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 … continue reading
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! http://speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/university-of-leeds-statutes-no-sackers-charter/ … continue reading
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 email@example.com. … continue reading
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 done since 1978), it was specifically excluded from the statutes governing universities for reasons relating to the role of academics and the nature of a university. Part of the debate around the 1998 education reform bill focussed on how far academic tenure – job security for academics – should be removed with the new act. In the section below the Lord Chancellor replies to questions in the House of Lords about an amendment to the bill. Both times, he explicitly ruled out dismissal for some other substantial reason. “I cannot stress enough the fact that academics are not deprived of the protection afforded to others by the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act. However, the situation of redundancy which enables them to be dismissed before they get to the stage of claiming compensation or payment is more ample in its definition of redundancy than appears in the … continue reading