Socialist Worker

Lecturers’ conference meets at crucial time

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2506

Last years UCU conference

Last year's UCU conference

UCU lecturers’ union members will meet for the union’s annual congress in Liverpool this week amid a Tory assault on education.

The higher education white paper aims to let the market rip through universities while government area reviews threaten further education colleges with merger or closure.

Casualisation of contracts is a big issue in both sectors.

And attacks on pay and conditions are linked to a Tory agenda of increasing privatisation in the sector.

Carlo Morelli is assistant secretary of the UCU at Dundee university and a member of the union’s national executive committee.

He told Socialist Worker, “The higher education pay dispute will be a big issue at the conference.

“There will be debates over escalating the action, holding a marking boycott in the autumn and coordinating action with other unions.”


A motion calls on the union to try to coordinate ballots in colleges over the cuts resulting from the area reviews.

There will also be a big debate over the union’s campaign over the white paper.

The Convention for Higher Education has produced an alternative white paper.

Carlo said UCU needed to put itself “at the heart of the movement” against the white paper.

He also stressed that the union needs to fight the Prevent strategy, which targets Muslims as potential terrorists.

And delegates should back a motion calling on the union to reaffirm its policies on justice for Palestine.

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