Thursday, 29 May 2014


Text of speech given to UCU Congress 2014;

I was asked by a UCU member recently what I thought about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) the answer I gave wasn't helpful but it was accurate; I said that I didn't know enough about TTIP to really give an opinion, and it is the secrecy which surrounds TTIP that is the essence of the problem.

I work not for a college, but for a group, many of us now both in further and higher education work for corporations. TTIP would allow corporations to challenge legislation on environment, health and worryingly employment legislation.

The stated aim of TTIP is to remove 'barriers' to free trade. But what some people might describe as barriers, I would call the protection of workers rights.

I support [The motion on TTIP] We should work with the European TUC who are defending occupational heath and safety, the protection of minority rights and hard won terms and conditions.

Further Reading:

(It's a pretty short speech, all of the speeches at this years conference were, with everyone on a strict countdown timer, I find this OK - there's nothing I could say in five minutes that I couldn't summarise in three, but some colleagues were cut off in full flow or when developing arguments)

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