Join UCU to march the demonstration against the Tory Party Conference

UCU is fully supporting the forthcoming People’s Assembly Demo at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester on Sunday 29th September 2019.

There will be a march, starting at 12noon, assembling at All Saints Park on Oxford Road and a rally at the end of Deansgate. We are pleased that UCU National President Douglas Chalmers will be joining us.

A map and further details are attached. Please promote to your members and come and join us on the UCU section of the march. Bring your branch banner.


NW Black Members Network Meeting 25th September from 18:00 at Thompsons Manchester

A message from Blaise Nkwenti-Azeh, UCU NW Regional Equality Officer (Black Members):

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to invite you to a meeting of UCU NW Black Member reps on Wednesday 25th September 2019.

The venue of the meeting is: Thompsons, 55 King St, Manchester M2 4LQ

Reasonable travel and other expenses will be reimbursed.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the setting up of a UCU NW Black Members’ Network which will serve as a forum for engagement and development of our Black Members in our region.

The Black Members’ Standing Committee lobbied some years ago and secured dedicated funding from UCU for initiatives that will enable Black Members be more involved in the Union. For the past couple of years, the Union has allocated £2,000 to each region.  This has seen the creation of Regional Networks in the Yorkshire and Humber, Midlands and several other regions. The visibility of members from these regions in Union structures has also increased as a result.

Our meeting on 25th September will look into the setting up of a Network in our region and how we can increase the participation of our members at the upcoming Annual Equality Conferences.

I hope you’re able to attend the meeting and look forward to seeing you.

It would be helpful if you could confirm your attendance by emailing

Best wishes,


Blaise Nkwenti-Azeh

UCU NW Regional Equality Officer (Black Members)

UCU Branch success at Myerscough College

The AGM for Myerscough College UCU Branch took place this week and reported on a 25% membership increase.

The UCU branch at Myerscough has increased its density by over 25% in the past 6 months. This comes after the work of the branch first UCU officer for many years.  The AGM also saw the election of another 3 members to the committee. The meeting discussed campaign ideas for the present academic year and with news spreading of the good work of the branch, non-members have been in touch to enquire about UCU membership.

This is testimony to hard work of the chair and the active work of existing branch members. With a new and enlarged committee, further organisational successes are expected in 2019/20.

Where UCU branches have reps and organisation we can secure better pay and conditions for members. Paid time off, UCU rep training and support from UCU officials is available. To discuss becoming a UCU rep in your workplace or if you would like to help find reps, please contact or tel: 0161 772 7020


The Big Meeting: A documentary about the Durham Miners’ Gala

A new film, The Big Meeting: Durham Miners’ Gala Documentary, is out on general release on 6 September.



The filmmakers want The Big Meeting to be viewed by as many people as possible and are encouraging community groups, organisations, trades union branches, Labour Party branches and individuals to host local screenings of the documentary.

The fee for community screenings is £75 – that covers the license costs for screening the film publicly. For any groups who licence The Big Meeting, the film makers will allow the screening of their documentary Nature of the Beast – about Dennis Skinner – for free in the future.

If you’re interested, please get in touch with the production company, Shut Out The Light:

Be sure to provide essential details, such as the location of the screening, the proposed date and the format required.

Once the screening is confirmed, Shut Out The Light will help promote the showing and the filmmakers will attend any screening for a Q&A if travel expenses can be covered.

It is recommend that organisers have a post-film Q&A or panel discussion to enhance the event and to engage your audience in a dialogue about the themes and narratives explored within the film.

Please get in touch if you require any additional information:

Twitter: @durhamgalafilm

Facebook: @durhamminersgalafilm


Help shape the future of our Trade Union movement

The TUC is undertaking a major piece of research into the role of union reps in the modern workforce. We’ve been travelling round the country speaking to reps and are now launching a UK-wide union reps survey.

We believe in a movement with reps at the forefront of what we do. That means supporting reps to win in the workplace – from resources and learning, to events and guidance.

But if we want to change things, it needs all of us involved. If you’re a union rep, will you take this survey to contribute to our strategy and help shape the future of our movement?

Take the survey.

Chancellor announces £400 million investment for 16-19 year olds’ education – the sector responds

“Any funding is to be welcomed,” states UCU general secretary Jo Grady, “but we need to be clear that it falls well short of the £3bn needed to restore college budgets to their 2010 levels. It is particularly disappointing that there is no additional funding for adult education, which has seen its budget slashed by over 45% in real terms this decade. The government must dig deeper if it wants to ensure our colleges can deliver transformative education for all those who would benefit.”

See the sector responses – including that of UCU – in FE news here.