Union democracy

Officials suppress the rank-and-file at UCU Congress
Motion 10 at UCU conference
SJWWed, 06/06/2018 - 14:51

The congress of the University and College Union (UCU) on 30 May to 1 June was repeatedly shut down by officials to prevent discussion of motions criticising the General Secretary, Sally Hunt.

The 14 days of strikes this year to defend USS pensions in 65 universities, and a coordinated wave of local campaigns in further education colleges, have boosted union membership and pushed forward a new generation of activists.

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UCU branches should keep pushing for democracy
Image of an empty conference platform with screens showing the text "motion 10"
Gemma_STue, 05/06/2018 - 13:55

Comment by a Workers' Liberty UCU member on UCU Congress can be read here.

Jo Grady, UCU activist and Lecturer in Employment Relations at the University of Sheffield, spoke to Solidarity about the USS dispute, UCU Congress and where next?

Solidarity: Where are things with USS at the moment?

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Unite UCU walk out is abuse of trade union principlesGemma_STue, 05/06/2018 - 13:51

The actions of full time officials of the UCU in walking out of the union's Congress is effectively a dispute with their own members. It is unprecedented in the history of British trade unionism and an abuse of trade union principles by the Unite branch to which UCU full-time officials, including General Secretary Sally Hunt, belong.

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UCU: Build the rank-and-file revolt!Gemma_SSun, 29/04/2018 - 13:55

Workers' Liberty UCU members produced a bulletin for the UCU rank-and-file revolt meeting on Sunday 29 April.

You can download the bulletin as a PDF here.

Bulletin front page

Bulletin back page

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Student and workers say #NoCapitulation - Support the strikes!
No capitulation
SJWTue, 13/03/2018 - 16:08

Student occupiers, anti cuts activists and UCU members from across the UK spoke to Workers' Liberty

Bristol students occupation

An occupation of Bristol University Senior Management’s offices has forced the university to concede to most of their demands. A Bristol Uni occupier writes...

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Profiting from the movementMatthewWed, 25/10/2017 - 15:45

A report by the Certification Officer (a government body responsible for the conduct of trade unions) has shown Ian Lavery, the chair of the Labour Party, received £165,000 from the Northumberland area National Union of Mineworkers which had just 10 members, four years ago, before he entered Parliament in 2010. This makes sadly familiar reading.

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Industrial news in briefMatthewWed, 31/05/2017 - 11:24

After one-week strikes in Glasgow and London, PCS members in the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Cardiff office are on strike 29 May — 2 June. 5-9 June, coinciding with the general election, PCS members will be on strike in the EHRC’s Manchester office.

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Letter: Courts not answer to undemocratic unionsMatthewWed, 26/04/2017 - 12:18

Anyone who has had to confront the bureaucratic officialdom of any trade union will have some sympathy with the GMB activist who wrote in Solidarity of "unelected, barely elected and crookedly elected bureaucrats".

Their letter promotes the new "GMB Grassroots Left" network; prominently involved is Keith Henderson, a former GMB official who has twice taken his former union, and employer to court.

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Dodgy general secretary election?MatthewWed, 12/04/2017 - 11:58

On Friday 17 March, an Employment Appeal Tribunal judge overturned the decision of the Certification Officer to reject a complaint against the GMB bureaucracy, brought by GMB member Keith Henderson.

Keith had complained that a misinterpretation and misapplication of the rules had prevented him or any other rank-and-file member from standing in the 2015 GMB General Secretary election. Among other things he claimed by-law 13 had been misinterpreted and misapplied to prevent potential nominees from contacting branches to seek nomination.

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Ian Allinson — an inconsistent criticMatthewWed, 15/02/2017 - 11:42

Ian Allinson is standing as “an experienced workplace activist”, “the grassroots socialist candidate”, and “the only candidate who knows first-hand the experiences and frustrations of our members”. By contrast, writes Allinson, Len McCluskey and Gerard Coyne have both been “been paid officials of Unite for many years.” McCluskey stands for “more of the same” and Coyne stands for “turning the clock back”.

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