Monday, 24 September 2012

We can do it too!

"Creating a feminist reality doesn't just mean women are empowered to "do it all", it also requires that men step up and share some of the real work!"
I've got the pleasure of having some additional time off work for paternity leave at the moment, and won't be back at work full time again until 15th October.

So if you're contacting me to invite me to speak at a branch meeting, demo or rally about the ballot for strike action for fair pay - or generally as an elected UNISON NEC member to help build the TUC demo on 20th - then thanks for thinking of me but I really am tied up and look at bit like this dude on the left right now...

Additional paternity leave is a right we fought for and won, and eventually was quietly introduced last year (covering babies born after 3rd April 2011) so that women can share their parenting leave with men for the first 12 months of a child's life. I'm lucky in that regards, in terms of timing.

Has your workplace updated their policies in line with this new law? UNISON has some helpful guidance from their Bargaining Support Group here:

Maternity Support Leave / Paternity Leave - Unison

If you wanted to get hold of me as the Chair of London Met Uni UNISON Branch then go here for the contact details of the branch Vice-Chair, Eddie Rowley, who is doing an amazing job deputising for me in the interim (during extremely difficult times - so be nice!).

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Demonstrate for The Women’s Library - 22nd Sept

Demonstrate for The Women's Library - 22nd Sept

Download flier Save TWL demo (click on image for PDF)
The Save TWL campaign has called for a demonstration to Save The Women's Library

Save The Women's Library
22nd September
Old Castle Street
E1 7NT
(nearest tube Aldgate East)
We demand:
  1. The library stays in its historic home
  2. The collections stay intact and accessible to all
  3. The library retains its expert sta ff
Over 12,000 people have signed the petition to Save The Women's Library and  so now we are presenting this petition on the Saturday before the Governors of London Met decide its future, and we are calling on the Government to intervene if the threat to close TWL remains real…

FB: save the womens library || Twitter: @saveTWL

Join the Facebook event

Monday, 10 September 2012

Friday 14th Sept: national Day of action - Amnesty for London Met Students!

When? 1pm on Friday the 14th September.
Where? Where you are right now! There's plenty of ways to get involved.
Called by: London Met UCU and London Met UNISON.

On Friday, the London Met UCU and UNISON are asking everyone to do something locally. This could be something really small like signing a petition or big like attending a small protest.

This could be:
1) Signing the official NUS Petition. Find it here and get your students' union, clubs, societies, lecturers, officers, friends and family to add their name too:

2) Sending a letter to your MP too here - it only takes 1-2 minutes!

And ask them to sign EDM 437:

3) Attending your MP surgery and meeting with your MP to raise concerns.

4) Organising an open meeting/forum to discuss international student issues.

5) Attending any local gatherings/protests.

6) Come to our rally / open discussion the night before at London Met:

Updates of a list of action are on this facebook event:






BATH SU: Has written an open letter to our local MP and published a brief statement here:

BIRKBECK SU: "#bbksucouncil discusses the London Met situation and sends #solidarity to the thousands of international students affected" (from the SU homepage).

BIRMINGHAM CITY STUDENTS' UNION: Have issued a statement on their website.

BOURNEMOUTH STUDENTS' UNION: Spread the NUS petition to students and have encouraged students to write to their MPs.

CARDIFF STUDENTS' UNION: Have lobbied their local MP on this issue.

CITY SU: promoted the NUS petition to their student body and wrote to their local MP.

GOLDSMITHS SU: released a statement of condemnation jointly with UCU (, and promoted the petition.

HULL STUDENTS' UNION: Have published a blog on their website:

KCLSU: released a statement of condemnation ( of UKBA's decision on London Met

LIVERPOOL HOPE STUDENTS' UNION: Have issued a statement and have spread the petition amongst students.

LIVERPOOL GUILD OF STUDENTS: Have published the petition on their website, written to MPs and published a statement on their website:

LSESU: released a statement of condemnation (, publicized petition and demo to members and lobbied local MP

LONDON FILM SCHOOL: Have issued a message of support:

MIDDLESEX STUDENTS' UNION: Have written to MPS, embassies and issued a statement on their website:

MIDKENT COLLEGE STUDENTS' UNION: Have published a statement of support:

ROEHAMPTON SU: have lobbied their local MP on the issue

ROYAL HOLLOWAY SU: released a statement on their website (, publicized petition to students and lobbied local MP.

SHEFFIELD STUDENTS' UNION: Have published a joint statement on their website with their Vice-Chancellor:

SOAS SU: sent out an all students' email publicizing NUS petition, demo and write to your MP campaign. Lobbied the local MP to sign EDM and wrote to the School's director to demand that he releases a statement of condemnation. They also brought 20 SOAS students to the demo last Wednesday.


SUSSEX SU: lobbied the VC and released a public statement (with great pictures!)

PORTSMOUTH SU: lobbied the VC and the local MP.

OXFORD STUDENTS' UNION: Have published a statement on London Met that was picked up by it's local papers:

UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS LONDON SU: (SUARTS) endorsed and publicized a statement of condemnation of UKBA's revocation of London Met's HTS license.

UCASU: Have issued a statement on their website with their VC:

UCLU: tweeted about it, publicized petition and demo to their students

ULU: initiated a statement of condemnation signed by over 40 officers from London based institutions; publicized petition, lobbied local MP and publicized demo.

WARWICK STUDENTS' UNION: Sent an all member email to students encouraging them to sign the NUS petition:

YORK STUDENTS' UNION: Have emailed their MPs, circulated the petitions, contacted embassies and have issued a joint statement with their University on their website:

YSJ STUDENTS' UNION: Have issued a message on their website:


ABEP (Association of Brazilian Postgraduates and Researchers): Have written to Damian Green and the Brazilian Embeassy.

BRAZILIAN WORKER'S PARTY - (London Branch) Have published an open letter:

JEREMY CORBYN MP: Has been actively campaigning on this issue.

THE GREEN PARTY: Has released a statement.

PCS UNION: Have issued a message of support on their website:

UKCISA: Have issued a statement on their website:

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Amnesty Now! Save London Met Uni!

UNISON and UCU members vote to support our international students 100%
When? 1pm on Weds 5th September

Where? Outside the Home Office on Marsham Street.

Called by: London Met UCU and London Met UNISON.

Supported by: National Union of Students, London Met SU, NUS Black Students' Campaign, Students Association of Nigerians in Diaspora (SAND), National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, University of London Union, Education Activist Network, Student Broad Left, SOAS SU, Next Generation Labour, University of Leicester Students' Union.

To add your organisation to the list - email NUS Black Students' Officer

Sign the Petition:

Amnesty for international students at London Metropolitan University

Early day motion 437

Send a letter to your MP too and ask them to sign EDM 437

London Met SU are asking students to bring suitcase/bags so that we can use them build a massive pile in front of the Home Office and we are asking everyone to bring their national flags!

Act now to defend international students from a vicious Tory attack!

The Tory government's assault on international students has stepped up a gear this week, with moves to deport more than 2,600 students currently studying at London Met University.

London Met University's licence to teach and recruit students from outside the EU has been revoked, meaning that over 2,600 international students will soon have only 60 days to find a place at another university or be forced to leave the country without completing their studies.

With their future on the line, thousands of pounds of tuition fees spent and serious doubts over whether they will be able to finish their degrees it is no surprise that international students at London Met are fearful.

Lecturers at London Met have called for a lobby/protest outside of the Home Office on Wednesday 5 September at 1pm demanding that the 2,600 international students are allowed to complete their studies. Please spread the word.

UNISON and UCU have a list of demands on the Governors

Early day motion 437

That this House calls on the Home Secretary to reverse the decision of the UK Border Agency to suspend London Metropolitan University's right to recruit overseas students; believes it is grossly unfair on those existing overseas students who attend university and will now be forced to move elsewhere or face removal from the UK; further calls on the Home Office and the university to work together to resolve any administrative issues and not threaten the future of the university; and also believes that this decision has very damaging and serious consequences for every university and will further deter overseas students from choosing to study in the UK.

You can ask your MP to sign EDM 437 via: