Motion passed by King’s College London, Middlesex, Goldsmiths, Leeds, Northampton, London Region, North West Region, London Retired Members, London Met coordinating meeting, Liverpool University jointly by UCU, UNISON and UNITE, and SOAS University of London.
Freedom of movement motion
KCL UCU notes that existing UCU policy on migration and labour markets recognises the social, cultural and economic value of migration. At the 2016 Congress the UCU committed itself to ‘campaigning with other trade unions, NUS and community groups for the overthrow of restrictive legislation which affects international students and staff and no change in the immigration status of EU residents if UK leaves EU.’
KCL UCU further notes that one of the main rights of EU residents, the free movement of labour within the European Economic Area (EEA), is now seriously threatened by the EU referendum vote to leave.
KCL UCU believes that the end of freedom of movement will represent a significant worsening of the condition of present and future EEA staff in the UK. Any restrictions to our right to work without discrimination based on nationality, in fact, will put increasing competitive pressure on EEA staff, and thus affect staff as a whole and weaken our union. This will have a detrimental effect on the educational experience and academic life, which are enriched by the contribution made by international staff and students.
KCL UCU therefore condemns in the strongest possible terms Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s proposals to restrict the entry of international students to ‘top’ universities and to introduce labour market tests aimed at reducing the numbers of international staff.
KCL UCU resolves urgently to campaign for:
- Free movement of labour and against Points-Based Immigration Schemes
- An up-front guarantee for the right of EU/EEA citizens in the UK to stay
- Full recognition of workers’ rights throughout EU withdrawal negotiations
- Immediate removal of international students from net migration targets and against upper limits on the numbers of international students
KCL UCU further resolves to
- Lobby our Principal to commit publicly to:
- Guarantee that, for the indefinite future, there will be no change in the employment or student status of any current EU/EEA Member State and Candidate Country staff and students arising from any change introduced as a consequence of the Brexit negotiations
- Guarantee that, for the indefinite future, universities will not implement any changes in the academic qualification, residential or fee conditions concerning students applying from EU member states and Norway or Switzerland, whatever the results of the Brexit negotiations
- Demand that the UK government maintain existing rights of the free movement of labour across all 28 current EU Member States.
- Meet with UNISON and other trade unions within the universities to discuss the most effective ways of jointly campaigning for the right to remain for all EU workers and students living in the UK and to maintain freedom of movement of labour across the current 28 EU Member States
- Promote planned solidarity activities with non-EU colleagues to demand improvement of immigration support for all non-UK staff
KCL UCU also resolves to
- Publicise the fact that this motion has been passed and encourage other UCU branches to do likewise
- Submit this motion, when passed, to the UCU National Executive Committee
- Liaise with other branches regarding submitting a version of this motion to UCU Congress 2017
- Affiliate to the Free Movement of Labour: Campaign to defend freedom of movement across Europe, post-Brexit