All members are welcome to the next Action Group meeting on Tuesday 7 November from 1-2 pm (see email for venue). Please come along to work on the next steps in the Statutes campaign, including discussing future action and to help develop the inspiring ‘University of the Aire’ theme which emerged in the ‘Striking Insights’ teach-out.
Leeds UCU are in dispute with university management over proposed changes to Statutes – we are concerned these will make it easier to sack staff and that they pose a serious risk to academic freedom. Please read this article for details. The dispute is about the proposed addition of ‘some other substantial reason’ (SOSR) for dismissal, plus the removal of independents from appeals panels. These, together with efforts to remove union support in meetings called for by line management (which could be on the path to disciplinary meetings), are key aspects of “clearing the way” for management to terminate employment and reduce the chance of staff success at employment tribunals. Picketing Parkinson (and the rest!) Our three days of strike action were inspirational and heartening, especially as we were one of the early branches taking action after the Trade Union Act 2016. There has been a wonderful buzz in the air with positive engagement from students and other staff, plenty of invigorating discussions and ideas for the future. We’ve seen a surge in new members joining our union over this issue. Have a look at our strikes Storify for a selection of tweets showing determination, solidarity, involvement and fun! On Strike Day … continue reading
Fantastic cartoon sent in by a creative UCU member! Could anything like this happen in the future, if our statutes are changed? Read about examples of SOSR happening at other universities: … continue reading
I have been contacted by a number of constituents and members of staff at the University of Leeds expressing concern about the proposed University of Leeds statute revisions. I am very aware of the strength of feeling on the part of staff and I have previously taken the matter up with Sir Alan Langlands, expressing the hope that matters could be resolved locally by negotiation with the University and College Union. The proposed changes to the University’s Statutes (which set the terms and conditions for academic and related staff) worsen protections for staff, in particular by: adding an undefined catch-all category for dismissing staff for ‘Some Other Substantial Reason’ (SOSR), removing medically qualified chairs for panels deciding ill health dismissals and removing independent legally qualified chairs for most dismissal appeals. The existing grounds for dismissing staff within the University of Leeds Statutes are: capability, ill health, misconduct or redundancy. The Union and many staff feel that introducing ‘some other substantial reason’ for dismissal would jeopardise academic freedom. SOSR, as a ground for dismissal, was explicitly excluded from University Statutes that arose from the Education Reform Act, 1988 and fundamental to academic endeavour is the freedom to propose and test new … continue reading
This issue focuses mainly on our statutes dispute, together with articles about USS pensions, IT and more. Download October 2017 newsletter (PDF format, 201Kb) Please pass it on to a colleague. Comments or suggestions for inclusion in future newsletters are very welcome. … continue reading