After the success of our Members’ Organising Meeting last term, we’re organising another! Come along on Monday 16th July, from 12-1pm – we’ll be in Michael Sadler LG15. Please feel free to bring your lunch so we can eat together, and any efforts at baking to share are very welcome!
All members are invited and encouraged to attend this meeting to discuss and plan our next steps in campaigning and negotiating. This will include looking at the Pay and Equality claim and linking to local campaigns on (anti-)casualisation, equal pay, workload, and stress. We’ll also discuss where we are with the USS pensions dispute look at the timeline for when we’ll be expecting reports and recommendations from the Joint Expert Panel (JEP).
The meeting will have a very practical focus and we again ask all members to bring their creativity and big thinking brains along. There are lots of things that everyone can get involved in – big or small – and all members are welcome! If you would like to send ideas in advance that would be really useful, as we can start building our List Of Things To Do that volunteers can sign up for at the meeting. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Twitter (@leedsucu)!
Please come along, and if you’re on Twitter, please do retweet us to promote the meeting – see @leedsucu, including:
VENUE: Leeds University Business School, Maurice Keyworth lecture theatre, G.02
In anticipation of Donald Trump’s visit to London on July 13, Leeds UCU, Leeds Coalition Against War and Leeds Stand Up to Trump are hosting a Trump Teach-in: Why Donald is so Dangerous event. The confirmed speakers are:
Trump, racism and the international far-right: Sam Kirk (Leeds Stand Up to Racism)
Trump and war: speaker from National Stop the War Coalition, and Kathy Saemian (Iranian activist)
Trump, Palestine and Israel: Prof. Richard Seaford (University of Exeter; British Committee for the Universities of Palestine)
Trumpean Economics: Prof. Gary Dympski (University of Leeds)
Trump and the Environment: Dr. Diane Nelson (University of Leeds)
Following the talks, there will be further time for floor discussion and debate.
The UCU HE sector conference on USS pensions had been achieved by 20-30 branches passing motions requisitioning a special meeting. This was to ensure continued member debate and input following the ending of the momentous strike action over USS.
It was a useful conference enabling members to continue engagement with the processes at play in the USS dispute. The motions focussed on transparency and member involvement in the joint expert panel (JEP) and defending defined benefits.
There was some discontent that only 2.5 hours had been allocated for the event, to which 27 motions had been submitted. Inevitably, five motions, including one from Leeds, fell off the agenda due to time constraints. The Leeds motion instructing our negotiators to oppose replacing our DB scheme with a collective defined contribution (CDC) scheme was passed. A motion calling on the CEO of USS, Bill Galvin, to resign was passed.
The meeting was the start of the union’s membership introducing accountability into the latest developments in the USS campaign.
Motions 1-12, 14 and 15 were passed and 16, 17, 18, 20, 21 were remitted to the Higher Education Committee. Motions a, c, d, e were voted back onto the agenda and passed with some amendment. Motions are here: ucu.org.uk/circ/html/UCU882
Today, all three campus unions (UCU, Unison, Unite) have jointly written to the Director of HR, to complain about attempts contained in HR communications to misdirect staff in about the current pay and equality negotiations. This is a repeated complaint about behaviour we have also raised in previous rounds of national pay negotiations. Please see below this email for the full text.
remember we have until 12 noon on Wednesday 27 June to vote in our internal, “indicative ballot” over whether to accept UCEA’s pay and equality offer in response to the joint union claim. UCU advises that you vote to REJECT the pay offer and to vote YES to a willingness to take industrial action. See [here] for a reminder of why UCU advises this in light of a derisory pay offer (especially when placed in context of pay erosion) and very little of note offered on the equality and casualisation aspects of the joint claim. It also reminds you how to find the link to make your vote, and what to do if you can’t find the email. Turnout really matters, and will strengthen the hand of our negotiators – please vote asap!
See also [here]for analysis of how the latest pay offer compares with pay settlements elsewhere.
You may well remember that in August 2017 the unions had cause to complain about the attempts to misdirect staff in communications about that year’s pay negotiations. Unfortunately it seems to all three campus unions that the University is indulging itself in the same behaviour again this year.
Once again you are seeking to conflate different reward systems in the minds of the readers of this communication, trying to convince staff that the pay settlement put forward by the employers is a good deal for staff by deliberately including figures for incremental rises that staff will accrue, as long as they are not at the top of their pay scale point, as part of this negotiation in an attempt to make it sound better than it is. Even so, your own figures demonstrate that staff eligible for the negotiated pay rise plus an incremental rise amount to a minority of the staff working at Leeds.
We reassert, incremental rises do not form a part of this negotiation. The attempt to conflate them with those negotiations is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate and cause confusion. The pay offer is 2% (except for those at the bottom of the pay scale). This would be the ninth successive year of below inflation pay rises in Higher Education. The HE sector has, according to the latest available figures, a surplus of more than £1 billion. The sector is getting ever richer as staff pay falls ever more behind what we used to earn.
The time has come for Universities to pay a fair reward for the hard work, knowledge and expertise that employees at all levels bring to their respective roles, rather than trying to reduce what they see as the ‘financial burden’ of staff, whether through low rises in pay, reduction in the security of employment or indeed the security of our pensions.
Nick Allen, UNISON Jo Westerman, Unite Vicky Blake, UCU
The TUC (Trade Union Congress) in Yorkshire and Humber has contacted trade union branches in the region looking for young (35 or under) members interested in a visit to Brussels to learn about the international role of trade unions. See message below, and please email email@example.com if you’d like an expression of interest form:
The TUC is pleased to be offering a ‘European trade unionism – Brussels study visit’ for young members from our affiliated unions, taking place between 4-6th September 2018. The application form is attached.
The focus on the visit will be: discovering trade unions’ international role, monitoring the status of working rights, learning about cross border collective bargaining, solidarity & making connections.
The draft programme includes:
Meetings with ETUC, ITUC, UNI Europa, IndustriALL and other European trade union partners
A tour around the European Parliament and the opportunity to meet Labour as well as Socialist & Democrat MEPs to discuss Brexit & working rights in Europe
Meeting the GMB and/or NUJ Brussels branches, as well as the Labour assistants working in the European Parliament
Meeting the TUC international officer
An opportunity for a structured study session on European Trade Union issues delivered by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies
This is a partially sponsored visit courtesy of Richard Corbett MEP & Linda McAvan MEP, however, any applicants will need to secure a guarantee of sponsorship from their region or branch of approximately £200-£300 (possibly less) to cover additional costs. We would appreciate your support in this.
If you could send this (with attached application form) to any members you think appropriate, or circulate it around your networks, that would be greatly appreciated. Deadline for applications is Wednesday 4 July.
If you or any applicant have questions, please feel free to contact me.
Gareth Gareth Lewis Policy & Campaigns Officer Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Yorkshire & the Humber