‘Decarbonise now’ staff and students tell University of Liverpool

Groundbreaking ‘Green New Deal’ claim submitted jointly by University of Liverpool’s trade unions and Guild of Students to achieve radical action on climate change

Staff and students are jointly demanding the University of Liverpool commit to net zero by 2030 as part of a ground-breaking green new deal claim. The claim is being submitted by the Liverpool University branches of University & College Union (UCU), UNITE and UNISON and is supported by the Liverpool Guild of Students.

The claim is the first time UK trade unions have demanded an employer explicitly takes action to avert climate catastrophe as part of their bargaining. It covers the action the staff and students believe is necessary for the University of Liverpool to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals the institution is a signatory to. This is a new approach to climate action, with unions and students pushing for collective bargaining to transition the university to a sustainable model that tackles environmental harms and economic insecurity at the same time. The joint unions consider these actions part of a ‘just transition’, and necessary for the university to fulfil its commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read the Green New Deal bargaining claim

Support the Green New Deal Claim: Sign the Petition

Liverpool Green New Deal Action Group organiser Ben Crawford said:

We are submitting this claim because we know that action on climate and environmental harms won’t go far enough without pressure from workers and students. The university is taking welcome steps on sustainability, but more is needed. In higher education, as in all sectors, measures for the transition to a low carbon economy need to be negotiated with workers and must address questions of inequality and insecurity at the same time.’

The approach is gaining support from local politicians.

Kim Johnson MP for Liverpool Riverside said:

‘As a major player in the local economy and employment market, it is vital that the University of Liverpool plays its part in working towards a decarbonised and decolonised future for themselves and the city. That is why I am happy to support the University of Liverpool joint trade unions and the Guild of Students’ Green New Deal bargaining claim and trust that the University will embrace this and set a positive precedent for the other universities in the city.’

Councillor Lena Simic, Labour Councillor for Anfield Ward and Deputy Chair of Climate Change and Environment Select Committee said:

‘University of Liverpool Joint Trades Union and Guild of Students “Green New Deal” Bargaining Claim is an ambitious and welcome call to the University of Liverpool. The claim is detailed and forward thinking – it outlines the necessary steps needed in the just transition to the zero carbon economy that our city and our universities must undergo.

‘Furthermore this is about ensuring the workers and Trade Unions with all their skills and expertise are fully consulted and engaged in the process. Mutual agreement on this document could provide a model agreement that all other UK universities could get behind. This would mean Liverpool leading the way in sustainability and just transition.’

Paula Barker MP for Liverpool Wavertree said:

‘I want to thank the UCU trade union and student bodies for all the work they have undertook in bringing these hugely important matters to the fore. I think many of the climate change targets leading organisations have set themselves are not early ambitious enough and I am pleased to learn that students, educators and our trade unions are working collectively to put pressure on the University.

‘As with any sector of the economy, a just transition is hugely important if we are to achieve favourable outcomes for environment, planet and crucially, working people. Our trade unions must be front and centre of this strategy as they, more than most, understand that addressing climate change can only be achieved through delivering climate justice for working people faced with an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis.

‘When power is unchecked, it is clear that the moneyed class and the bosses will not tackle the climate crisis with the required urgency because it is not in their economic interests to do so. This is why this joint work is so encouraging and I hope that it is replicated in other sectors of the economy.’

Dan Carden MP for Liverpool Walton said:

‘Tackling the climate emergency is the defining challenge of our times and demands action at every level. It is great to see staff and students coming together to address questions about how the university can put climate justice at the heart of everything it does.’

Support the Green New Deal Claim: Sign the Petition

The Joint trades unions and Guild of Students look forward to negotiating the claim with the University, and the opportunity to work collaboratively with the university to implement a Green New Deal and create a better, fairer and more sustainable institution.

Statement of support for RMT

We wish RMT members on Merseyside and all the other regions taking strike action on 21, 23 and 25 June success in their justified industrial action campaign over pay, working conditions and job security. When our UCU branch fought to defend jobs in 2021 we had fantastic solidarity from the wider trade union movement, and we understand the importance of trade unions supporting each other in their different fights. We are also totally opposed to any attempt by the Tory government to restrict the right to strike with minimum service requirements, and see this as an attack on all unions. We will support your picket lines and RMT speakers will be very welcome at our members meetings. Solidarity to the RMT!

Peta Bulmer, President, University of Liverpool UCU, and Branch Committee

Walk for the Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Bring the family, bring your friends. Make your own placard to say why you care about the hospital.

What are we marching for?

Full public funding – enough to allow Liverpool Women’s Hospital to thrive, for all our sisters, mothers, daughters and babies.

No privatisation or cuts.

No loss of beds.

Better funding for midwives and an improved maternity tariff.

Keep the focus on women and babies.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital is a 20-year-old world class hospital on a good site. It’s the largest maternity hospital in Europe and cares for more than 50,000 patients a year. Last year it provided antenatal care to 9,926 women, delivered 8,648 babies, cared for 1,091 babies in the neonatal unit, provided postnatal care to 8,221 women, fertility treatment to 2,247 couples and abortion care for the city and beyond. Its future is under threat because of inadequate maternity funding, lack of investment, funding problems for all the NHS and the rampant privatisation and market focus in the NHS.

Please see the flyer: SLWH leaflet for the march

Save ‘Graduate to Merseyside’

This service, part of the Careers and Employability Service, every year finds employment placements in local organisations and companies. These lead to high quality jobs for hundreds of graduates of the University of Liverpool.
Now, the University has decided to scrap it!

But Graduate to Merseyside is crucial to:

 The civic role of the University
 Connections to the City of Liverpool
 Local retention of graduates
 The economic relevance of the University
 Relationships with local business
 Local partnerships
 Student recruitment

UCU general meeting

(open to non-members)

1pm., Wednesday, 18 June 2015

Rendall Building, Seminar Room 11 (Room 121)

UCU calls upon the University of Liverpool to core fund this vital service!

Graduate to Merseyside (PDF)

Library campaign says thanks and invites all to lobby Town Hall 16 December

Liverpool Against the Cuts and Old Swan Against the Cuts would like to thank the UCU and all members who supported our fight to keep open eleven libraries in Liverpool.

On 16 December we will be organising a rally outside the Town Hall in Dale Street at 4pm. At 5pm we will be presenting 5,000 signatures (making more than 20,000 in all!) to the Culture Committee. Everyone is welcome.

On 10 November Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and council leader announced all libraries would stay open. This was a victory for the residents of Liverpool and all library users.

However, the buildings maybe secure but the service, as a public service, is still in danger. With this in mind, we hope that you can spare the time to email Mayor Anderson (http://liverpool.gov.uk/contact-us/contact-the-mayor) and impress upon him the need for a publicly run library service that is staffed with librarians and trained library assistants.

We have the continuing support of many writers, academics, journalists etc. In particular Alan Gibbons and Cathy Cassidy have helped us a great deal.

We are again writing to all schools in Liverpool for their support, as well as calling trade unions, students, community and social organisations, workers and youth to join our campaign.
This is the link to SpeakupforLibraries http://speakupforlibraries.org/ of which Alan is a member and he would welcome your thoughts.

For any further information please contact Martin Ralph, mralph@talktalk.net.

A Discussion with Martyn Lowe on Local and International Green issues

A Discussion with Martyn Lowe on Local and International Green issues  

Discussing the Threat of Nuclear Waste in Merseyside, Impact of Nuclear Industry on local Workers, The Fukushima Disaster

The University of Liverpool
Harold Cohen Library, Ashton Street, Liverpool
(431 on Campus Map http://www.liv.ac.uk/maps)

Wolfson Meeting Room
Tuesday 11th February

Martyn Lowe is a radical Librarian, peace activist, veteran Green issues campaigner, member of Kick Nuclear, former Greenpeace (London) activist, and spent 28 years as a volunteer with the War Resisters International.

Martyn will discuss local nuclear waste processing occurring in the Merseyside area and developments at the Capenhurst uranium enrichment plant. Martyn has undertaken recent research into the movement of nuclear waste materials around the North West and Merseyside areas and will provide an overview of operational, safety and environmental issues arising for the region and local workforce. Martyn will also discuss wider nuclear developments including the continuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster in Japan, representing the most severe nuclear incident in recent decades.  Martyn will offer insights into the ongoing issues surrounding Fukushima, including long term destabilisation of the plant’s infrastructure, the difficulties of the cleanup operation, dissemination of nuclear waste across the coastal region & surrounding ocean environment and impact on marine life as far as Alaska and California.

To confirm your attendance, please email Paul Catherall p.catherall@liv.ac.uk

Suggested Links for further information on the topics covered by this talk:

Liverpool Pride

This year the UCU had a contingent in the Liverpool Pride Event which was held on 3rd August. The entry was organised by the UCU Equality Officer at the University of Liverpool Branch and support was shown by the regional office as Janet Newsham also attended. The event was a great success and we hope to advertise more widely next year and look into the possibility of having a stall.