, 18 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
There's been relatively little discussion about Brexit at @ucu VP hustings. This is likely because of our collective levels of despair, and ferocity of views held, but we as a union MUST be on top of the issues as strongly as possible. Here are my thoughts ⬇ /1
Thanks to @alvaromp for the question - I hope to be able to talk more to him and others in person about this (and more) at remaining hustings!
(List: vicky4vp.co.uk/2019/02/10/ucu…) /2
It would be easy to panic & disappear into a black hole of doom over current state of #Brexitshambles. But as a trade union we must always look for ways to defend, protect + improve the situation for our members & for society as a whole. 3/
UCU position (from consultation ucu.org.uk/brexit) was heavily in favour (89%) of referendum on the *Brexit deal* (rather than 2nd Brexit referendum per se). I'm VERY worried about the impact of Brexit on staff + students (+everyone!). Parliament in a shameful mess on it 4/
Brexit poses enormous risks to our working rights, & worsening poisonous atmosphere of debate has already exacerbated divisions & is connected to increased hostility towards all migrants, including but importantly not limited to EU citizens. All possible routes fwd have risks 5/
I'm quoted in @timeshighered on risks of no deal Brexit in particular:timeshighereducation.com/blog/deal-or-n… I'm VERY worried Brexit will be used as cover for unethical employment practice + no deal Brexit would be the worst possible form. I said more on FB in Nov: facebook.com/VickyBlake4NEC… 6/
We will need to fight alongside rest of the trade union movement to ensure workers rights not swept away under cover of Brexit. @UCU must also attend to the impact on *all* migrant workers and international staff in this debate - there is a lot we need to do to improve here! 7/
.@UCU drastically needs to improve representation for migrant workers + international staff. I am committed to improving this in our union and have written more about this here + this stands with or without Brexit! 8/
In post-16 education, Brexit poses risks to financial security of unis&colleges. @UCU needs to fight *hard* to oppose this being translated into more pay cuts, intensified casualisation, downgrading, job losses. We need to fight hard for all our intnl members incl EU nationals 9/
Again: @UCU must do all we can to expose where Brexit and concomitant 'debates' might be used as cover to discriminate, casualise, and sack people. We must actively work VERY HARD to support all members affected by #HostileEnvironment policies + Brexit: legally + socially 10/
Universities and colleges *must* take meaningful action to protect and advocate for all #EU27 *and* non-EU international staff. *AS A MINIMUM STARTING POINT* this must include covering (+robustly opposing) £extortionate immigration fees + legal support + lobbying government 11/
Our current government is NOT fit for purpose + I am in favour of a General Election. Am glad pushing for a GE is UCU policy because #austerity & #HostileEnvironment are literally killing people. We *MUST* have free movement #BrexitShambles has exacerbated+masked much of this 12/
I voted to remain in 2016 (not because I am blind to the faults of the EU or its treatment of migrants & refugees on its borders but because I was very worried about the impact of Brexit) The poisonous nature of the referendum 'debate' was a prelude to the horrible mess now 13/
The rationale for UCU consultation was for us establish a formal position in the absence of specific policy on it (no branch had brought specific motions on Brexit deal referendum to Congress). I worry the horse has bolted on a referendum on the Brexit deal (the @UCU position)14/
On the idea of #peoplesvote: while I'd personally like to remain in the EU (despite its faults) I am realistic that a 2nd Brexit referendum holds dangers (social/political unrest included) + evades dealing with many of the problems listed above. 15/
If there is any *democratically legitimate* way to keep the UK in the EU I'm all for it, but that is fraught with issues. @UCU will not be able to "solve" the Brexit problems (I currently wonder if the people paid a lot to run the UK are capable either!). 16/
So @UCU: we must focus on protecting our members, workers' rights, rights of people unable to work, & our communities. This would be true with/without Brexit (!) but I believe key to this fight is getting rid of the pro-austerity, shambolic party currently in government /17
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