18 October 2010

In the news again...

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. The campaign against the Cardiff incinerator is going well but it takes up a lot of time I'd otherwise spend blogging.

One non-incinerator item of note. At their June conference, the University and College Union, of which I'm a member, voted solidly to ballot on strike action if no better offer on pay & jobs was forthcoming from the employers.

UCU's Higher Education Committee, citing some awfully poor arguments, and noting that having not done anything all summer to build support that support was lacking among the membership, declined to call the ballot early in September.

UCU Left's response was to call for a ballot immediately, no matter whether it would pass, and in so doing circumvent the elected leadership of the union. Such a move would have weakened UCU's position further, setting the membership against itself and quite probably losing the ballot as a result.

After consulting with other members of the Socialist Party caucus in UCU, to Socialist Party arrived at the following position, which I'm proud to say I wrote. Instead of just reacting to the HEC, we analyze the situtation: poor support for the ballot, and HEC's lack of confidence in it, reflects HEC's disconnection from its members. I explained this, calmly and squarely, after some very disappointing comments from Jimmy Donaghey of the HEC.

Within 24 hours, the HEC had called a special sector conference on its own initiative to discuss the way forward for the Union. Engaging with the members, preserving a united union. Progress, if not perfection.

Quite chuffed though.


Anonymous said...


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