Trade union work & building movements to fight the hostile environment: be like Birmingham UCU!

Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC)h would like to thank the University of Birmingham branch of UCU for their donation of £250 pounds to URBC. Donations like these help us to sustain our work organizing, campaigning and providing casework support for those facing the hostile environment.

We applaud the Anti-racism Working Group of the UCU branch at Birmingham for thinking to include donations to grassroots groups in their Anti-racist planningLike many trade unionists, we believe that the kind of change that all workers and students in Higher Education need to see extend beyond “bread and butter” trade union issues, and public sector workers cannot win without consider the entire context of the public, including those who are excluded from the services that they provide.

With this in mind, and following the example of UCU Birmingham, along with UCU Sussex, UCU Kent, UCU Sheffield Hallam, UCU Edinburgh, & UCU Bath we’d like to provide some further suggestions for how local UCU branches can support their migrant members and build a labour-community united front against the racist and xenophobic profit-seeking systems that impoverish us all:

  1. Pass motions or otherwise make branch-level commitments to fight the hostile environment at your university, in your local community, and beyond. Some things this work might involve or things that you might commit your branch to in any motions are the following:
  • Arrange for URBC to provide training on how to support migrant staff and students at your institution when they face problems with their migration status
  • Actively respond with information to calls from URBC to help gather information about how the hostile environment functions at your institution
  • Collaborate with migrant and other student activists to demand that your institution cut ties with industries that create migrant death and precarity. This includes the Home Office, along with many software, private security and military contractors that promote border regimes.
  1. If your branch has sufficient funds, make one-off or, even better, regular donations to Unis Resist Border Controls along with other grassroots and abolition campaigns seeking to end the hostile environment, no recourse to public funds, detention centres and prisons that URBC works in conjunction with. A complete list of groups can be found here: https://www.unisresistbordercontrols.org.uk/resources-2/
  1. UCU casework officers – book a special training from URBC members on how to support the legal rights of your members. 

URBC is taking part in Migrant Members’ Conference on Thursday 3 December 2020 as part of the UCU Equality Conference. We look forward to reaching out to wider UCU networks about the work that we do.

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