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Special Council Decides to Review International Policy with NATFHE and the TUC

With the conflict in the Middle East continuing to divide communities and offer obstructions to the free exchange of ideas and opinions, it has been decided that a review of policy is needed by the Association of University Teachers (AUT) Special Council in the international arena.

In common with the statement by Mr. Paul Mackney, the General Secretary of NATFHE, made in his speech to his union’s conference on the 28tth of May, the AUT realise that there needs to be a co-operative approach in the national and international trade union movement. And after a lengthy debate, the Special Council have agreed to revoke the existing boycott on Israeli institutions.

Greylisting the Boycott?

The AUT has a policy of imposing or considering imposing a boycott on all colleges when it is determined that actions taken by the college are against the interests of the members ““ with the example given on their website of the imposition of compulsory redundancies as just cause for a boycott.

At this meeting of the Special Council, it was decided that it would be more beneficial to work with NATFHE and the TUC in solidarity with both Israeli and Palestinian trade unions and universities, echoing the sentiment expressed at the NEC in April of this year. At this, the motion that was overwhelmingly approved sought to foster the “building of civil society in Palestine”, aiming to encourage “positive relations with Palestinian and Israeli institutions.”

Sally Hunt, the General Secretary of the AUT, said: “It is now time to build bridges between those with opposing views here in the UK and to commit to supporting trade unionists in Israel and Palestine working for peace.”

Jethro Marsh

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