Covid-19 Information for UCU members on national talks and action over the employers’ responses to Covid-19, as well as updated details for contacting UCU head and regional offices, is at ucu.org.uk/coronavirus Locally, the branch committee is in regular meetings with senior HR managers about the university’s response to Covid-19. The university regularly updating its guidance for staff as things develop and in response to some of the issues UCU reps raise on behalf of members. You can see the latest university guidance at coronavirus.leeds.ac.uk, particularly the pages from ‘staff advice’ and ‘FAQs’. You can see the latest updates for UCU branch members at leedsucu.org.uk/covid-19 Strike hardship applications Salaried staff can apply to the UCU fighting fund and branch hardship fund when you’ve received your payslip showing the strike deductions. Our branch hardship process is ready to support those members who need it sooner, such as hourly-paid postgraduates who teach, who would normally be paid before the usual payroll dates. For details and how to apply go to leedsucu.org.uk/hardship-applications-and-surgeries
This post applies only to members of UCU University of Leeds branch. You will have received earlier this evening an email from Jo Grady, stating that branches have been advised to postpone all strike events and rallies in the light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. This email is therefore to confirm that, sadly, our march and rally tomorrow (Friday 13 March) will not therefore take place. Branch committee have also taken the decision to call off picketing tomorrow. For the avoidance of doubt, the strike is still on and members are called upon to withdraw their labour and not go onto campus. We will be ramping up our online activity on social media and encourage all members to share their stories/videos/creativity/anything you fancy – let’s try to recreate a digital picket as legendary as our physical ones have been! UCU’s National Executive Committee are meeting tomorrow and it has also been agreed that a special meeting of the Higher Education Committee be held tomorrow as well. Please therefore watch out for further engagement by UCU on COVID-19, the response of universities and its relationship with our dispute. Stay safe and solidarity Chloe WallaceBranch Vice President
While staff are on strike, we are educating for free While lectures are cancelled, come and join striking University staff for public talks and workshops. Everyone is wlecome. The events listed here take place in the Quaker Meeting House, 188 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9DX. unless otherwise stated (rooms are disabled-accessible). This programme of events may be added to – for the full and definitive list see https://tinyurl.com/vn7ot7t. February Teachouts Thursday 20th Olfactory Empire: Smell and the Other in Imperial India and the Philippines (1300-1400) The Climate Crisis as Driver of Financial Subordination? (1400-1500) Friday 21st Venezuela in Crisis: Political Stalemate, Civilian Resilience (1300-1400) Gambling with Power: How Electricity Markets work and who pays when they don’t (1400-1500) Monday 24th Re-imagining Youth Futures and Education: Critical (Visual) Insights from the UK and Brazil (1300- 1500) Tuesday 25th Building a UCU Disability Working Group: Kick-off Meeting (1300-1400) Making our own History: The Great 1971 Stepney Words Schoolkids’ Strike in Context (1400-1500) Wednesday 26th Birds on Campus and the Politics of Birdwatching (1300-1400) Current Climate-Change ‘Solutions’ and their Unintended Consequences (1400-1500)
Text from Branch President’s email to members 17th February 2020 As you know, we will be striking again soon, starting this Thursday, 20th February, over our two disputes. This means you should not do any work on strike days (including working from home or anywhere else, and including anything you do because you work for the university). Don’t inform management in advance that you will be striking, and don’t rearrange things to avoid the strike days. Every member who strikes increases our leverage in these disputes. Every member who pickets helps to show our strength and determination. YOU are needed to make this action successful! Remember, the union has financial support if the strike deductions cause you hardship. Together we can win these disputes! What’s happened with negotiations? Negotiations since the November/December strikes have made a little progress but not enough. Our investment of 8 days action and loss of pay must not be wasted, we need to keep the action going to get solid sector wide settlements on casualisation, workload and equality, and to achieve fair pay and pension contributions. Check out this excellent summary from the #FourFights negotiators. For a short USS update read this Twitter thread from UCU pensions … continue reading
We know many of you don’t check your university email when you are on strike, which is sensible to avoid getting drawn into work-related things. However, this can mean that you miss important emails from UCU. The union nationally and the Leeds branch want to be able to let you know what’s going on – updates on negotiations, local rallies and teach outs, meetings to discuss any offers that come from the employer bodies, etc. So we recommend that you change your preferred email for the union to a personal address which you would look at whilst we are on strike. To do this, log on to myUCU at https://ucu.org.uk/myucu and edit your email address on the Personal tab. If you haven’t used myUCU before you will need to register first, which is fairly straightforward. Whilst you are in myUCU, please check your other details are correct (address, employment details, and your income band on the Payment tab so that you are paying the correct subscription). Thanks!