As we approach the end of a very busy and demanding term we would like to extend our warmest greeting to all of our members for a happy and peaceful Christmas and a (much deserved!) restful holiday.
Your support for our Union is hugely appreciated. Indeed without it and, in particular, the massive contribution made by our volunteer activists and representatives, we simply could not survive much less enjoy the successes we have had.
And I am proud to say that in the past year we have had good results and some notable achievements. As always in IFUT our primary concern has been the welfare of our individual members. Defending their rights and advocating for them has, once again, taken up almost all of our time in Head Office. But that is how it should be because we genuinely believe that the core and central mission of a Trade Union must be to defend individuals and to fight for the vindication of their entitlements. For us “One for All and All for One” is more than just a slogan, it is a core value.
Naturally, for reasons of confidentiality, I cannot go into any details of casework but suffice it to say that we have succeeded in winning victories for individual members and small groups of members in a very wide variety of situations. As always (and disgracefully for those colleges which are the worst offenders) our greatest concentration of work has been in combatting the scourge of precarious job contracts and their devastating effect on those on whom they are foisted. In this respect we have not only scored numerous individual successes but through persistent and determined campaigning by IFUT we have finally, in spite of many obstacles and some opposition, succeeded also in getting implementation of new structures to fast-track the fight against such unjust contracts as recommended in the Cush Report.
Other areas where we have successfully represented members were in the areas of discrimination (including, notably, a continuing and depressing prevalence of gender-based discrimination), promotions, up-gradings, job specification issues and denials of the fundamental right to dignity at work due to bullying.
On a national level we have punched way above our weight in areas such as highlighting the disgraceful under-funding of Higher Education; building and strengthening our alliances with other Unions, especially our colleague Unions in Education, and pursuing civil and political rights issues as mandated by successive Annual Delegate Conferences.
On an international level IFUT has continued to be a leading player on bodies such as the OECD Trade Union Forum (TUAC), the European (and World) Standing Committees on Higher Education and Research, European Social Dialogue on Education and various bodies and initiatives arising from the Bologna Process.
In Summer at the World Conference of Education International (an organisation of 32 million members) IFUT was presented with a special award recognising our long-standing contribution to international education trade unionism.
So, all in all, despite the difficult climate we operate in, it has been a successful year for IFUT. But, and we cannot say this often enough or loudly enough, none of this would have been possible without the loyalty of you, our members, and the selfless activism of our brilliant representatives.
We end as we began; by wishing you all the happiest possible Christmas and a Peaceful and Rewarding New Year.
IFUT Head Office will be closed from 1pm on the 20th of December until 9am on the 6th of January.