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:


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 For more information on the campaign, please see:

Statement to Warden and Secretary on criminalisation of student protest

Today, 54 of our members sent this statement to Warden Patrick Loughrey and Secretary Liz Bromley of Goldsmiths College:

The last week has seen serious repression and violence against students on campuses around the country. This includes bans on protest at the Universities of London, Birmingham and Sussex and arrests of students who have engaged in demonstrations against cuts and in support of better pay and conditions.  This has been accompanied by heavy-handed policing, resulting in the hospitalisation of students on the evening of 5th December in London.

These bans and prosecutions violate the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of association. The use of force against students exercising their democratic rights is unacceptable and sets a dangerous precedent.

We believe that the police should not be used to curtail legitimate protests on campus and that students should not be punished for engaging in campaigns to defend educational provision or to show solidarity with university staff.

As staff at Goldsmiths, we are writing to you to seek reassurance that you support the rights of students to engage in democratic protest and that you oppose acts of violence against students taking part in such protests.

We call on you to publicly oppose the University of London’s injunction on student protests at various University of London sites for the next six months and to make a commitment that you will not:
•       Call for injunctions or possession orders or undertake other legal actions which ban legitimate protest on campus
•       Suspend, prosecute or otherwise victimise students or staff who engage in democratic protest.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Toby Abse, Lecturer, History
Prof. Les Back, Sociology
Edward Bagenal, Lecturer, Design
Prof. Vikki Bell, Sociology
Dr. Josephine Berry-Slater, Lecturer, Centre for Cultural Studies
Michaela Benson, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Prof. Windy Dryden, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Dr. Sarah Farris, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Prof. Natalie Fenton, Joint Head of Department, Media and Communications
Joanna Figiel, Visiting Tutor, Media and Communications
Linda France, Lecturer, Media and Communications
Dr. Marianne Franklin, Media and Communications
Dr. Des Freedman, Media and Communications
Dr. Matthew Fuller, Professor, Centre for Cultural Studies
Graham Gaskell, Chief Executive, Students’ Union
Prof. Bill Gaver, Design
Prof. Rosalyn George, Educational Studies
Dr. Roger Green, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Michael Guggenheim, Principal Investigator, Sociology
Mary Claire Halvorson, Learning Enhancement Unit
Tom Henri, Lecturer, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Dr. Anja Kanngieser, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Amanda Kipling, Senior Tutor, Educational Studies
Prof. Caroline Knowles, Centre for Urban and Community Research, Sociology
Dr. Monika Krause, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Sarah Lambert, Learning Enhancement Unit
Dr. Ben Levitas, Lecturer, Theatre and Performance
David Mabb, Reader, Art
Dr. Vicky Macleroy, Lecturer, Educational Studies
Dr. Isaac Marrero-Guillamon, Lecturer, Anthropology
Miranda McLachlan, Lecturer, Media and Communications
Dr. Mariam Motamedi-Fraser, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Prof. Kate Nash, Sociology
Chloe Nast, Department Coordinator, Sociology
Helen Palmer, Lecturer, English and Comparative Literature
Angela Phillips, Reader, Media and Communications
Claire Reddleman, Centre for Cultural Studies
Alex Rhys-Taylor, Lecturer, Sociology
Dr. Marsha Rosengarten, Sociology
Dr. Evelyn Ruppert, Lecturer, Sociology
Dr. Edgar Schmitz, Senior Lecturer, Fine Art
Benedict Seymour, Lecturer, Art
Dr. Kalbir Shukra, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Dr. Sally Skaife, Lecturer, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Prof. Beverly Skeggs, Sociology
Linda Stupart, Graduate Trainee Tutor, Art
Dr. Alberto Toscano, Reader, Sociology
Dr. Anna Traianou, Head of MA Programme, Educational Studies
Dr. Pasi Valiaho, Senior Lecturer, Media and Communications
John Wadsworth, Lecturer, Educational Studies
Leila Whitley, Visiting Tutor, Media and Communications
Nicole Wolf, Lecturer, Visual Cultures
James Woodcock, Student Services
Prof. Joanna Zylinska, Media and Communications

Press release for tomorrow’s strike, Tuesday 3rd December

Goldsmiths College trade unions on strike 3rd December 2013

Trade unions representing the staff at Goldsmiths College have called for further strike action.  On Tuesday 3rd December, members of UCU and UNISON, representing staff from porters to professors, will walk out at in protest at the 1% pay offer from the employers.  Taking into account the sector-wide pay freeze since 2009, this amounts to a pay cut in real terms of 13%. During this period we have seen senior management salaries rise faster than inflation and universities accumulating huge surpluses since the tripling of student fees.

Below is an open letter to Pat Loughrey, the Warden (Vice-Chancellor) of Goldsmiths from the members of Goldsmiths branch of the UCU.

On Tuesday 3rd December lecturers and support staff at Goldsmiths will be taking strike action for the second time this year and we would like to make clear our reasons for this. For the fifth successive year UCEA, the employers organisation, have made an offer to increase pay by 1%, well below the current rate of inflation. In effect both lecturers and support staff have seen their incomes fall by 13% since 2008.

Over the same period, student fees have been increased to £9,000 a year for home students and upwards of £11,000 for international students. Thanks to successful recruitment and the acknowledged high quality of degree courses at Goldsmiths the University has managed to maintain a healthy operating surplus, some of which has been invested in improving the state of the teaching accommodation. Sadly this has not been extended to investing in the majority of the staff all of whom make a substantial contribution to the success of Goldsmiths.

While salaries of lecturers and support staff have declined in real terms, the same cannot be said of the Warden who has recently been awarded a 9% pay rise and benefits from a pension contribution far in excess of the annual salary of most support staff. We would like to congratulate him on his success in helping secure the place of Goldsmiths in a global marketplace but would remind him of the contribution to this of everyone who works here. A few crumbs from the top table wouldn’t go amiss.

Solidarity with Sussex Protests

sussex demo

Students and staff at Sussex University have been protesting against management plans to outsource 10% of the university’s workforce. A group of students have occupied the top floor of the university’s conference centre since February and held a demonstration last week.

Yesterday, Sussex University management filed a high court injunction that bans protest and occupations on campus until September – criminalising the student occupation.

Defend the Right to Protest have set up an online petition calling on the management to revoke the injunction:

Please join us in showing solidarity in the struggle against privatisation in education, and in defending the right to protest, by signing this petition and sharing it among friends and colleagues:

Solidarity with the Students Demonstrating Today #demo2012

Today thousands of students will demonstrate in London, protesting against not only the trebling of tuition fees but also the unemployment crisis and lack of opportunities for young people. They will demand investment in and commitment to education, employment and opportunities. This demonstration has been called by NUS and is entitled ‘Demo2012’, with the slogan ‘Educate, Employ, Empower.’

We would like to express our solidarity with this demonstration and its aims. We stand with students in criticising the government’s trebling of tuition fees, their attempt to create a marketised Higher Education which does not nurture the minds of students, their cuts to essential funds such as EMA and their lack of investment in jobs and opportunities.

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, 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.

And a new petition for Christine Vie:

Solidarity with Alfie Meadows: Demonstration on Monday March 26

The following text is taken from

We will be holding a Solidarity demonstration outside Kingston Crown Court on the first day of Alfie Meadow’s trial. Supporters include: Tariq Ali, Jody McIntyre (Equality Movement) and Gigi Ibrahim (Egyptian revolutionary and Blogger).

Alfie was amongst thousands of students who came on the demonstration on the day of the tuition fee vote (9th December 2010). Alfie is a Philosophy student at Middlesex University, his university department faced closure (it will be closed by the end of this academic year) and when he protested, he received a life threatening injury. But outrageously Alfie has since been charged with violent disorder and faces a trial on 26th March. The police who carried out attacks on protesters throughout the day and evening are yet to face any charges. This forms part of a pattern of attacks on protest which has seen hundreds of students arrested and scores either charged or sentenced to long terms in prison.

Many workers and trade unionists came down to Whitehall on the evening of 9th December after they had finished work, to stand in solidarity with the protesters being kettled. We are asking for the same display of support for Alfie Meadows as he goes into court on 26th March. We demand an end to political charging and sentencing of protesters. We must defend the right to protest. Drop all charges against Alfie Meadows.

Come along to the demonstration and Sign the Petition here:

Initiated by Defend the Right to Protest Campaign
Facebook page: defendtherighttoprotest // Add Right to Protest
Twitter: @righttoprotest