UCU Congress ‘fringe’ meeting – After lockdown: ‘Culture wars’, austerity and resistance in education

7pm Monday 24 May
Zoom registration: http://bit.ly/UCUL02

Speakers include:
John McDonnell MP
Juliana Ojinnaka NEC-elect, black members rep.
Bee Hughes NEC-elect, LGBT+ rep
Kevin Biderman Royal College of Art UCU
Jo McNeill Liverpool UCU and NEC
Sean Vernell NEC FE
and our special guest Dr. Haidar Eid, Associate Professor of English, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza speaking directly from Gaza City on the latest situation there.

This year’s UCU Congress takes place amid growing political attacks on post-16 education.

The Tories’ Free Speech Bill will further undermine the autonomy of universities and is a blatant attempt to use bogus claims about no-platforming to push back against BLM and other critical movements on campuses. It is the government’s imposition of Prevent and the IHRA definition of antisemitism that are the real threats to free speech.

The planned cuts to funding for Arts degrees further a utilitarian agenda which regards education as merely training for employment. This gives the power to employers to dictate the content of education and threatens to make creative subjects the preserve of students from affluent backgrounds.

Meanwhile attacks on jobs and conditions continue. Monday 24th is the first day of Liverpool UCU’s three-week strike against redundancies in the university’s faculty of Health and Life Sciences. Other institutions are planning to take advantage of the pandemic to make savings at the expense of staff working conditions and the quality of the education we offer to students.

In Further Education a number of branches smashed through the Tory union thresholds in their consulative consultative ballots. Tthey will be now move to a statutory ballot  across the country over pay, and conditions.

Join the meeting to discuss how we can organise around UCU Congress to build solidarity and resist these attacks.

Congress speaker requests
Delegates to Congress are reminded that the deadline for requests to speak for or against motions is this Friday 21st May at 5pm. The agenda is available here.

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