Rally and Demo marking UN #Anti-Racism Day

March 1, 2014

The rally and demo called for 22nd March by UAF and the TUC, supported by many unions, community organisations, migrant and muslim organisations will be the biggest anti-racist event for many years.

See below for UAF statement. For further information go to: www.standuptoracism.org.uk

Islington UAF is organising for this event and we hope that you will join us on the day and help us build support for the event. On the day there will be a parade celebrating diversity, multiculturalism and the contribution of immigrants to our communities. It will be child-friendly and, we hope, noisy and colourful.
Before the event Islington UAF will be doing a number of things:

Friday 7th. March: leafleting at Finsbury Park.

  • 12.45 Meet Finsbury Park mosque (St Thomas Street)
  • 5.00 Meet Finsbury Park Tube (Bus station exit  at Seven Sisters side)

We also hope to organise leafleting at other local tube stations. Any volunteers?
Saturday 15th. March: demo and leafleting Chapel Market

  • 12 noon Meet Angel Tube

There are also events in Hackney:

  • Cavalcade to build M22 assembling at 11.00am on Saturday 1st March 2014. Starts from Car Park at Topps Tiles, 92 Stamford Hill, London N16 6XS (opposite the Morrison’s)
  • Public Meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 at the Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, E5 0PU with Diane Abbott MP, Weyman Bennett (Unite Against Fascism) and Billy Hayes (general secretary Communication Workers Union)

Please join us and help to make March 22nd. a big step forward in the fight against Racism and Fascism.
If you would like leaflets please contact us.
Richard Kirkwood
Co-Chair Islington UAF

Rally and Demo marking UN Anti-Racism Day
11am, Saturday 22nd March 2014
Parade from the Mandela Statue in Parliament to rally at Trafalgar Square

A day of action against racism has been called for across Europe to coincide with the marking of UN Anti-Racism Day in 2014, with eyes on the European elections in May.

Already in most European countries parties of the right, centre and even the traditional left are allowing the terrain of these elections to be dominated by racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and the scapegoating of minorities – Muslims, immigrants, Roma, Black and Asian communities.

Across Europe the fascist and populist racist right are on the rise. From the violent Golden Dawn in Greece, the anti-Roma Jobbik in Hungary, the Islamophobic Freedom Party of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands to the success of the Front National in France, these currents are encouraging hatred, fear and prejudice in a frightening wave across the continent.

In Britain the far right is hoping for gains in the Euro elections. The British National Party (BNP) is seeking the re-election of Nick Griffin in the North West and Andrew Brons is seeking re-election in Yorkshire and the Humber. The mainstream political parties look set to capitulate to UKIP in their calls for draconian ‘anti-immigration’ policies and promoting a ‘Little Englander’ anti-foreign, anti-Europe mentality.

The ‘go-home’ vans sent out by the Home Office over the summer are a sign of things to come. Hostility is already being stirred up towards Bulgarian and Romanian migrant workers who will be able to work here from January.

Such campaigns simply whip up racism in general and induce a ‘blame game’ for falling living standards and squeezed incomes that falls on visible minorities in stepped up discrimination, institutional racism, abuse and violence.

This all encourages currents like the English Defence League, which turn their Islamophobic prejudices into real attempts to terrorise the Muslim population – attacking Mosques, assaulting veiled women, insulting religious sensitivities with vile slogans and throwing pigs’ heads, and organising intimidating marches into Muslim communities.

Following the rising violence of Golden Dawn and the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, (also known as Killah P), the Greek anti-fascist and anti-racist movement has proposed that next year’s UN Day Against Race Discrimination on March 21/22 should be the focus for actions against racism and fascism across Europe.

While there is a real threat that openly racist parties may win the 2014 Euro-elections in some countries, this can be prevented by the widest possible unity against them and the mobilisation of the broadest progressive forces.

Unite Against Fascism has therefore initiated this call for a demonstration and rally to Stand Up to Racism in London on Saturday 22nd March. We endorse this proposal and call on all those of goodwill to join us in a riposte to the rise of racism, to show that migrants are welcome and demonstrate our confidence in a future free of scapegoating and hatred.


#Islington #teachers at #Angel to call for a halt to Gove’s attack on #schools

March 1, 2014
  • Stand up for Education: stop Gove attacking teachers and schools
  • Information from Islington NUT

 Next Saturday (8 March) Islington teachers will be leafleting and petitioning local shoppers from 11.30 am outside Sainsbury’s at the Angel in support of our campaign to stop the constant attacks being made by Education Secretary Michael Gove on schools and the teachers and support staff who work in them.

We plan to distribute gas-filled balloons with the Stand Up for Education logo on them to passing children (with parents’ permission, of course.)

Ken Muller, Assistant Secretary of Islington branch of the National Union of Teachers, said: “We want Islington residents – and especially parents – to know why we feel that we have no choice but to join national strike action called by the NUT on 26 March to defend our right to a tolerable workload, to retire at a reasonable age and to receive a salary which keeps up with the cost of living.”

The Coalition Government’s policies threaten the standard of education in all our schools and colleges. We are asking parents to help us to persuade Michael Gove to change course.

Local parent governor, Andrew Berry,  commented: “I fully support the NUT Stand Up for Education campaign. The constant attacks by Gove and the government on teachers and other school staff in education is damaging not just to them but also to schools themselves and to children’s and young people’s education.”

Teachers in Islington and across the country are calling on Michael Gove to:

  1. Ensure every classroom has a qualified teacher
    Academies and free schools are now allowed to employ unqualified teachers. This is a big threat to standards of education.
  2. Allow councils to open new schools where they are needed
    There is a huge pupil place shortage but councils are not allowed to open new schools. Many councils are driven to putting portacabins on school playgrounds to cope. The Government only allows new “free” schools and these are often in the wrong place.
  3. Make sure changes to the curriculum and exams are positive and planned
    Rushed changes are stressful for children as well as their teachers. The Government should start listening to what teachers and education experts say. It should work with them to develop an exciting and inspiring curriculum that equips children for the modern world.
  4. Ensure there are enough new teachers – stop picking fights with the ones we’ve got
    Michael Gove keeps criticising teachers. Morale is plummeting. Five years after qualifying, 2 in every 5 teachers are no longer teaching. On top of that the current system of training teachers is under-recruiting. Instead of dealing with this, Michael Gove keeps attacking our teachers, who are forced to strike to defend themselves and education.
  5. Get our schools working together and fund them properly
    The evidence shows that schools working together are best for all children. Financial scandals at free schools show the dangers of privatisation. On top of this fragmentation, school 6th forms and 6th form colleges are facing 20% cuts while £1.7 billion has been allocated to wasteful and unnecessary schools.

We know that the majority of parents share our concerns and we welcome any support they are prepared to give us, including writing to Michael Gove calling on him to enter in to serious talks with the teachers trade unions in order to avoid us having to strike and even joining us next Saturday morning at the Angel.

For further information, call Ken Muller on 079507508


#Islington free #school considers union recognition after strikes

February 12, 2014

Following two days of well-supported strike action by teachers at STEM 6 Academy – a newly-opened Islington free school for 16-18 olds – on Wednesday and Thursday last week, NUT representatives were invited to attend a meeting with school governors and the principal on Friday afternoon.

At the meeting, we were presented with a draft union recognition agreement close to what we were seeking and a time-limited procedure for resolving issues concerning teachers terms and conditions.

On Monday, NUT members at STEM 6 agreed that the commitments given to the NUT were sufficient for them to agree to suspend three further days of strike action – called for this week – to allow negotiations to proceed today (Tuesday).

Ken Muller, Assistant Secretary of Islington NUT, said:

“Today’s negotiations made significant progress towards meeting our objective of moving staff on to terms and conditions of employment comparable with those enjoyed in sixth form colleges and we are optimistic that we will be able to resolve outstanding matters of concern without further resort to industrial action.

“Final agreement on the issues at STEM 6 will allow teachers and support staff at the school to focus on providing students with the high quality education to which they are entitled and – notwithstanding the NUT’s wish to see all schools becoming democratically accountable to the communities which they serve and working in cooperation rather than in competition with each other – hopefully become model for other free schools to emulate.”

For further information, call Ken Muller on 07950075088


Hands off our #Unions – Our right to resist #Austerity

February 8, 2014

Public rally organised by the People’s Assembly, Institute of Employment Rights and the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom

Tuesday 11 Feb, 6:30pm
Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1
Tube: Kings Cross

Speakers include:
Len McCluskey
, Unite the Union
Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services Union
Francesca Martinez, Comedian
John Hendy QC, Campaign for Trade Union Freedom
a striking transport worker
Sam Fairbairn
, The People’s Assembly
Chaired by: Alex Kenny, NUT andCarolyn Jones, Institute of Employment Rights

Register your place here:https://handsoffunions.eventbrite.co.uk <https://handsoffunions.eventbrite.co.uk/>

The People’s Assembly has teamed up with the Institute of Employment Rights and the Campaign for Trade Union freedom to launch an initiative in defense of the trade union movement and our right to resist austerity.

The Tories have launched fresh attacks on the trade union movement. David Cameron is proposing further limitations on the right to take strike action and Boris Johnson continues to attack London Underground workers striking against cuts to jobs and the closure of the station offices.

This comes at a time when strikes are on the increase, with Higher Education workers also taking action and teachers look set to announce further strikes in the coming weeks.

But these attacks have not just come from the Tory-led government. Milliband has pushed through reforms to weaken the trade union’s influence over the Labour Party.

As millions of people face falling real wages, unemployment, part time or casualised low paid work, and the rapid destruction or privatisation of the welfare state they stand in need of trade union organisation and the right to protest more than ever.


#Islington free #school promises #union recognition

January 29, 2014

I am very pleased to be able to report to you that STEM 6 Academy has today agreed to recognise the NUT and enter in to meaningful and early negotiations with us about our members’ terms and conditions. (Any formal recognition agreement we come to should apply to all staff unions and not just the NUT.)

On this basis we have agreed to suspend tomorrow’s strike action. A decision on further action will depend on the progress achieved in the forthcoming negotiations. There will, therefore, be no picket outside the school tomorrow.

This is a very significant success, not just for the NUT but for everyone concerned about union rights and the Coalition government’s efforts to use privatisation and marketisation to drive down workers’ pay and conditions.

It shows that we do not have to surrender in the face of employers’ attacks but can stand up and fight back for our rights.

It is a credit to our members at STEM 6 that they have been prepared to do this so courageously in the face of considerable intimidation.

I would like, on behalf of STEM 6 teachers, to thank you all for the numerous messages of support they have received in recent weeks.

The battle at STEM 6 is not entirely over but today’s developments have taken us a long way towards achieving our objectives.

I know that we can count on your support if it becomes necessary to reinstate our action.

In solidarity

Ken Muller
Assistant Secretary
Islington NUT


#Islington free #school #teachers vote for strike action

January 25, 2014

By Ken Muller

Earlier this week, it was announced that teachers at the STEM 6 Academy, a newly opened 16-18 free school in Islington, had voted to take strike action in support of their demand for union recognition in a ballot organised by their union, the NUT.

This morning (Wednesday, 22 January),  the NUT  gave STEM 6 governors of a one day strike next Thursday (30 January) to be followed by two days of action on the Wednesday and Thursday of the following week (5 and 6 February) and a further three strike the following week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 11, 12 and 13 February.

Later today, the teachers received a letter instructing them to attend individual, ‘one to one’ interviews tomorrow  (Thursday 23) with the academy principal, the chair of governors – Boris Johnson’s chum Tony Sewell and the chief executive of the firm behind the free school.

Quite rightly – and courageously – the teachers met this afternoon and agreed to boycott the interviews and ask the NUT to write to the principal telling him that if he and the governors want to discuss their grievances they should do it through their union.

One of them observed that if there was any ever doubt about whether they should fight for union recognition or not today’s attempt to bully and intimidate them has ended it.

Once union recognition has been achieved, teachers at STEM 6 are demanding a major revision of the disgraceful contract which they only signed under duress before Xmas. This includes the right of management to lay teachers off without pay at its discretion – which effectively amounts to a zero hours contract. It also includes a maximum of 15 days paid sick leave per year, statutory maternity leave provision and no incremental pay progression, with any future pay increases being, once again, at management’s discretion.

This is a crucial fight, the first of its kind at a free school. The contract STEM 6 governors want to impose on its teachers is the future for all of us if Gove is allowed to get his way. STEM 6, like other here schools and academies, should be brought under local authority control and its staff should enjoy the same terms and conditions as their colleagues in maintained schools.

But meanwhile, STEM 6 teachers deserve our support – both because they are in the right, brave and courageous and because a victory for them will be a victory for the all of us.

Messages of support via: Ken Muller (ken-muller@blueyonder.co.uk)
Anyone who can make it, come and join the picket line from 7.30 am next Thursday.


Upcoming Events from IHOOPS and North #London People’s Assembly

January 18, 2014

Jan 2014

Islington free school teachers strike ballot
20/01/14
STEM 6 Academy  ballot for strike action closes

IHOOPS – Review deadline for March public meeting
22/01/14
Deadline to review IHOOPS public meeting in March

UCU industrial action
23/01/14
11am – 13pm. Higher education and further education lecturers’ mini-actions
.

North London People’s Assembly Against Austerity (NLPAAA) street stall
25/01/14
12noon, Wood Green. Building the Hands off Our Unions Campaign and March public meeting. Contact: elaine@redpuffin.co.uk

UCU industrial action
28/01/14
2pm-4pm
Higher education and further education lecturers’ mini-actions
.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) meeting
28/01/14
7pm, Finsbury Park Mosque, 7-11 St Thomas’s Rd, N4 2QH. Near Finsbury Park Tube

IHOOPS meeting
29/01/14 (Weds)
7.30pm (not 7pm), Islington Town Hall, Upper St

Feb 2014

North London People’s Assembly planning meeting
06/02/14
6.30pm, venue tbc. Discussing 2014 activity, mobilising for the June People’s Assembly Against Austerity national demonstration the recall People’s Assembly Conference in March. Volunteers needed for leafleting, design and stalls.

Stop the Privatisation of Student Debt
03-07/02/14
‘No sell off of the student loan book’. In November, the government sold off all student loans taken before 1998 and worth £900m to a private debt collector for £160m. This is likely to be just round one of the ‘Great Student Loan Giveaway’. Student Assembly Against Austerity will lead national actions on campuses. More info.

Hands off our Unions
11/02/14
6.30pm, 
Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1H 9AU. Defend the right to resist national speaking tour launch rally. The government’s announcement of an inquiry into trade union tactics is further proof of its determination to undermine the right to protest against its austerity programme. We pledge ourselves to resist this attack. Speakers include: Len McCluskey, Unite the Union, Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services Union, Francesca Martinez, Comedian, John Hendy QC and others.  Register for a free event.

Women’s Assembly Against Austerity
22/02/14
10am – 5pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. Info and register

Mar 2014

RALLY: The People vs Austerity – North London People’s Assembly Rally
04/03/14
Venue and further details tbc.
2014 anti-austerity plans. Speakers include Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North, Katherine Connelly, Student Assembly Against Austerity, Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North & Chair, Stop the War Coalition, Elaine Graham-Leigh, Enfield Against the Cuts & NLPAA, Unite plus participation from a range of local, union, anti-cuts and community campaigners. Facebook info here

IHOOPS public meeting
06/03/14 (to be confirmed)
Islington Town Hall, Upper Street.

Banner Theatre play
14/03/14
Platform, 260 Hornsey Road London, N7 7QT

Re-call People’s Assembly conference
15/03/14
The Emmanuel Centre, Marsham St, London, Westminster SW1P 3DW. Supporting trade union branches, campaigns and community groups shuld send delegates. Contact: conference@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk Facebook event info

Budget Day – ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ demo
19/03/14
Protests and actions are being organised across the country on Budget Day, information and details to follow soon. The People’s Assembly plan an evening protest ending in a rally at Downing Street and want short videos and photo showing what should be in a ‘People’s Budget’, office@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk

No to Racism and Fascism demo
22/03/14
Supported by People’s Assembly Against Austerity (PAAA). More information.

May

May Day protests
01/05/14

June 2014

People’s Assembly National Demo
21/06/14
Central London. Free festival. More info soon.

Oct 2014

TUC National Demonstration in London.

People’s Assembly Against Austerity, http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/