The UK’s largest university staff union, University and College Union (UCU), voted in favor of the student-led campaign for fossil-free careers at its annual congress. Delegates to Congress, UCU’s top decision-making body, voted to support the campaign and “actively work with People & Planet to publicly support the student-led Fossil Free Careers campaign, calling on Career Services to align their operations with sustainability considerations, including refusing to promote oil, gas and mining companies.
The motion was put forward by UCU’s Academic and Professional Services Staff Committee, which represents a range of staff, including career services workers. It was passed in a democratic vote in Congress by delegates from across the UK and commits the UCU to supporting the campaign and future calls to action.
The Fossil Free Careers campaign, coordinated by student charity People & Planet, calls on university career services to implement an ethical careers policy that explicitly excludes the oil, gas and mining industry from all recruitment activities. It already has official endorsement from the UK’s largest student group, the National Union of Students (NUS), which in April 2022 wrote a statement saying that “education institutions must take urgent action to integrate sustainability and ethical considerations into their career service operations. : it’s time for Fossil Free Careers.
J Clarke, Co-Director of Climate Campaigns at People & Planet said:
“The support of university staff is extremely important to the Fossil Free Careers campaign. All over the world, workers must be actively involved in organizing a just transition to a low-carbon society in order to quickly address the climate crisis. It’s great to see the UCU doing just that and the students and staff working in coalition to push for climate justice at UK universities. There should be no room for recruiters from the oil, gas or mining sector on UK campuses.
Marianne Quick, Head of Negotiations and Negotiations for the UCU, said:
“UCU members have made it clear that we need to support student-led campaigns such as People & Planet’s Fossil Free Careers, to meaningfully address the climate crisis. This includes calling on all careers services at UK universities to align their operations with sustainability considerations, in particular refusing to promote oil, gas and mining companies.
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