UCU has produced an online email-your-MP page for the University of Leeds statutes dispute, to make it easier to write to your MP. It’s at: ucu.org.uk/contactyourLeedsMP You can customise the letter to highlight your own concerns. If you could visit your MP’s surgery in person that would be great, especially if you live in the Leeds area. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as we may be able to arrange a group visit.
We’re suggesting members contact their Members of Parliament, either by email, letter or by going along to a one of the MP’s surgeries (which will be advertised on their websites). It can be daunting to start from scratch with such a letter, so here’s a template letter you can use if you wish or use as a starting point: Dear [your MP] I am writing as your constituent to raise concerns about proposed new terms and conditions for staff at the University of Leeds, where I work. My trade union, the University and College Union, is in dispute with the university over this, yet the university management is seeking to push through changes at Privy Council imminently, so I am asking you to make some representations on my behalf. Terms and conditions for academic and related staff at the university are governed by the university’s statutes. The management wants to ‘modernise’ these statutes – as I see it, to make it easier for staff to be dismissed. I am concerned about three changes in particular: Removal of a medically qualified chair for panels deciding ill health dismissals Removal of an independent legally qualified chair for most dismissal appeals Addition of ‘some … continue reading
Whenever the security of academic jobs is at stake the elephant in the room is academic freedom. For the 22 June strike day we hid elephants in rooms across the campus, with a chocolate prize for anyone who found one and brought it back to the picket line. Well done to the students and members of one of unions that weren’t on strike who came to collect their prize! If you found an elephant after the picket had finished we’re afraid you’ve missed the chocolate (it was yummy). Please take good care of your elephant and please sign the petition against detrimental changes to the university statute on dismissing staff. http://speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/university-of-leeds-statutes-no-sackers-charter/
Today we are on strike in dispute with the University of Leeds management over changes to the university statute on dismissing academic and academic-related (professional and managerial) staff. We call on all members to respect the democratic decision of the membership and to strike today. Don’t go into work. Don’t cross a picket line. Don’t work from home. We are calling on university senior management to come back to the negotiating table and try to find a resolution. We can’t accept a catch-all dismissal rule but we have made clear throughout that we are prepared to work with them to draw up fair procedures for dealing with any areas they believe aren’t covered by the current dismissal rules.
The elephant in the room when we’re talking about job security and the university statutes which protect our jobs is academic freedom. Academic freedom and security of academic jobs go hand in hand. Watch out for some elephant-based fun on our picket line on Thursday. A3_elephant_poster