 the resistance has grown to include students demonstrating and organising mass walk-outs and occupations against rises in tuition fees; half a million people joining the biggest trade union-called march the country has ever seen, and 700,000 teachers, lecturers and
civil servants striking in defence of pensions and jobs.

The next TUC March for an Alternative will take place outside the Conservative party conference and provides a huge opportunity to destroy any illusion that there is any public support for the government
imposing austerity on us, and to show the scale of the resistance.A massive show of opposition will help
inspire more action to stop the cuts.

‘The Trial of Andrew Lansley’. Wednesday 7thSeptember

The Trade Union Group voted last night to support this important demonstration at a critical juncture for the future of the NHS. It is important that there is a strong Green presence on this. The protest is being called ‘The Trial of Andrew Lansley’.

Joseph Healy
Green Party Trade Union Group Treasurer
Wednesday 7thSeptember
Action to mark the Third Reading of the Health & Social Care Bill.

6.30 pm Demonstration assembling at St Thomas’ Hospital; Called by UNITE the Union, KONP, Health Workers Network, Right to Work

9.30 pm Torchlight vigil for the NHS at Houses of Parliament (More information at the ‘Join the vigil for the NHS’ website.) Called by UNISON and the TUC.

Celebrate the life of Alf Filer

Celebrate the life of Alf Filer: Saturday 10 September, 7-11 p.m
The Tin Tabernacle, 12-16 Cambridge Avenue, NW6 5BA

very near Kilburn Park tube (Bakerloo line) and Kilburn High Rd overground stations
and 6, 16, 31, 32, 98, 206, 316, 328, 332, 632 bus stops

You are invited to celebrate the life of Alf Filer together with friends, family and comrades.
Alf was tragically killed on June 24 - this is an opportunity to remember him and share those memories with others that knew him and miss him.

The evening will commence at 7pm and hot food from the excellent local Indian restaurant Shamrat will be served at 8pm at a cost of £7 per person. There will also be a bar run by the people who run the Tin Tabernacle (which hasn't been a religious building for many years) at below pub prices.

Following the food there will be a series of tributes from people who knew Alf well - and space for those who decide they want to add something on the night.

There will be entertainment from Ian Saville and music to end the evening.

There will also be a memorial book available for people who want to write their tributes (in addition to or as well as speaking them) which will be given to Alf's sons, Lawrence and Leon, afterwards.

We will be decorating the hall with photos of Alf and also appropriate banners. If you have photos you want us to enlarge please email to uk by the end of Wednesday 7th - otherwise bring what you have along with you

There is no admission charge for the event but we are asking those who can to make a donation with the money going to Leon and Lawrence to defray any outstanding funeral costs and to donate to whatever cause(s) they think would be closest to Alf’s heart.

Because we are ordering food, we are asking people to RSVP if they can to by Thursday 8th

If you are not able to join us on the night but would like a tribute to be read out or entered in the memorial book please send it to:

Please circulate this email to anyone who knew Alf