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June, 2017:

Halesowen College and West Midlands UCU send support

Solidarity to the branch for your upcoming strike action. Your action under the new threat of the Trades Union law change gives a message that UCU will continue to act in solidarity for members and is an important step in the fight to defend education for all of us.

Rhiannon Lockley

West Midlands Chair, Halesowen Branch Secretary

Manchester Metropolitan University strikes over jobs cuts this week  

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Manchester Metropolitan University will be on strike at both the Manchester and Crewe campuses tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday. 
On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings staff will be on picket lines in Manchester from 7am outside the Benzie Building at the junction of Boundary Street West and Higher Ormond Street.  In Crewe, UCU members will be outside the main entrance on Crewe Green Road from 8am.
On Tuesday there will be a rally at the Deaf Institute Cafe on Grosvenor Street in Manchester from 12pm. Speakers at the event will include UCU general secretary Sally Hunt. 
In Manchester on Wednesday striking staff will be speaking to parents and prospective students as they attend an open day at the university. UCU members will be explaining why they do not believe Manchester Metropolitan University should be rushing through job cuts when it has healthy reserves in the bank.
The row centres on job losses arising from the closure of the university’s Crewe campus and the fate of the 160 academic staff based there. UCU says strike action is a last resort, but the university has rejected its request to postpone redundancies planned for this summer, snubbed its offer of further talks and even turned down an offer to involve the specialist conciliation service ACAS to try and resolve the dispute.
The university has almost £400m in reserves and UCU says it sees no rationale for refusing to pause on this summer’s job losses or rule out compulsory redundancies. The university confirmed on 10 February that the Crewe campus will close in August 2019 after the students currently enrolled on courses there have finished their studies. 
UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: ‘Strike action is always a last resort, but members at Manchester Metropolitan University have made it quite clear they are prepared to take action to defend jobs. 
‘We have made a number of attempts to try and resolve this dispute at the negotiating table, including suggesting we get outside help from the specialist conciliation service ACAS but the university has refused. 
‘We want the university to postpone the redundancies planned for this summer and to come back and speak with us with a view to resolving this dispute.’
Four-fifths of members who voted in the recent ballot (79%) backed strike action. Two days’ strike action were originally planned for 24 and 25 May, but were cancelled after the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena.

Solidarity from Edge Hill University

Edge Hill Branch extends its support and solidarity to members at MMU as they face the prospect of compulsory redundancies.  It is our members who deliver excellence on a daily basis and it is unacceptable that their livelihoods are treated with contempt in this way at a time when institutions and their senior management teams grow rich from our efforts.
In Solidarity,
Edge Hill University UCU Branch

Solidarity from Coventry UCU

We would like to offer a message of solidarity from Coventry UCU for your industrial action against compulsory redundancies at MMU, despite there being large reserves. We offer our congratulations also at being the first UCU branch to take action after the shameful passing of the Trade Union Act and we hope that your example shows that it is still possible to fight for jobs, and terms and conditions under such unfavorable circumstances. We also note that you have decided to use the Alternative Open Day idea we explored at Coventry University, we hope this serves you well and we look forward to seeing you achieve your desired result. Please let us know if we can support you any further.

Message of support from PCS Union in the North West

16 June 2017

On behalf of PCS members in the NW we offer our support to UCU members at MMU who are taking strike action next Tuesday 20 June and Wednesday 21 June over the closure of its Crewe campus and the employer’s failure to redeploy all staff to the Manchester campus. It’s disgraceful.

Sadly employers behaving like this is becoming more and more common. It’s deplorable when you know there are jobs available for experienced and dedicated staff.

Workers need to stand together.

In solidarity

Paula Wood
North West Regional Secretary
Martin Cavanagh
North West Regional Chair

Another message of support for our action:

To all at Manchester Met UCU Branch.

I am sending a message of support on behalf of Bolton College UCU, FE branch. The University’s failure to redeploy staff from the Crewe Campus makes no sense and reveals a high handed and unsupportive attitude to industrial relations. We hope that your action is successful in bringing the institution’s management to the table to find a better way forward and secure the redeployment of all affected members.

Yours in solidarity

Joan Bailey
On behalf of Bolton College UCU Branch

Manchester Met UCU supported by acclaim at national Congress

Elected delegates from Universities and Further Education colleges met over the last bank holiday weekend in Brighton.  Congress is the policy-making body of UCU and we debated hundreds of motions over three days of concentrated debate.

Some issues though are so important that they are approved by acclaim.  Delegates show their unanimous support by giving a standing ovation approving the work of a branch to fight for issues which affect every member of the union.

On the morning of Sunday May 28th delegates gave that acclaim to the Manchester Metropolitan University branch for our campaign to oppose compulsory redundancies of colleagues at Crewe.  We were closely followed by Manchester University and Edge Hill University branches, both also acclaimed for their opposition to job cuts.  The union is united in opposing reorganisation by redundancy.

The whole of UCU is behind us.

Julie W.  MMU UCU Branch Secretary