My speech at Coventry UCU #CovUniShame rally

Today Coventry UCU held a very successful rally opposing #CovUniShame. They’ve made a very good page about the issue on their website.

Below is my speech that I read out.

Thank you to Coventry UCU for organising this solidarity rally. I’m pleased to be able to come and give solidarity to Cov Uni staff today. 

The right for staff to collectively organise is key to our society, it is essential that staff are able to bargain together to keep their rights and get better work conditions, the actions of CU Group to try and undermine and sabotage this right, is quite frankly appalling.

We are meant to be a city that is proud, but let me tell you, I am not proud of the actions of CU management, I am proud of the CU staff who work tirelessly to teach and support students every single day, to ensure that Coventry is developing the best and brightest talent, but I am not proud of a management which actively denies staff their expressed wishes.

CU Group frequently advertise themselves in regards to their places on a variety of league tables. Do the Group’s management forget the fact that it is their hardworking staff that gets CU Group so high? Do they not realise that if they continue to act in such a disgusting manner that their league places will fall as excellent staff are driven away to other employers where their rights will be respected? 

I expect Professor Latham will be receiving a summary of today’s event from his management staff, so let me say this to you, by failing your staff you are failing your students, you are failing the Higher Education sector, and you are failing Coventry. It is time for you to put an end to your union busting behaviour, de-recognise your sham internal reference group which you inappropriately registered as union to stop the UCU, and allow CU Group staff to collectively bargain under the UCU banner.

To the CU Group staff and Coventry UCU, please know that you have my solidarity, you have Coventry Green Party’s solidarity, and we vow to be by your side.

Thank you.