This meeting is a chance for all members to come together to discuss the implementation of the Academic Censure and Boycott procedure, which we voted to invoke in our dispute over changes to Statutes, and which was agreed by UCU Congress last summer. We will outline how the stepped procedure works, various ways it can be adapted to suit our campaign, and what it means for us as members and as academic and academic related staff. Leeds UCU Committee are hosting the meeting and we will be joined by Paul Bridge (UCU’s national Head of Higher Education Bargaining and Campaigns) and Douglas Chalmers (UCU’s national Vice President). There will be cake! The venue is in recent emails. See you there. Update from Leeds UCU President 13th November about SOSR and academic freedom: When we look around the wider Higher Education sector, it’s worrying to note that moves to introduce “Some Other Substantial Reason” into statutes have started to appear in clusters, almost 30 years after it was explicitly excluded from University Statutes that arose from the Education Reform Act, (1988). It was excluded with a view to maintaining protection of academic freedom. Other universities have rejected the introduction of SOSR … continue reading
All members are welcome to the next Action Group meeting on Tuesday 7 November from 1-2 pm (see email for venue). Please come along to work on the next steps in the Statutes campaign, including discussing future action and to help develop the inspiring ‘University of the Aire’ theme which emerged in the ‘Striking Insights’ teach-out.
Postgraduate students who do some teaching or carry out other paid academic work are entitled to free membership of UCU, for up to 4 years. This confers full employment support from the union, and the right to vote in union elections and industrial action ballots. For more details see https://www.ucu.org.uk/free-faqs You can join online or by phone – see https://www.ucu.org.uk/join (in the online form, choose ‘Standard full membership’ to activate the free membership offer option, and then tick the ‘yes’ box for ‘Eligible for Free Membership’). There is also a free student membership category available for any student considering an academic career, but this doesn’t give employment support or voting rights. This membership is suitable for students who don’t carry out paid academic work for the university. We are actively campaigning (in conjunction with Leeds University Union) for improvements to conditions and contracts for postgraduate students who teach and undertake other paid work at this university. If you have concerns regarding PGR pay and working conditions, or if you’d like to get involved with this work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can display a poster encouraging postgraduate students to join UCU, you can download a selection from the UCU website or … continue reading
Leeds UCU are in dispute with university management over proposed changes to Statutes – we are concerned these will make it easier to sack staff and that they pose a serious risk to academic freedom. Please read this article for details. The dispute is about the proposed addition of ‘some other substantial reason’ (SOSR) for dismissal, plus the removal of independents from appeals panels. These, together with efforts to remove union support in meetings called for by line management (which could be on the path to disciplinary meetings), are key aspects of “clearing the way” for management to terminate employment and reduce the chance of staff success at employment tribunals. Picketing Parkinson (and the rest!) Our three days of strike action were inspirational and heartening, especially as we were one of the early branches taking action after the Trade Union Act 2016. There has been a wonderful buzz in the air with positive engagement from students and other staff, plenty of invigorating discussions and ideas for the future. We’ve seen a surge in new members joining our union over this issue. Have a look at our strikes Storify for a selection of tweets showing determination, solidarity, involvement and fun! On Strike Day … continue reading
Fantastic cartoon sent in by a creative UCU member! Could anything like this happen in the future, if our statutes are changed? Read about examples of SOSR happening at other universities: … continue reading