THE ASSOCIATION of University Teachers summer conference met in Eastbourne last week against a backdrop of threatened compulsory redundancies in many universities. Union leaders opposed calls for a national campaign against compulsory redundancy. However, they accepted a motion calling for a national demonstration against compulsory redundancies.
Conference was characterised by a political and angry mood, combined with a lack of confidence to translate the mood into action. A motion proposed by the executive on the World Trade Organisation referred to a wave of privatisation in education, and to the extension of free trade principles to public services.
A later motion opposed privatisation, and the union is now committed to supporting an anti-privatisation demonstration organised by the UNISON union in the autumn. The NUJ union statement opposing the witch-hunt against asylum seekers was passed.