Our next scheduled branch general meeting is on Wednesday 10 March, 12pm – 1pm
If you would like to submit a motion to UCU Congress 2021, to help shape UCU’s national policy and strategy, this will be our last meeting to agree the motion.
The deadline for motions to this meeting is 12pm Tuesday 2 March. Please email any motions for this meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motions to UCU Congress need to be no more than 150 words, plus title of no more than 10 words.
Please contact email@example.com by 1st March if you would like to represent the branch at either of these events (to be held online):
Senior management are currently consulting the campus unions and staff networks about changes to the university’s disability equality framework and trans equality policy. The UCU negotiating team has strenuously expressed the concerns raised by members about detrimental proposed changes to both of these policies. If you’d like to be involved in the UCU equality working group or disability working group, please contact equality officer Lorraine Youds.
Senior management are also consulting unions about potential changes to the university flexible working policy (current version here). We are being consulted at an early stage which is good, because it means we can all input fully rather than reacting to a finished draft. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions for what you think a new flexible working policy should include – our next consultation meeting about this is on Friday 19th February.
The university will be circulating another staff wellbeing survey soon. Issues identified from these surveys are discussed with the campus unions, and the branch committee would encourage you to fill in the next one, which will include questions about workload, and highlight any concerns you have. The surveys are confidential and reported in an aggregated form.
Branch officers are continuing to push for fixed term contracts to only be used in very limited circumstances. We are having some success in particular areas, and we are also monitoring the university’s job adverts so that we can raise concerns at an early stage. If you would like to be involved with our anti-casualisation working group, which will be discussing and re-launching our anti-casualisation claim, please get in touch with our anti-casualisation officers, Xanthe Whittaker and Joanne Armitage.
The Voluntary Leavers Scheme (VLS) in FBS/SoM has concluded. 64 staff in total across the two areas applied, and 33 will be leaving the university under this scheme. The campus unions have still not been provided with either full financial details for FBS/SoM or the criteria that were used to decide which VLS applications were accepted. Our dispute is still live – our three requirements to end the dispute are that university management should:
- commit to no compulsory redundancies – they have told us they will do everything they can to avoid compulsory redundancies but are not prepared to commit;
- pause any further actions during the pandemic – we have been told there will be a significant pause but we don’t know how long this pause will be;
- fully consult and negotiate on any further changes – we have been assured this will happen. We hope and expect to get full information from now on.
At the emergency general meeting on 9 February we gave a cautious welcome to these responses, which we believe were the result of the pressure from the campus unions, including the prospect of possible future industrial action and the publicity we have achieved, both locally and nationally. We know other universities have called off redundancies when UCU branches have gone on strike, or have been about to. If management here do announce redundancies in future, it will take some time for the branch to go through the steps to meet both UCU requirements and legal requirements before we can take industrial action. So our plan now is a) vigilance to ensure proper consultation if new proposals arise b) continuing to ask for detailed finances c) continuing to keep up the publicity to help management realise that redundancies would be unacceptable and d) being well prepared to start the processes for industrial action if necessary.
Please sign our petition at speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/stop-job-cuts-at-university-of-leeds if you haven’t already, and please ask colleagues to sign!