The following motion was agreed by the all-members general meeting on 14 October. (The minutes of that meeting are subject to approval of the all-members general meeting on 25 November.) University of Leeds UCU local association notes the new “Prevent Duty” being imposed on Higher and Further Education providers. The Local Association commends the response of the national UCU on this matter. The branch observes that this duty erodes staff and students’ academic freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of debate. The branch notes further that the definition of extremism as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values” is a direct attack on ethnic minorities. It undermines the free exchange of ideas and undermines democratic social inclusion. The branch believes that the effect of this definition will be to institutionalise both racism and Islamophobia. University of Leeds UCU local association resolves to work with UCU HQ to develop a policy of non-co-operation with the “Prevent Duty,” up to and including branch boycotts.
The following motion was agreed by the all-members general meeting on 14 October. (The minutes of that meeting are subject to approval of the all-members general meeting on 25 November.) This branch notes: The worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II with millions fleeing their homes looking for refuge in Europe. Since 2000 around 30,000 migrants or refugees have died in their attempts to reach or stay in Europe, with the highest figures recorded in the past two years. The continuing plight of refugees in Calais and elsewhere in Europe escaping from war, political oppression, poverty and violence. The demonization of migrants and asylum seekers by the media and the government. The inadequate response by the Tory government, for example, only allowing in just 20,000 refugees by 2020 on a temporary basis in the first instance, and only from camps in the Lebanon. The heartening public response to the crisis e.g. collections, donations etc. That the University of Leeds is collaborating with Leeds City Council to promote Leeds as a City of Sanctuary. That other universities such as the University of East London have committed to offer at least ten postgraduate scholarships to Syrian refugees. We note … continue reading
According to HESA data from 2012/13, it was established that • Female professors were paid an average 6.0% less than the average paid to male professors. • Among all academic staff, including professors, the gap is much more pronounced, at 12.6%, a difference of £6,042 per year. • 22.2% of professors are female, and only 5.2% of female academic staff are professors. By comparison, 15.2% of male academic staff are professors, proportionally three times the total of female professors. • According to ASHE averages 2011-14, the mean gender pay gap for Higher Education teaching professionals remains above 15% and the median gender pay gap is 11.2%. • Both the mean and median gender pay gap for Higher Education teaching professionals is significantly larger than for other teaching professionals. The median gender pay gap for further education and secondary teachers is 6.0% and 7.3% respectively, and the mean gender pay gap is 7.0% and 9.0% respectively. The calculations get worse for female BME staff, if extracted from the averages. The 2015 pay claim by five trade unions for the sector included the following ambitions: • To further develop some of the gender pay issues that emerged out of the work of … continue reading
We’ve previously outlined how you have experienced a 15% loss in the real-term value of your pay over five years against inflation, during which time universities’ reserves have risen by 58% and their income by 15%. We want to address the issue of inflation again, but instead look ahead to the future. We’ve seen our pay eroded by inflation, but will that continue? The employers point to the flat-lining of inflation this year to imply that the 1% increase on the table is a generous one, in that context. Forecasts by eight city economists* suggest that: Inflation (RPI) will rise through 2015-16 and into 2016-17, with some predicting over 3% in early 2016. The recent low levels of RPI are caused by falling commodity prices, and most analysts consider this to be a short-term phenomenon. City economists and many other commentators expect the Bank of England to raise interest rates in the first quarter of 2016, and this will have an upward effect on inflation. Against this backdrop, the 1% pay increase on the table will shortly look and feel like yet another pay cut. *Citigroup, Commerzbank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, RBS, Scotiabank and Société Générale. … continue reading
Last December, during the pension debate, your employer recommended via Universities UK that USS should assume a 2.4% pay settlement for 2015-16 for the purposes of calculating pensions liabilities (read ‘deficit’). They then turned to you and insisted on a ‘full and final offer’ of 1%. How do you feel about that? Your pension is going to be reduced based upon an assumption of pay growth over the last year that is higher than it actually was, and over an assumption of pay growth for this year that is much higher than they insist on paying. Want to know how that can be? Read on. Your pension was downgraded based on a fallacious construction of a projected ‘deficit’ in the pension fund. Within the actuarial assumptions employed to define this deficit were projections about pay growth that no employer was going to support in reality. Quoting from these calculations, general pay growth was assumed to be: “CPI in year 1, CPI +1% in year 2 and RPI + 1.0% p.a. thereafter”. Year 1, here, is 31 March 2014 to 31 March 2015, and year 2 is 31 March 2015 to 31 March 2016. To complicate matters (go down a paragraph if you just want to … continue reading