In May we posted about why Leeds UCU committee believes it is crucial that migrant members have representation within the national UCU structure. At the UCU annual conference later than month, Leeds University UCU, along with UEA UCU, Manchester University UCU, Cambridge University UCU, Sheffield University UCU and the Black Members Standing Committee, moved and seconded the motions that made this happen. We are very proud to have been involved at this significant moment in UCU history and particularly want to thank our equality officer Dima Barakat Chami and committee member Laura Loyola-Hernandez for their hard work and passion in campaigning for this and introducing the motions at congress. Details of the motions passed by congress can be read here but in brief, congress resolves to:
- recognise migrant status as a protected characteristic under UCU equality structures
- implement rule changes necessary to ensure the representational gap is closed
- ensure protection of migrant members is a priority for UCU
The newly set up committee will be dedicated to addressing issues faced by migrant members. These issues can range from unfair visa fees (as of yet, not reimbursed by universities) to discriminatory practices which abound in the everyday life of migrants as they negotiate the ever fluctuating rules and regulations of the Home Office . There is a new wave of migrant activism in the union: the newly elected GS has announced a special Equality ’task force’ which will place migration issues as one of its central concerns. With the new change of rules, the Migrants members committee, and the national Equality officers, UCU will hold universities accountable, on behalf of its migrant members.
The dates for elections to the committee and the NEC will be announced shortly, so watch this space, and please be in touch with any questions or comments.