March for Europe review: Newcastle 4 March 2017


On Saturday 4th March, several UCU officers and members contributed to the North East March for Europe, organised by cross-party grassroots organisation North East for Europe. Amongst the purposes of the march, we aimed to celebrate the fraternal ties between our region and our continent, the contribution of the European Union to the development of the North East, and the human contribution of migrants, many of them from other EU countries, to a diverse, tolerant, progressive and optimistic society.


The event was a tremendous success. Over a thousand people joined us according to Northumbria Police. There was an inspiring atmosphere that comprised people of all ages and conditions, from all social, national, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, together in celebration of everything that unites us, and in rejection of the divisive rhetoric and measures of the government, its far right owners in the press, the amoral ethos with which they dare treat human beings as bargaining chips, and their sycophantic approach to the worst and most destructive ideologies and world leaders.

Speakers included business people, trade unionists, politicians, and academics. Amongst them were Labour politicians Richard Corbett and Joyce Quin, as well as Fiona Hall of the Liberal Democrats. The keynote address was delivered by Professor AC Grayling, who then spoke to a sold out audience at the Literary and Philosophical Society.


Our UCU Branch Chair Julia Charlton also delivered a rousing speech celebrating the contribution of EU nationals to the NHS. The movement is alive and growing. If you want to join North East for Europe, simply drop me a line atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




  • UCU, Northumbria University and Brexit: support for EU nationals.

Are you concerned about your right to work in the UK? Are you applying for permanenet residency or British citizenship? UCU has immigration guides and legal support for union members. Go to:

The University is also providing support in these unsettling circumstances. My own experience has been very positive. My application for permanent residency barely took a few hours, saving me from the harrowing, unfit for purpose, and Kafkaesque 85 pages long application required by the Home Office. Colleagues in Human Resources produced employer letters and P60s covering the necessary period of five years, and immigration lawyers hired by the institution were at hand to deliver workshops and offer advice to individuals. Their email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The University also refunded application expenses. Director of Human Resources Lesley Lee is overseeing a support process worthy of our commendation, and which includes an intranet page with FAQs.

Dr Carlos Conde Solares, Chairperson of North East for Europe and Recruitment Officer of UCU Northumbria Branch.



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