Natfhe and AUT to merge
Members of Natfhe and the AUT have have voted overwhelmingly to merge the two lecturers’ unions into one with 116,000 members.
The merger was supported by 79.2 percent of AUT members who voted and 95.7 percent of Natfhe members.
The new union, the University and College Union (UCU), will emerge when the two unions amalgamate on 1 June 2006, and then enter a transitional year until full operational unity is achieved in June 2007.
John Pilger for university rector
Award winning journalist John Pilger has accepted a nomination for rector of Edinburgh University by the university’s Palestine Solidarity Society.
In recent months students at both Stirling University and Edinburgh Unviersity have voted to support the Right to Education Campaign for Palestinian students and to twin with Birzeit University in the West Bank.
Edinburgh University Palestine Solidarity Society
Write to these prisoners
There are many wrongfully held prisoners who will be away from their families over the holiday period. You can contact the campaigns Mojo Scotland (www.mojoscotland.com) and Cage Prisoners (www.cageprisoners.com)
and for details of those who would appreciate a seasons greetings card.
Among them are Omar Deghayes, Prisoner 727, 160 Camp Delta, Washington DC, 20053, US and Babar Ahmad, MX 5383, HMP Woodhill, Tattenhoe Street, Milton Keynes MK4 4DA.
Justice for Azelle Rodney
The campaign for justice for Azelle Rodney, who was shot dead by police in west London in April, held a public meeting in Bedfont, Middlesex on Thursday of last week.
Susan Alexander, Azelle’s mother, told the meeting, “I don’t feel that the Independent Police Complaints Commission is as independent as it says it is. I don’t have much confidence in the outcome of the investigation.
“We are demanding a full account of what happened.”
For more information go to www.azellerodney.co.uk
Job cuts as army base closes
Anger is spreading through Telford over the proposed closure of the Army Base Repair Organisation workshops at Donnington, with the loss of 628 civil service jobs and many others jobs that are dependant on it. Amicus shop steward Brett Davis told Socialist Worker, “Nobody was expecting the job losses to be on such a large scale.”
Copies of the Battle for ABRO petition to JSSC, Whitley Office ABRO Donnington Telford TF2 8JT. For more information go to www.saveabrodonnington.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
Caithness maternity unit
In a surprise U-turn, Highland NHS trust announced last week that is it is to retain permanent consultant cover at Caithness maternity unit, two years after it insisted that such a service was “unsafe and unsustainable”. This comes after a strong local campaign, including this protest in 2004, in which activists in Scottish Socialist Party played a central role.
The Fire Brigades Union in Hertfordshire is highlighting the danger of proposed cuts following a recent incident in Watford.
Fire crews attended a flat fire at Crossroads House on Friday 25 November. The fire in the second floor flat required four fire engines to bring it under control. But deputy chief fire officer Mark Yates and chair of the Hertfordshire fire and rescue service David Lloyd speak of an “over provision of fire cover for the Watford area”.
The FBU in Fife is campaigning against proposals to merge fire stations in Dunfermline and Rosyth, which could mean the loss of 60 firefighters’ jobs.