Thanks to everyone who wrote to their MP about this – the pressure worked! See more details on separate post.
Legal advice on working in the UK
UCU has produced guides and legal briefings about working in the UK for UCU members who aren’t UK nationals. There’s also free legal advice from specialist immigration lawyers available for UCU members. See the national UCU website: Working in the UK – a Guide for EEA and Non-EEA Nationals
University of Leeds has agreed to UCU’s requests to reimburse staff for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ applications and tier 1 visa applications. Senior management say they will reimburse staff for applications made after 8 November 2018. The university will also reimburse the cost of applying to the EU settlement scheme. This article was edited 3 December to include the 8 November 2018 application date and the link to the university website UCU members from outside the EU have complained of a gradual ramping up of fees and costs as working in the UK becomes less and less affordable. The reimbursements the university has agreed to make are significant improvements for international staff. We’re glad the university has listened to our concerns, but we urge them to move on all the areas we raised. UCU called on the university to reimburse the cost of tier one visas, which they have now agreed. The university already reimburses tier two visa application costs. We have asked for clarification on whether the university reimburses tier four to tier two conversions. UCU also called on the university senior management to reimburse the visa costs for dependents, and for the costs of the (increasing) Immigration Health Surcharge …continue reading
Please see advice below from UCU head office in relation to the extension of the pilot scheme: We have received queries this morning about the government plans to extend the EU Settlement Scheme pilot to EU citizens working in universities across the UK. The first stage of the pilot had previously been run in Liverpool institutions and health services. It is now being extended to all licensed UK higher education institutions. UCU has received mixed feedback from many members who have used the service so far. The purpose of the scheme is to enable EU citizens resident in the UK and their family members to obtain the necessary UK immigration status they require in order to live and work in the UK after the end of the planned EU exit implementation period. During this pilot phase, only those employed by HE institutions are eligible to apply, but the scheme will open to all eligible applicants including family members by 29 March 2019. Applicants to the pilot phase must be a resident EU passport holder or, if they are the non-EU family members of EU citizens, a biometric residence card. The fee to apply for settled status is: £65 if you’re …continue reading
UCU is supporting a national demonstration of unity in London on Saturday in response to concerns of increasing racism and xenophobia and the rise of the far right. The demonstration is called by Stand Up To Racism, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism and supported by the TUC. Locally there are coaches going from Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Sheffield and York. Members will be able to claim the coach fare back from UCU regional office (email@example.com) For details, including all the local coaches, see https://www.facebook.com/events/1887445111550804/ …continue reading
UCU is consulting members in a formal ballot about whether UCU should support there being a referendum on the Brexit deal. The UCU website has some guest posts with arguments on different aspects of the arguments for and against at ucu.org.uk/brexit Please vote, as with will help …continue reading
Gabriella Alberti and Dima Barakat Chami report on this significant change to Home Office rules brought about by pressure from UCU, especially from members of UCU University of Leeds branch On Thursday the 12th of July our General Secretary informed all union members that our UCU campaign for the right to strike of international staff under visa has been won. According to the guidance and immigration rules for migrant workers (under the tier 2 and 5 immigration routes) any staff dependent on a working visa who would incur more than 10 non-consecutive days of unpaid leave (thus including legal strike action) per calendar year would risk the possibility to be reported by their employer to the Home Office. This would effectively put her/his and their family’s right to reside in the UK at risk. It is thus not impossible to imagine how such a punitive and unequal law would discourage migrant workers from joining strike action beyond the symbolic day or two. In this sense we are very proud that our longest ever strike in higher education has acted not only as a terrain to test such unequal treatment on a fundamental democratic right, but ultimately also as springboard for …continue reading