Leeds MPs have written to the vice chancellors of University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University expressing their full support for the demands of UCU members and asking for universities to act positively to resolve the dispute.
Professor Margaret A House
Sir Alan Langlands
12 March 2020
As Members of Parliament in Leeds, we are writing to express our full support for the University and College Union (UCU) in their ongoing disputes over pay, conditions and pensions.
In particular, we would like to make it clear that we support the UCU demands for universities to address the 17% decline in the value of pay in real-terms since 2009; the increasing gender pay gap and race pay gap; the rise in unsustainable workloads; and the increase in casualisation and insecure contracts. We also support the UCU campaign to reverse the changes made to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which would leave a typical member of staff around £240,000 worse off in retirement.
Our university staff do incredible work, and failing to meet the UCU’s reasonable demands for fair pay, secure contracts and reasonable workloads undermines that work. We believe that universities must always put the interests of hardworking staff and students first. Education is a basic and fundamental right that contributes so much to our society and to our country as a whole. Therefore, it’s time that your staff were given the working conditions they so clearly deserve.
As Vice-Chancellors, this is an opportunity for you to use your important roles to ensure that your institutions do the right thing, lead by example, and bring an acceptable end to this dispute so that your committed staff may get back to work. We very much hope that you will make a positive decision over the coming days in order to bring this dispute to a much-needed conclusion.
Fabian Hamilton, Member of Parliament for Leeds North East
Hilary Benn, Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
Rachel Reeves, Member of Parliament for Leeds West
Alex Sobel, Member of Parliament for Leeds North West
Richard Burgon, Member of Parliament for Leeds East