Are you on a casualised contract? Do you know someone who is?
These include fixed term, hourly paid, zero hours, agency contracts… If you do not have a permanent, salaried post, then you are on a casualised contract. We know that casualised staff may have particular questions about taking part in industrial action.
Did you know that casualisation issues are a key part of the current dispute?
Casualisation forms a key part of the joint unions pay and equality claim for 2016-17. We want nationally-agreed action for institutions to reduce the proportion of their staff on casual and zero-hour contracts and to ensure that their pay reflects the rate-for-the-job of permanent staff – you can read more here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/he2016
Do you want to find out more about the upcoming industrial action and campaigning?
We’re having a meeting! Members and non-members all welcome, please bring your colleagues along to discuss:
– How do I strike?
– Why should I strike?
– The Leeds UCU Strike Hardship Fund: what it is and how to apply
– What about the “work to contract” action short of a strike (begins 25 May)?
– Campaigning at Leeds: what’s happening, when, sharing ideas
– What are we doing at Leeds to fight for secure and fair contracts and how are we including it in our campaigns?
Please come to our UCU meeting for staff on casualised contracts on Monday at 4pm in Baines 1.13, and pass this message on to anyone (member or non-member) who is on a casualised contract. We will have tea, cake, and lots of solidarity and support!
Also, check out our local campaign materials, including a poster dedicated to casualised members: http://www.leedsucu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/casual.pdf
As the cuts bite across the public sector, it’s never been more important to build our union. You can help us grow today by emailing your colleagues and asking them to join. Staff in our colleges and universities have never needed their union more. We are a growing union, a campaigning union and a successful union. Every year, around 7,000 members seek help for a problem at work from their local UCU branch. We manage to resolve most of these issues but where we cannot the union’s legal service is there to gain redress. In the past 12 months that redress has amounted to more than £2m in settlements for members treated unfairly at work. We are campaigning hard to defend pensions, jobs and to hold back the privatisation of our education system. The more members we have, the stronger and more successful UCU will be.
Circulate this flyer: http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/h/s/Recruitment_leaflet.pdf and encourage them to join online using this link: https://join.ucu.org.uk/
I am writing this open email to you on behalf of UCU members at the University of Leeds. As you know, in the meeting of New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff last week, the university employers made a full and final offer of a 1.1% pay rise for 2016, fractionally improving upon the 1% opening offer. I hope you will recognise the shock and disappointment felt by staff to what comes across as a derisory and deliberately provocative stance.
Last year, when the employers insisted upon a 1% final offer for 2015, the university’s remuneration committee was in a position to decide whether senior members of the university executive group should receive any more than the 1% that it was argued was all that was affordable for the rest of us. Despite the university’s claim to transparency, and despite this group of senior staff being within the UCU constituency, we have not to date been told whether or not that small group received anything more than our 1%. I’d like to ask you now to make the figure public.
At the end of April, staff in former National Insurance opt-out pension schemes received a cut to their take home pay, in the form of increased NI contributions and, within USS, increased pension contributions. For UCU members in USS, this together was pushing a 2% cut to take-home pay, with the biggest losses seen by the youngest staff in the post-2011 career average USS scheme. For the purposes of illustration, I append a screen-grab of my own net salary from recent months, which I use to represent my members. You’ll see I took a cut to take-home pay of around £34 a month, or £410 a year. When we asked members to share their loss using the hashtag #aprilpaycut we saw that the average loss declared was between £400 and £600. To put that in perspective for you, that’s a Christmas budget, or a month’s rent or mortgage for many families. This actual cut to take-home pay is on top of the 14.5% average cut to the value of my colleagues’ pay against inflation over recent years.
In light of this, you must know that if you seek now, alongside other university leaders, to argue for nothing more than a 1.1% pay increase for 2016, you will be arguing that we should end negotiations with staff actually worse off in take-home pay than when we began those negotiations. Would you join me in supporting your colleagues around the university and recognise that this 1.1% final offer represents neither a dignified nor professional attitude to negotiation on UCEA’s part? Can you assure staff that neither you nor the UEG approved the 1.1% final offer in sending your representation to UCEA? It certainly falls short of the pay increases factored into IPE projections as affordable, and is a long way short even of the national average pay settlement.
As the union and the employers now find ourselves in a dispute over this matter, might I request that the University Executive Group, who might well have received a significant pay increase over the rest of us, now respect the dignity of those who wish to see a pay increase that recognises and rewards their long hours, hard work and intrinsic value to the institution, and who wish to see women paid the same as men for the same work, and acknowledge that (demonstrated by an unambiguous ballot outcome) the actions colleagues are prepared to take to support those ambitions are honourable in intent?
Our team will be happy to hear from you at Monday’s Joint Committee of the University and the UCU, and I can subsequently communicate your responses to my colleagues in the union across campus.
President, UCU at University of Leeds