Over the coming days, we will publish a number of reports from workshops at our recent February 2015 conference. This one is from Caoimhe Mader McGuinness and Eleanor Roberts of the Queen Mary Against Casualisation campaign, who spoke at the “Relationships between local campaigns and unions” workshop.
This is a more positive report on the possible relationship between unions and grassroots local campaigns. As some people involved in grassroots organising have expressed an uncertainty about how to approach unions and their local branches, we will also briefly outline how to get involved in UCU activity and get more anti-casualisation representatives on your local committee.
Here are some pictures from our conference last Saturday – thanks to everyone who came and made it such an interesting and useful day! (And thanks to Florian Schaefer and others for providing these photos.)
At the end of the day, we decided to continue Fighting Against Casualisation in Education as a network of local campaigns around the country. We’ll be meeting on a regular basis and holding another big event later this year. Stay tuned for more news on that front, and for detailed reports of the sessions! Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved.
We’ve also written a model motion for UCU branch General Meetings or committee to pass, in order to support and promote the conference, donate towards the organising costs and finance travel for a branch delegation. Already, branches including SOAS UCU, Queen Mary UCU, UCL UCU and Sussex Student Union are offering support – please let us know if your branch decides to join them.
Fighting Against Casualisation in Education
This union notes:
That the casualization of academic staff is a growing concern across Higher and Further Education
That casualised academic staff from 17 universities have decided to move towards a national conference on the issue, to be held at SOAS on the 7th February. This conference is an attempt to coordinate local campaigns, share resources and experiences, encourage the development of new campaigns and broaden out the campaign nationally.
This union believes:
That local campaigns are an important aspect of fighting the casualization of labour in education.
That national coordination between those campaigns is an important development.
That it is important to support casualised staff in their efforts to organise in order to better their pay and conditions.
This union resolves:
To support the national conference organized by the concerned staff and students and publicise it in the appropriate forums.
To donate £100 pounds towards the organising costs of the conference.
To finance travel for a delegation of casualised staff members from this union branch.
We are excited to be able to announce the agenda of the conference, including a range of workshops and open discussion. This will be an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing us and the state of current struggles, and to equip ourselves collectively with the tools and ideas we need to organise local grassroots campaigns capable of fighting and winning. Workshops will cover topics from how to set up a campaign and how to launch a survey, to resisting victimisation and the relationship between activist campaigns and union branches. We will hear from a range of local campaigns by casualised workers including SOAS Fractionals for Fair Play, the Sussex Pop-Up Union, London Met, Warwick, SOAS Justice for Cleaners and UCL Fair Play for TAs – and, we hope, from you!
FACE is being organised by a network of casualised academic workers from many different institutions. So far, we’ve planned the conference at two open organising meetings, and our third will be this Thursday – please come along to help make the conference happen!
7pm Thursday 15 January Room B102 (Brunei Gallery) SOAS, London WC1H 0XG Facebook event
Fighting Against Casualisation in Education is organised by casualised academic workers active in local campaigns around the country. We’re planning a conference on Saturday 7 February 2015 : we want to bring activists together, to assess the challenges facing us, share experiences and tools for organising action on the ground, and help each other set up new campaigns. Join us!