The ballot mandate in the Statutes dispute has expired (new anti-trade-union laws give ballots a 6-month shelf life) and we are now escalating to the next phase in the dispute.
As agreed at the recent all-members general meeting we will be moving forward with the national UCU censure of the University of Leeds, agreed at UCU’s national Congress. This will be followed by taking steps towards a gradual boycott of the institution, and we will be renewing the strike ballot (as required by law). As we build up to this, we will be consulting you on all these issues.
Please check your membership details are up to date by logging into My UCU (you’ll need to register if you haven’t used the new system yet) so we’re ready to go for both a local strike ballot and a national strike ballot over pensions.
So we are not currently working to contract, but we are very much still in dispute. We suggest you amend your email signature to:
Please note: I support UCU in the dispute with management over changes to Statutes, including the introduction of dismissal for “some other substantial reason” (SOSR) and the loss of medical and legal chairs in some procedures. Please sign the petition about this at speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/university-of-leeds-statutes-no-sackers-charter. Latest information from Leeds UCU at leedsucu.org.uk
Notes from today’s open meeting on EU staff rights and the Brexit negotiation are available as a powerpoint presentation: Brexit Summary Resources Nov 2017 (download)
Latest advice from the university
The next university EU Immigration Information Session for staff is 11am Wednesday 29 November, Clothworkers Central building, Speakman lecture theatre (G.89). Individual advice can also be booked, see the university link above.
Immigration legal advice from UCU (both general briefing papers and individual legal support is available for UCU members)
Here are some of the documents referred to in the discussion:
The letter to the EU heads of state from The 3 Million (only available as PDF download)
‘Technical note’ from the UK government
European parliament rejects UK response as inadequate and outlines its red lines for EU citizens
UCU policy ‘we are international’
We have a new poster for our statutes dispute. Copies will be available at meetings to take and put up, and you can also
Download a printable PDF here (print it on A3 or A4, in colour).
Previous posters seem to have disappeared from some areas of the university, so we need to replace them. Please put this poster up in your school or department on any suitable noticeboards, on your office door or window etc.
This meeting is a chance for all members to come together to discuss the implementation of the Academic Censure and Boycott procedure, which we voted to invoke in our dispute over changes to Statutes, and which was agreed by UCU Congress last summer. We will outline how the stepped procedure works, various ways it can be adapted to suit our campaign, and what it means for us as members and as academic and academic related staff. Leeds UCU Committee are hosting the meeting and we will be joined by Paul Bridge (UCU’s national Head of Higher Education Bargaining and Campaigns) and Douglas Chalmers (UCU’s national Vice President).
There will be cake! The venue is in recent emails. See you there.
Update from Leeds UCU President 13th November about SOSR and academic freedom:
When we look around the wider Higher Education sector, it’s worrying to note that moves to introduce “Some Other Substantial Reason” into statutes have started to appear in clusters, almost 30 years after it was explicitly excluded from University Statutes that arose from the Education Reform Act, (1988). It was excluded with a view to maintaining protection of academic freedom. Other universities have rejected the introduction of SOSR into Statutes, as we are calling on our senior management to do. There are also other institutions looking closely at “what is happening at Leeds” – ours is a large and influential university – be in no doubt that the fact our dispute has a nationally significant status in UCU is meaningful.
As a backdrop to this, we’d like to recommend a recent report on academic freedom in the UK, which was produced by Terence Karran and Lucy Mallinson’s: Academic Freedom in the UK: Legal and Normative Protection in a Comparative Context (Report for the University and College Union). It is a long document but the executive summary is only one page long. The report makes clear why it is vital to defend and improve our concept of academic freedom, why it matters to all academic and academic related / professional and managerial staff, and gives examples of personal experiences when it has been threatened.
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.