The latest newsletter for members of UCU University of Leeds local association is available now.
You can download a PDF version at: leedsucunewsletterseptoct2016
Text-only version below:
2016 Pay claim
The derisory 1.1% ‘final offer’ will be imposed in our September pay – but don’t be fooled, the unions have not agreed it and the dispute continues. Unison have recently voted for industrial action too, so we hope to coordinate action over the next months for maximum effect.
Prospective students and parents at the Open Day were shocked by the gender pay gap and the casualisation situation, and supported our campaign. We also pointed out that vice chancellors enjoyed an average 6.1% pay rise last year.
Remember we’ve suffered below inflation pay rises every year since 2009 except in 2014 when we took strike action. The pay claim also seeks substantive action (not just words) on the gender pay gap (12.6%) and on casualisation (to reduce fixed term/zero hours contracts). Universities can clearly afford more – the sector as a whole has over £1 billion in operating surpluses, and Leeds salted away £57 million last year.
Brexit – Open Meeting
Wednesday 19 October 1-2 pm
Baines Wing SR2.10
Consequences of the EU Referendum Result All welcome (EU/UK/international, union members and non-members) to discuss the effects of the referendum result and what we can do to support you.
At present, UCU is negotiating on behalf of members on new university policies on:
- Promotions (academic & academic-related)
- Statute VII (disciplinary, ill health, grievance, capability, etc.)
- ‘Rewards’ and ‘Leadership Development’
- Working in partnership with the university
- Organizational change (the formal mechanism for protecting jobs and terms/conditions during restructures)
Your UCU negotiators scrutinise new policy, consult the UCU committee, draft and negotiate changes, check them against national policy with UCU officials, and finally sign off agreed policies in the Joint Committee of the University and the UCU. It’s a huge amount of work, but very important to ensure staff are treated fairly.
UCU members volunteer in Calais
During her fortnight in the ‘jungle’ refugee camp in July, Lesley, our branch Campaigns Officer, chronicled the experience in a blog: www.calaiscalling.wordpress.com
“I hope this blog may inspire and provide confidence for you to visit the camps to deliver supplies, teach, or raise desperately needed funds. My goal is to be part of collective solidarity offering strength and hope to the refugees.”
UCU is hosting Eyewitness report from the Calais ‘jungle’ refugee camp with UCU members Lesley McGorrigan and Jeremy Toner:
Wednesday 5 October, 1-2 pm, Roger Stevens LT10. All welcome.
You can donate at www.care4calais.org
A reminder that university policy is that you can opt out of having your lectures captured without having to give any reason. We have heard worrying examples of schools not adhering to this policy – please get in touch if you have concerns.
Major change is underway in IT and UCU is focusing on protecting the conditions of our IT staff (avoiding redundancy or downgrading) and ensuring that appropriate IT support is available to all staff across the university. We recorded a ‘failure to agree’, and ensured the reorganisation will be dealt with through the full Employment Security Review Group process. Although we didn’t agree to phase 1 of the restructure, we were able to reach an understanding about its completion, so we can negotiate over phase 2 during this academic year. Please get in touch with any issues, including non-IT staff who may be concerned about specialist IT services.
What we did in 2015-16
A lot happened last year!
- We represented members in 60 new cases and worked to avoid redundancies or staff detriment in departmental reorganisations.
- We held open meetings and campaigned on workload, women in the union, anti casualisation, ‘Prevent’, challenging racism, and the government Green Paper on HE.
- We played an active part in the national pay dispute (see above) including sending the VC a Valentine’s card saying how much we’d love a fair pay rise, appearing on Radio Leeds, publicising the ‘additional’ pay rise for very senior staff last year, and much more.
All members are welcome to get involved in UCU activities, including Action Group which works on campaigns. Contact us to find out more.
UCU stalls – coming to you!
We’ve been taking stalls round campus – here we are in Computing talking to Lucie the robot:
Each school or service should have at least one UCU rep – they keep you informed and can tell you who to talk to if you have problems. The list of reps is at http://ow.ly/WYIKs If there isn’t a rep in your area, why not volunteer? Training can be provided.
Leeds UCU General Meetings
The next GMs are on Thursday 29 September and Tuesday 6 December, both 1-2 pm (see emails for venue). All members welcome.
Help us recruit!
The more members we have the better we can defend members when there are problems. Could you talk to a colleague about joining? The most common reason for not being a member is never having been asked! Some good reasons to join are at www.ucu.org.uk/findoutmore
In these difficult times, university staff have never needed a union’s protection more. It’s easy to join at https://join.ucu.org.uk
Post: UCU Office, Room 751, EC Stoner bldg.