Education cuts – demo tomorrow

Bismillah. From the UCU:

I am writing to update you with the latest information regarding our joint actions with the National Union of Students (NUS) on Thursday 9 December. All members are invited to join the lobby of parliament at 1pm.

All members are also invited to join me at the peaceful mass rally from 3pm on Victoria Embankment in the shadow of the Westminster clock tower and Big Ben for a host of speeches and a ‘candlelit vigil’: http://bit.ly/dPPAdL

The list of speakers already confirmed is set out below, with more adding their names daily. The vigil will begin at approx 4:30pm when we intend to create 9,000 points of light to symbolise the proposed higher tuition fee. Please bring warm clothes.

To get to the rally please if possible travel by public transport –Victoria Embankment is very easy to reach. We have agreed with the police to recommend that you use Charing Cross or Embankment tube stations as we anticipate that Westminster tube may need to close.

If you are unable to be present, please contact your MP in advance of Thursday’s vote and urge them to vote against the fees increase using: http://www.writetothem.com – thank you to everyone who has let me know that they have done this.

Speakers confirmed so far for the UCU/NUS rally:

Sally Hunt, UCU
Aaron Porter, NUS
Rt Hon John Denham MP
TUC speaker – Brendan Barber/Frances O’Grady
Rt Hon Peter Hain MP
Bob Crow, RMT
Lisa Nandy MP
Lilian Greenwood MP
Jeremy Dear, NUJ
Emily Thornberry MP
Paul Noon, Prospect
Jon Trickett MP
Nina Franklin – Senior VP NUT
Carly McKenzie, UJS
Paul Blomfield MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Katie Dalton, President NUS Wales
Billy Hayes, CWU
Caroline Lucas MP
Zita Holbourn , PCS National Executive
Paul Farrelly MP
Sharon Holder, National Official GMB
Luciana Berger MP
Kevin Brennan MP
Nabil Ahmed,FOSIS
Unison speaker
BYC speaker TBC
Jonathan Reynolds MP
John McDonnell MP
Teresa Pearce MP
Rt Hon Frank Dobson

It promises to be a day to remember. I hope you can join me to help defend education. Full details, including advice about attendance, are available here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/rally_9dec10

Unions unite to save EMA – national day of action, 13 December

I’d like also take this opportunity to tell you about the Save EMA day of action.

Students, staff and trade unions are uniting for a day of action as part of their campaign to save the education maintenance allowance (EMA) – a means-tested allowance for 16- to 19-year-olds who stay on in education. UCU has joined with NUS, NUT, ATL, Unison, Unite and the GMB to call a national day of action on Monday 13 December. Colleges and sixth-forms around the country will be holding lunchtime protests against government plans to axe financial support that can often be the difference between some students being able to afford to continue their studies.

A new joint website has also been launched with all the latest materials, which you can view here: http://www.emacampaign.org.uk/

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

• Please contact your branch to see what is being organised for the day and find out how you can help. Make contact with colleagues in other campus unions and the Students’ Union or student reps to discuss local ideas for the day

• Sign the petition: http://emacampaign.org.uk/sign/.

• Contact your local MP via http://www.writetothem.com to ask them to sign the petition, attend and/or publicly support the day and the campaign

• Download and print out the new campaign materials: http://www.emacampaign.org.uk/

Yours,
Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

PS: Travelling by coach or car? Due to expected numbers the police are now advising the following drop off points – in order of preference:

• York Road (SE1) – which is a short walk across Hungerford Bridge, turn left for easy access into Victoria Embankment.

• Lambeth Palace Road (SE1) – which is a short walk across Westminster Bridge, turn right for restricted access into Victoria Embankment (as the stage is at this end of the Embankment and will restrict the access we do not recommend that colleagues approach the Embankment from this end). ===

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