This page will collate all news posts on the site that relate to the current pay campaign.

  • Membership system unavailability

    August 22, 2017: There central UCU membership system is currently off-line. UCU is moving to a new, easier to use, online membership account system. We’re expecting the new system to be up and running shortly. You can join UCU by phone 0333 207 0719 or by filling in a paper form available from your local UCU rep or the ... Read more
  • Legal advice available on working in the UK for EEA and non-EEA nationals

    August 17, 2017: UCU advice on working in the UK for members who aren’t UK nationals is available through the UCU support centre web pages. As well as general advice explaining terms and processes, individual legal advice is available for members through the support centre. For problems relating to the University of Leeds it may be best to request a ... Read more
  • Website being updated

    August 14, 2017: We’re making some updates to the website during August so there may be some temporary faults and mismatches. If there is any content you can’t access, or if you spot any problems which are still there in September, please email Read more
  • New elected UCU committee

    August 1, 2017: Members elected to the UCU committee for the 2017-2018 academic year are in post from today. The committee members for this year are: Elected committee officers President: Vicky Blake Vice-president: Tim Goodall Treasurer: Nigel Bubb Honorary secretary: Brendon Nicholls Recruitment and membership secretary: Ben Plumpton Equality secretary: Gabriella Alberti Campaigns secretary: Lesley McGorrigan Health and safety secretary: Neil Maughan Elected committee members Alaric Hall Andy Stafford Andy West Charles Umney Gavin ... Read more
  • Can you adopt a poster?

    July 25, 2017: Leeds UCU committee is concerned that university management have taken down many posters about our statutes dispute from all over the campus – even from individual office doors and official union noticeboards. It’s important that members and non-members continue to see the posters around to remind them the dispute is still going on. We need ... Read more
  • Why are Leeds University academic and related staff taking industrial action?

    July 13, 2017: UCU members at the University of Leeds are taking industrial action as part of a dispute with senior management about changes to the university statutes, in effect an imposed change to their contracts. We took strike action on 22 June and we are continuing to take action short of a strike by working to contract. ... Read more
  • Simple link for writing to your MP about the statutes dispute

    July 12, 2017: 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: 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. ... Read more
  • Please contact your MP about the statutes dispute

    July 7, 2017: 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 ... Read more
  • Photos from our strike about statutes 22 June 2017

    June 26, 2017: We were delighted by the support from members (we picketed all 17 university entrances) and from the prospective students and parents attending the Open Day. It would have been hard for any visitor to the Open Day not to notice our strike!  The response to our leaflets from prospective students and their parents was overwhelmingly ... Read more
  • Media coverage of our strike about statutes

    June 26, 2017: Some good coverage of our strike on 22 June: BBC news: Yorkshire Post: Yorkshire evening post: Do sign our petition if you haven’t already: Read more
  • Did you find an elephant in a room on the strike day?

    June 23, 2017: 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 ... Read more
  • Strike day, Thursday 22 June

    June 22, 2017: 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 ... Read more
  • The elephant in the room

    June 20, 2017: 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 Read more
  • No sackers charter – sign the national UCU petition

    June 16, 2017: The national union has launched a petition asking all UCU members to show their support for members at the University of Leeds trying to prevent the weakening of the university statutes. Please sign the petition and pass it on! Read more
  • Advice on working to contract during action short of a strike

    June 14, 2017: We have received the advice from UCU head office on working to contract as ‘action short of a strike’, which starts on Friday 16 June. Working to Contract Frequently Asked Questions If you still have any questions after reading the Frequently Asked Questions document, please email Read more
  • Restricting dismissal in universities to protect academic freedom: the Lord Chancellor in 1988

    June 13, 2017: To have academic freedom you need to have job security – the two go hand in hand. The decision to exclude the right of ‘dismissal for some other substantial reason’ from universities was a deliberate one, taken in Parliament back in 1988. While ‘dismissal for some other substantial reason’ (“SOSR”) exists in employment law (it has ... Read more
  • Statutes – our campaign and industrial action

    June 13, 2017: You will have received  the Vice Chancellor’s email yesterday urging you not to take part in the industrial action voted for by UCU members. We do appreciate the seriousness of taking industrial action on an open day but we feel this is warranted by the seriousness of the threat we face from SOSR. Please support ... Read more
  • UCU members vote to strike over Statute changes

    May 26, 2017: UCU members of the University of Leeds local association have voted to strike and take industrial action short of a strike as part of our dispute with the University of Leeds management over their intention to make detrimental changes to the university’s statutes, including the catch-all sacker’s charter “dismissal for some other reason.” The ballot results ... Read more
  • posters and ballot papers

    May 3, 2017: By now most of you will have received your ballot paper and, separately, a new leaflet and a poster. Poster in the post Please stick the poster on your door, or a campus-facing window, or somewhere else which will help to show the strength of opposition to the university introducing a catch-all dismissal rule. Tell us you’ve voted Please ... Read more
  • e-poll shows 74% of members will strike over “Sacker’s Charter”

    April 5, 2017: An e-poll of UCU members at the University of Leeds has shown 74% in favour of the union moving to a strike ballot and for taking strike action over the disputed proposal for a new catch-all statute for “dismissal for some other substantial reason”. UCU’s national executive committee has declared this a dispute of national significance, ... Read more
  • Statute – response to Vice-Chancellor’s email

    March 23, 2017: The university management have told all staff that dismissal for ‘some other substantial reason’ (SOSR) is within the law and that they want to update our Statutes to reflect this. Management have no right, under our current Statute, to make dismissals for ‘some other substantial reason’. ‘Dismissal for some other substantial reason’ has been within the law ... Read more
  • Should I attend an annual academic meeting (AAM)?

    March 22, 2017: Short version: yes, but see below for advice. Longer version: Members have been asking UCU reps what the union policy is on annual academic meetings (AAMs). UCU opposed the introduction of annual academic meetings. There was already a much better and more constructive Staff Review and Development Scheme (SRDS) agreed between universities and the UCU. At the time, University of ... Read more
  • e-poll, members meetings, messages of support

    March 21, 2017: You are likely to receive an e-poll later today or tomorrow from national UCU about the Statute dispute.  This will be in indicative online poll (not the industrial action ballot, which will be by post).  Please vote yes to industrial action in the indicative online poll. All of this week we’ll be holding meetings across the ... Read more
  • Support for Brighton UCU

    March 14, 2017: UCU University of Leeds has sent a message of support to colleagues at University of Brighton who have voted to strike over their management’s obstinate refusal to back down over plans which are detrimental to staff, trying to railroad through redundancies and demotions without serious attempts to find a negotiated, agreed solution with the union representing ... Read more
  • No to the sacker’s charter – support the UCU dispute!

    March 1, 2017: Do you think your management should be able to sack you for any reason they like? Statutes are part of the terms and conditions of academic and academic related staff. The University wants to add a provision to dismiss people for “some other substantial reason” which they say could include: • third party pressure • breakdown of trust • conflict ... Read more
  • Leeds TUC May Day march and rally

    February 27, 2017: On Saturday, members of UCU University of Leeds local association will join with members of trades unions from across Leeds for the annual Leeds trades unions council May day march and rally. Read more
  • One Day Without Us at University of Leeds

    February 20, 2017: One Day Without Us at University of Leeds Read more
  • UCU General Secretary Election Hustings

    February 15, 2017: Who leads our union makes a difference. The union elects a general secretary every five years. We have invited both general secretary candidates, Sally Hunt and Jo McNeill, to a meeting for members at University of Leeds to make their case as to why they are the right candidate to lead the union. The meeting is: Wednesday ... Read more
  • Pride and Prejudice in Education

    February 15, 2017: Today’s talk by Pura Aziza, who is a member of UCU’s LGBT members standing committee, is at 1pm, 11-14 Blenheim Terrace, room G15. (The entrance is at number 11.) The talk is part of UCU’s LGBT History Month activities. Read more
  • One Day Without Us

    February 15, 2017: On Monday 20 February many UCU members will join colleagues in our university and others, and in all sorts of workplaces across the country, in taking a day off work to show how important EU nationals and migrants from around the world are the this country. As university staff we know our work is international. So ... Read more
  • Proposed changes to Statutes – new grounds to dismiss staff

    December 15, 2016: Update 16 December:  University HR have circulated an email about this to all staff today entitled “Proposed changes to Statute”.  Leeds UCU would be grateful to hear your response to this email – please email your thoughts to   The university’s Statutes are part of the terms and conditions of academic and academic-related staff.  They set ... Read more
  • University wants to add a new reason for dismissal – any reason!

    December 2, 2016: Multiple choice question, check all that apply. Q1. What are the grounds for dismissal at the University of Leeds? ☑ Incapable ☑ Misconduct ☑ Ill-health ☑ Redundancy  ?  Some other substantial reason The university wants to add a new reason for dismissal ‘some other substantial reason’ to our Statutes, which would make it easier to dismiss people for any reason. For ... Read more
  • Our migration and free movement motion passed by UCU NEC

    December 1, 2016: At our all members general meeting on 29 September we agreed to send a motion to the UCU national executive committee (NEC) on migration. The union’s NEC met on 25 of October. Brexit, anti-immigrant scapegoating and the normalisation of racism were a major topic of discussion. The NEC condemned the popularisation of racism by the Tory ... Read more
  • Calling for a £500 thank you for delivering for the university

    November 8, 2016: The University of Leeds is the Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2017. We’re proud of that, and we’re proud of the excellent work we do here. The three staff unions – UCU, Unison and Unite – wrote jointly to the Vice-Chancellor to ask for a thank you for all our hard work. We ... Read more
  • Free Movement motion passed

    November 6, 2016: The motion below was passed unanimously at the Leeds UCU General Meeting on 29th September: “The UCU local association notes that existing UCU policy on migration and labour markets recognises the social, cultural and economic value of migration and opposes all forms of racism and the Points-Based Immigration Scheme. By approving motion 5 at the last ... Read more
  • UCU consultation on higher education pay

    October 25, 2016: UCU members will receive an email from national UCU with a link to a form to fill in to indicate your views on the next steps in the pay dispute. Is 1.1% (plus some talks on gender equality and casualisation) enough or should we continue the industrial action?  This is not formally a vote on ... Read more
  • Brexit – open meeting

    October 12, 2016: Consequences of the EU referendum result An open meeting to discuss the effects of the referendum result for university staff and what we can do to support each other. All welcome: EU / UK / international, union members and non-members. Wednesday 19 October, 1pm – 2pm Baines Wing seminar room 2.10     Read more
  • #WeShallOvercome gig 6 October

    October 5, 2016: UCU is supporting this excellent event in Leeds which is raising money and collecting food for three fantastic organisations who work with people worst hit by austerity and cuts in the Leeds area: Leeds South and East Food Bank Simon on the Streets PAFRAS (Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers) There are 5 bands who are donating their ... Read more
  • Support our IT services

    October 5, 2016: As members of the University of Leeds community, we are concerned about the current IT reorganisation. We believe that: the loss of experienced IT staff and management focus on the reorganisation is contributing to problems with IT services research, teaching and administrative needs should drive IT planning, not cost-cutting there should be consultation with staff at all levels ... Read more
  • UCU news – University of Leeds local association newsletter Sept/Oct

    September 29, 2016: 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 ... Read more
  • Eyewitness report from the Calais ‘jungle’ refugee camp

    September 28, 2016: All members and none members are invited to an open meeting with Lesley McGorrigan and Jeremy Toner, Leeds University UCU members, for an eyewitness report from the Calais ‘jungle’ refugee camp. Wednesday 5 October, 1pm-2pm Rogers Stevens lecture theatre 10 Lesley kept a blog of her experiences there, which is an excellent insight into the reality behind the news ... Read more
  • General Meeting

    September 28, 2016: All members general meeting, 29 September, 1pm – 2pm, Michael Sadler Building, lower ground floor, seminar room LG15. Agenda Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings EU and Brexit Free movement motion –University of Leeds UCU local association This UCU local association notes that existing UCU policy on migration and labour markets recognises the social, cultural and economic value of ... Read more
  • Calais calling

    August 23, 2016:           “I am spending two weeks volunteering with Care4calais which provides food, other basic supplies and social activities, including language classes, to refugees in the Calais camp known as the ‘Jungle’. My goal is to go beyond delivering charity; to be part of collective solidarity offering strength and hope to the refugees.” Lesley McGorrigan, campaigns secretary of ... Read more
  • Emergency General Meeting

    July 6, 2016: All members are invited to a UCU University of Leeds local association emergency general meeting on Wednesday 6 July at 1pm, in Clothworkers North Building lecture theatre 2.31 (cinema). The agenda is: 1. EU referendum result To discuss and debate the implications of the EU referendum for our university and the sector 2. IT restructure An update from the ... Read more
  • Minutes of committee 14 June 2016

    June 28, 2016: 1pm-2pm, Tuesday 14 June 2016 Venue: Baines Wing G.03 minutes Present: Mark Taylor-Batty (president), Andy West, Mark Walkley, Neil Maughan, Steven French, Jonathan Saha, Tim Goodall, Ben Plumpton, Steve Lax, Briony Thomas, Lesley McGorrigan, Hugh Hubbard, Elwyn Isaac, Gavin Reid, Brendon Nicholls, Alan Smith (administrator). Also present Heather Blakey and Nicolas Van Labeke elected to the 2016-2017 committee. Apologies: ... Read more
  • UCU Leeds strike day 23rd June

    June 28, 2016: After the two national strike days on 23rd/24th May, UCU at each university were asked to choose one further day for a local strike, and most have gone for Open Days. This means that prospective students and their parents are hearing about the campaign for fair pay in Higher Education quite a lot! Our strike at ... Read more
  • Leeds UCU president on BBC Radio Leeds

    May 25, 2016: Mark Taylor-Batty spoke tonight to Gayle Lofthouse about pay, the gender pay gap and casualisation in HE on BBC Radio Leeds. Use the BBC Listen again function to catch his interview here (scroll to the 2:17 point):       Read more
  • Links to FAQs and further info on the current dispute

    May 18, 2016: UCU consultation on HE pay (Oct/Nov 2016) Industrial action in HE FAQs Timeline so far Rate for the job Guidance for External Examiners The response of the National Union of Students Leaflet for students Leaflet for members new to industrial action about striking and ‘working to contract’ Read more
  • Casualised staff and industrial action: meeting

    May 16, 2016: Are you on a casualised contract? Do you know someone who is? These include fixed term, hourly paid, zero hours, agency contracts… If you do not have a permanent, salaried post, then you are on a casualised contract. We know that casualised staff may have particular questions about taking part in industrial action. Did you know that ... Read more
  • Help Us Grow – Recruit a Colleague Today

    May 15, 2016: As the cuts bite across the public sector, it’s never been more important to build our union. You can help us grow today by emailing your colleagues and asking them to join. Staff in our colleges and universities have never needed their union more. We are a growing union, a campaigning union and a successful ... Read more