Stop cuts to Lewisham Schools Attendance Service- lobby this Wednesday 18th in Catford, 5-6pm

The Schools Attendance Service in Lewisham has a vital role providing specialist support to ensure all children have the chance of full attendance at school. Despite being highly regarded and achieving excellent attendance in the borough’s primary schools (where most of the service operates), the service now faces cuts of up to 50%, with the loss of 11 staff members. These cuts will have a huge impact on Lewisham’s most vulnerable children, reducing their chances of being able to access a full education. The leaflet below describes the importance of this service and the extent of the harm cuts would cause:

Attendance_and_Welfare_Leaflet

A meeting to discuss the package of cuts is taking place on Wednesday 18th December at the Civic Suite (opposite Laurence House) on Catford Road, Catford, SE6 4RU. Please support Unite the Union’s campaign against these cuts by joining the lobby, which takes place from 5pm to 6pm. The campaign is also asking supporters to write to their local councillors and to send messages of support to onay.kasab@unitetheunion.org. For more information on the campaign, please see:

http://www.unitetheunion.org/how-we-help/listofregions/londonandeastern/londoneasternnews/cuts-threaten-lewisham-schools-service/

People’s Assembly Against Austerity: Report From Our Delegate

Delegates from Goldsmiths joined with over 4000 other people to attend the first national meeting of the People’s Assembly against Austerity in Central Hall, Westminster on Saturday 22nd June. It was a fantastic atmosphere of unity and determination to escalate and coordinate the opposition to cuts that are devastating communities, weakening public services and impoverishing growing numbers of people. The message was clear: we don’t want a few cuts or cuts in some places; we don’t want any cuts. The government’s austerity programme is ‘unjust, immoral and undemocratic’.

The opening rally heard from speakers including Frances O’Grady (TUC General Secretary), Owen Jones and Mark Steel. The Assembly then broke into workshops that discussed, for example, how to defend the NHS and public education, how to turn the tide on racism and anti-immigration discourses, what kind of tactics do we need in the anti-austerity movement, and how we can organise local People’s Assemblies. The final rally heard from a range of speakers including several union general secretaries who spoke of the need for militant action to break the government’s austerity agenda. One of the most powerful speeches about the impact of the cuts was from the comedian Francesca Martinez.

The Assembly adopted a statement that includes support for a national demonstration to defend the NHS outside Conservative Party conference on 29 September 2013 and for a national day of civil disobedience and direct action against austerity on November 5th. You can read the full statement at http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/draft-statement/.

It was the biggest single political meeting that I have ever been to and let’s hope that it marks the beginning of a genuine diverse, inclusive and powerful movement against austerity.

Dr Des Freedman
Reader in Communications and Cultural Studies
Secretary, Goldsmiths UCU

Build the People’s Assembly in South London: Thurs May 16, 6:30pm, RHB137

people's assembly

Build the People’s Assembly in South London
Thurs May 16, 6:30pm
RHB137, Goldsmiths College

Speakers include:
Andrew McGettigan
Romayne Phoenix
Aaron Kieley (NUS)

At the end of February this year, a letter signed by many prominent trade unionists, activists and campaigners made the following statement:

This is a call to all those millions of people in Britain who face an impoverished and uncertain year as their wages, jobs, conditions and welfare provision come under renewed attack by the government. With some 80% of austerity measures still to come, and with the government lengthening the time they expect cuts to last, we are calling a People’s Assembly Against Austerity to bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice. We aim to develop a strategy for resistance to mobilise millions of people against the Con Dem government.

The assembly will provide a national forum for anti-austerity views which, while increasingly popular, are barely represented in parliament. A People’s Assembly can play a key role in ensuring that this uncaring government faces a movement of opposition broad enough and powerful enough to generate successful co-ordinated action, including strike action. The assembly will be ready to support co-ordinated industrial action and national demonstrations against austerity, if possible synchronising with mobilisations across Europe. The People’s Assembly Against Austerity will meet at Central Hall, Westminster, on 22 June.

For more information on the assembly visit http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

To build the assembly in South London, there will be a meeting in RHB137 on Thursday the 16th of May at 6:30pm. Speakers include Andrew McGettigan, who will be talking about his new book on what market forces are doing to Higher Education.

Public Meeting: Save Lewisham Hospital! Goldsmiths, Thurs 25th April, 7pm

The campaign to Save Lewisham Hospital are hosting a public meeting on campus tomorrow.

The following information is taken from their website:

Thursday 25th April 7pm
Great Hall, Goldsmiths University, New Cross, London SE146NW

Nearest stations: New Cross and New Cross Gate (Overground and Rail)
Buses:  21, 36, 53, 136, 171, 172, 177, 225, 321, 343, 436, 453

  • The fight to save Lewisham Hospital will be won
  • Come and find out what you can do
  • This is a fight for our hospital and the survival of the NHS

Come and hear some great speakers including:

Professor Colin Leys
John Lister
Rachel Maskell (Unite Union)
Pat Smith (Labour Party)
Louise Irvine, SLH Campaign Chair

Our campaign – We know we can win! 
Lewisham Hospital is still under threat of closure of its A+E and maternity. The magnificent passion and determination of Lewisham people in January with 25,000 marching to save our hospital and the roasting given to Mayor Boris Johnson shows Lewisham is a force tobe reckoned with. We must build on our success and carry on fighting.

Our NHS – not for sale
The threat to Lewisham Hospital is part of a wide range of attacks by this government on our rights to good local NHS services. These attacks include:
Privatisation – new laws going through parliament will enforce privatisation
£20 billion NHS budget cuts leading to hospital closures and staff cuts
Crippling Private Finance Initiative debts starving hospitals of much needed resources

What next after 20/10/12? Open meeting with Lewisham TUC

Open Trades Union Council – All welcome

Tuesday 13/11/12 7pm to 8:30pm

Venue: Lewisham College, Deptford Campus, Deptford Broadway
(nearest station Deptford Bridge DLR, 53 & 47 bus routes)

What next after 20/10/12?

Speakers: Kevin Courtney NUT Deputy General
Secretary, Terry Liddle, local historian

Further to the public meeting on 24/09/12 we agreed to call a further meeting to discuss the way forward after the TUC demonstration on 20/10/12.We have decided to open our regular Trades Union Council meeting to anyone interested in fighting the cuts. Please come along and have your say.

Please note that the college building closes at 8:45pm, so please be on time and note that the meeting start at 7:00pm will end at 8:30pm.

As always, we urge everyone to join a trade union and participate in Lewisham Trades Union Council.

Three Important Events This Week

1. Branch AGM: Wednesday Oct 17th, 1pm; RHB 137

Our Annual General Meeting is taking place next Wednesday (October 17th) at 1pm in RHB 137.

Due to ongoing issues, many emails sent to the branch have not been going through. Therefore I must request that all nominations for the exec committee should be re-sent to gucu-admin@gold.ac.uk, now that I know this email address is working. Apologies for any inconvenience caused by communication problems in the last few weeks.

2. ‘Tuition Fee Rises, Welfare Cuts, Privatisation: Goldsmiths says No!’ Rally:  Thursday October 18th, 6pm, in the Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre

rally leaflet one sided fixed

Jolyon Rubenstein (BBC’s The Revolution Will Be Televised)
John McDonnell MP
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
Lindsey German (Coalition of Resistance)
Syed Rumman (London Met International Student)
Jelena Timotjevic (Defend the Right to Protest)

Hosted by Goldsmiths SU, UCU and Unison, this rally has an amazing line-up of speakers to help us build and organise for the TUC march next Saturday.

The rally is open all – all members are encouraged to attend and to spread the word!

3. TUC March for a Future That Works: Saturday 20th October

Despite the amazing turnout at last year’s March for the Alternative – which drew 500,000 people – we know that the coalition government has still to implement 80 percent of its cuts programme. That’s why students and staff at Goldsmiths must unite against austerity. On the 20th of October we must demand A Future That Works, not a failing and dangerous campaign of austerity measures.

Goldsmiths UCU members are asked to meet at 10am outside the college or 11am outside Waterloo station, to join the march and rally in Hyde Park on Saturday 20th October.

Solidarity with Manchester Met UCU – please sign the petition and share

The UCU Branch at Manchester Met is under attack. First, Christine Vie (assistant Branch Sec and NEC member till last year) was made compulsorily redundant.  Time after time she was treated differently from the other 8 colleagues in the same position as her, and she remains the only compulsory redundancy out of a disbanded team of 9 academics and 9 admin staff.

Now the Branch has received another attack as a second branch officer has been singled out. Professor Ian Parker has been summarily suspended from the University.  Ian’s students have been tremendous and already have an online petition. This has now received over 1000 signatures from leading academics around the world, as it turns out that Ian Parker has an international academic profile. The UCU Branch is holding an emergency meeting tomorrow, which Ian’s students will also attend. Please send messages of support. Please sign the petition and circulate widely.

http://www.bulliedacademics.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.change.org/petitions/ian-parker-should-get-back-to-his-work

And a new petition for Christine Vie:

https://www.ucu.org.uk/christinevie

Goldsmiths United Against Austerity

The TUC has called a mass rally against the governments austerity measures, under the banner A Future that Works, in London on the 20th of October.
When the coalition government was formed in 2010, they told us that spending cuts were needed to get the economy going – but instead they’ve driven the UK back into recession, caused huge levels of unemployment and massive increases of inequality and threatened essential public services.

Education is one of these services. Education should be a public right, a force that explores and spreads knowledge for everyone, not a private privilege that only benefits the few. Yet tuition fees have trebled, pensions for teachers and academics have been threatened and government plans could see universities become privatized institutions dependant on corporate funding. They claim that this will save money, but such an attack on public education will have terrible and far-reaching effects for our economy and society.

Despite the amazing turnout at last year’s March for the Alternative – which drew 500,000 people – we know that the coalition government has still to implement 80 percent of its cuts programme. That’s why students and staff at Goldsmiths must unite against austerity. On the 20th of October we must demand A Future That Works, not a failing and dangerous campaign of austerity measures.

Goldsmiths United Against Austerity is supported by Goldsmiths SU and UCU.

We will be organising rallies and events to build support for the TUC rally, a Future That Works, on the 20th of October 2012.

(see the motion passed at the last GM for more information)

Goldsmiths UCU Meeting June 26th 1pm RHB 137

Our next General Meeting will take place on June 26th at 1pm, RHB 137. At this meeting there will be a report on the resumption of the USS dispute, which was voted for at UCU’s national congress last week. There will also be a report from Tom Henri, who was our delegate at congress this year.

We are pleased to report that Goldsmiths UCU’s amendment to motion HE8, asking UCU to oppose the National Student Survey and to urge members not to comply with the NSS, was passed overwhelmingly. A full rundown of congress is available at http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5860.

The meeting will include a speaker on the Quebec student protests, and the government’s draconian responses (there’s a good selection of articles on this at http://bit.ly/JX8w8w), as well as a motion to create ‘Goldsmiths United Against Austerity’ in preparation for the TUC rally in October.

Please see the agenda and text of the motion below.

Agenda:

1. USS dispute is back on
2. Report from Congress (Tom Henri)
3. Speaker from Quebec
4. Goldsmiths United against Austerity (motion)

GOLDSMITHS UNITED AGAINST AUSTERITY

Goldsmiths UCU notes:

1. That the Coalition government has still to implement 80 percent of its cuts programme.

2. That the TUC has called an anti-austerity demonstration on 20 October 2012 that is supported by UCU.
This branch believes:

1. That the Coalition government’s plans are an attack on the welfare state and that they will increase unemployment, squeeze education and inflict the most severe reduction in the living standards of working people since the 1930s. They encourage scapegoating of pensioners, women, black people, disabled people, students, young people, and migrant workers.

2. That the TUC demonstration must become a rallying point for mass resistance to the austerity programme.

3. That a campaign of mass mobilization for the TUC demonstration through the unions, anti-cuts organisations, welfare groups, student unions, political organisations, equality campaigners etc must begin now.

This branch resolves:

1. To circulate material to build for the TUC demonstration.

2. To support the creation of ‘Goldsmiths United against Austerity’ in conjunction with other campus unions to build for the demonstration.

Proposed Des Freedman