Liverpool and Manchester Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorations

Monday 27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day. This is a day for us all to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and those who have been killed in genocides around the world such as those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

As part of the commemorations over the next week, there are two events below taking place in Liverpool and Manchester, with labour movement speakers and contributions. Please do share these and encourage people to attend.

If you are aware of other such events, do let us know and we will endeavour to promote these.

Liverpool Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration:

organised by Merseyside Unite Against Fascism

Thursday 23rd January, 


at The Hornby Library, upstairs in Liverpool Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW.

The Commemoration will involve readings of Holocaust Survivor Testimony, the lighting of a Memorial Candle, and a minute’s silence in memory of the millions of Jewish people and others who were murdered in the Holocaust and under Nazi persecution.

The link to the FB event page is copied below:

For more info please contact


Manchester Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration:

organised by Greater Manchester Unite Against Fascism & Greater Manchester Stand Up to Racism.

Thursday 30th January 

7.00pm, at UNISON North West Regional Centre, Arena Point, 1 Hunts Bank, Manchester M3 1UN.

Speakers & Readers of Survivor Testimony include:

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester;
Jay McKenna, North West TUC; & others.

Link to FB event page below:

An evening with Ken Loach, Monday 3rd February from 1800

Screening of Sorry We Missed You

Followed by Q&A with director Ken Loach

The Klondyke Centre,
Burnage Close,
Manchester (2 mins from Levenshulme Station)

Tickets – £10 Waged – £3 unwaged

Click here for tickets

Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) and Thompsons Solicitors are pleased to announce a community screening of Ken Loach’s latest highly acclaimed new film: Sorry We Missed You.

Sorry We Missed You starkly documents the issues facing millions of workers in the gig economy who work on “flexible” zero hours contracts with little job security and poor working conditions.

The Film will be followed by a presentation by Ken, on why he made the film and the political and social issues that the film highlights. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask Ken questions too.

This event is a fundraiser for GMLC to support its work in providing free legal advice to the Greater Manchester Community and its campaign to promote free access to justice for all. For further information on GMLC’s work please visit:

Mental Health in a Modern Workplace: 4th March, Mechanics Institute, Manchester

UCU reps come face to face with mental health issues on a daily basis. This conference aims to draw out some practical approaches to helping members and reps gain confidence when dealing with these issues.

Speakers include:

Jo Grady, UCU General Secretary,
Hazards Campaign, Education Support Partnership, Zero Suicide Alliance, Thompsons Solicitors, Janet Farrar UCU NEC

The meeting will be from 10:30 -15:30 (registration from 10:00) Refreshments will be served on arrival. There will be a light lunch available for delegates and afternoon refreshments.

Register here.

For further details please contact:

0161 772 7011

UCU Equality Groups Conference 2019 – Report

UCU’s annual equality conference combines a joint equality conference for black, disabled, LGBT+ and women members as well as dedicated sessions for the four constituencies, joint sessions, various workshops and guest speakers.

The 2019 conference was held in Birmingham from 21 November – Saturday 23 November and included half-day conferences for each of the four equality strands, and a plenary session on ‘othering’ which marginalises and devalues people based on their protected characteristic or class.

Questions or contributions were invited to the guest speakers: Sam Heyes, who spoke on the need for trans inclusion and Michael Braithwaite who provided an emotive commentary on his work as a Windrush campaigner.

Michael Braithwaite

The conference also included a session on how to progress equal pay claims in the workplace and identifying pay gaps for different equality groups.

Over the three day conference various strands on the Members Standing Commitees (MSCs) voted on motions presented and members elections to MSCs .


Report by Louise Gooddy, UCU NW Regional Committee LGBT+ Rep.

UCU LGBT+ Members’ Annual Conference 2019 Report

The annual meeting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of UCU, took place during the annual UCU equality conference on Saturday 23 November.

The LGBT+ members’ conference was opened by the chair of the MSC, Ryan Prout.

Elections for the forthcoming committee and motions were voted upon before the guest speakers addressed members on Saturday 23rd November. Key themes and guest speakers were: Marc Svensson on ‘Emerging Non-Binary & Queer Identities’, Dr Matson Lawrence on ‘TransEDU’ and Eden Ladley, NUS Action on ‘Trans in Education.’

Dr Matson Lawrence

Eden Ladley

Members were invited to ask questions or make contributions to the speakers and panel.


Report by Louise Gooddy, UCU NW Regional Committee LGBT+ Rep.

Tackling Casualisation at Lancaster University

On the back of UCU campaigning on casualisation at Lancaster University the employer has finally recognises that insecurity caused by the use of fixed-term contracts and casual arrangements is bad for business.

UCU North West Regional Office and Lancaster University UCU Branch have negotiated an entirely new policy to combat casual and fixed-term employment. The new policy delivers for UCU members:

  • transferring current fixed-term contracts to indefinite
  • treating research staff with parity, and removing time-limited funding as justification for the use of fixed-term contracts
  • limiting the future use of fixed-term contracts to specific and exceptional situations
  • making clear commitments to pay GTAs and demonstrators for all the work they undertake
  • ensuring casual workers are provided with a contract, are paid on time, and that payment for ad-hoc work is made when the work is cancelled at short notice

This policy represents a significant improvement at Lancaster University, and would be a helpful exemple for other branches tackling casualisation in higher education. UCU branches can obtain a copy from North West Regional Office:

University of Liverpool withdraws redundancy proposals following UCU pressure

University of Liverpool has shelved plans to restructure the English Language Centre, safeguarding 23 lecturing jobs.

Following representations made by branch and regional officers, UCU is pleased to confirm that ill-conceived plans that threatened jobs and student provision have been entirely withdrawn.

The English Language Centre provides short-course language tuition and support for adults and international students studying at a UK university and needing a certain level of language. UCU members working in this important function of the University of Liverpool know how the centre can be more effective and provide better support; it’s now time they are listened to.

UCU secure recognition agreement with training pvoider Total People

UCU and Unison have signed a recognition agreement with the training provider Total People based in Nantwich.

UCU welcomed the agreement as an “important milestone” and said it would allow the union to engage in collective bargaining over pay and working conditions on behalf of almost 300 staff working at the provider.

Part of the LTE Group, Total People is a major provider of work-based learning across the UK, delivering a range of provision including apprenticeships, traineeships and short courses to over 6,000 learners.

UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: ‘I’m pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement on recognition and bargaining rights for staff delivering training and apprenticeships.  This is an important milestone in our relationship with Total People which we now look forward to developing positively.’

At the same time as signing the recognition agreement UCU Branch officers Janet Farrar and Lesley Higginbottom along with UCU and Unison North West Regional representatives attended a Total People staff conference and Janet addressed the conference about UCU membership and the difference the union can now make for them at work. There was very positive feedback from lots of staff who deliver training and learning.

Week #1 of strike action in the North West: images from the picket lines

Week #1 is done and the strike is strong!

Below are a selection of highlights from the first week of strike action the HE institutions across the North West. From the excellent support of hundreds of members on picket lines across all the branches to the inspiring and incredibly well attended marches and rallies in Manchester and Liverpool on Monday and Tuesday. Congratulations to the branches at the University of Manchester, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Lancaster University and Edge Hill University.



UCU members across 60 universities in the UK are striking over changes to the USS pension scheme and universities’ refusal to deal with key issues such as pay, casualisation, inequality and workloads.

Overall, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). In the ballot on pay, casualisation, equality and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action. More information here.

In the North West UCU members at the University of Manchester (pensions and pay), Lancaster University (pensions and pay) , the University of Liverpool (pensions and pay), Edge Hill University (pay), Liverpool Hope University (pay) and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (pay) will be starting 8 days of strike action on Monday 25th November followed by Action Short of a Strike (ASOS).

Striking is a last resort for UCU members and the university employers have had every opportunity to avoid it.

We are calling on members and supporters to stand shoulder to shoulder with those on strike and show solidarity with a donation to the UCU fighting fund.

Picket lines will be forming each strike day on university campuses. UCU members will subsequently be taking action short of strike by working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action and not undertaking any voluntary activities.

There will be a rallies as follows:

Monday 25th 11.30 at the University of Manchester, University Place, Oxford Road, Manchester. Speakers include Angela Rayner MP, Kate Green MP, Labour candidate for Bury South and UCU NEC member Lucy Burke and Vicky Blake, UCU Vice president.

Tuesday 26th Assemble at 11.00 for a march from  University Square at midday on the corner of Brownlow Hill and Mount Pleasant on the University of Liverpool campus through the city centre to the Liver Building, USS headquarters on the Pier Head for a rally at 12.30. Speakers include Jo Grady, UCU General Secretary, Dan Carden MP and Paula Barker, Unison Regional Convenor and Labour PPC for Liverpool Wavertree.

Please do whatever you can to support picket lines, attend a rally or send messages of support and solidarity. Tweet your support to @UCUmmoss and @UCU. Show your solidarity by using social media to post on UCU’s wall of support

Please also send messages of support to and we will share with local UCU branches on strike.