UNISON, the UK’s largest public sector union, is gearing up to join students, staff and other unions, for Save EMA Day on 13 December.
The union is stepping up its campaign to save the education maintenance allowance (EMA), as colleges and sixth-forms around the country hold lunchtime protests against government plans to axe financial support that would leave many students unable to continue their studies.
Protestors will be contacting their local MP to make the case for keeping the EMA, which is a key factor in improving participation in further education and colleges in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.
In some areas of Birmingham, Leicester and the North West, as many as four-fifths of students receive the EMA. Areas such as these will be the hardest hit if the government breaks its pre-election promise and scraps the EMA.
The campaign is being run by UNISON, the University and College Union (UCU), National Union of Students (NUS), the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), Unite and the GMB.