To mark the first day of our massive strike in defence of our pensions we’re having a big march and rally on 22 February. We’ll be assembling from 11.30 on the Parkinson Building steps, setting off at 12pm, and marching to outside Leeds City Art Gallery (Victoria Gardens), where the rally will start approximately 12.30pm (depending on how long the march takes!). If you’re on Facebook you can sign up to this Facebook event We hope to see as many members, students and supporters there as possible!
Email for UCU branch president Vicky Blake sent to members 15 February Dear Members, The single most effective thing our Vice Chancellor and senior managers could have done to bring the current dispute over USS to a close (and to avoid the disruption it will cause) is to have publicly added their voices to those at other universities calling for Universities UK (UUK) to go back into meaningful negotiations with UCU. They have not done this. Instead, most* of you have received a series of three letters, comprising the two which arrived from Deputy Vice Chancellor Tom Ward and Director of HR Francesca Fowler in an email from HR today, and the missive from the Vice Chancellor last week. Many of you are already emailing us to express dismay and disappointment about all three of these letters. Many of you have also copied us into your emails to the Vice Chancellor which express your disappointment with the University of Leeds management position on the dispute and ask him to lend his voice to those calling for a return to negotiations. (*It would appear postgraduates who teach – a significant and important cohort within our academic community, have been left out of this correspondence today. I have attached … continue reading
Would you like to know what’s going on with our pension scheme? Why the plans to attack it are totally unnecessary and actually damaging to the future of the scheme? If you missed the open meeting on 6 February with Sam Marsh from UCU University of Sheffield, who explains in understandable terms what the situation is, here’s a video of the lecture. What about USS? The great pensions scandal (YouTube) The charts which were on screen during the meeting are in the blog post 10 reasons why USS is a scandal waiting to bite back There are detailed resources if you would like more (loads more!) at UCU University of Sheffield’s webpages.
UCU members will want to explain to their students why they are striking. Here are some resources you might like to use. Feel free to adapt these to suit your needs and your students. A slideshow for use in lectures (PowerPoint format) National UCU information for students on the dispute and strike A letter you could send to your students (Word document download) A short UCU video for students which you could ask them to share on social media Our Leeds UCU page of information for students, with more suggestions for what they can do to support the strike
(updated 05/03/2018) We were very grateful for the support at our march and rally on Thursday 22nd February. Every day of the strike we are having a short rally at 11 am on the steps of the Parkinson Building, and all supporters are very welcome to join us there. How else you can help us: 1. Financially UCU members will lose a lot of money during this 14-day strike, so we’d be really grateful if you or your organisation can donate to our Fighting Fund. For details of how to donate to the local fighting fund please email firstname.lastname@example.org Or you can donate to the national UCU Fighting Fund 2. Letter writing It would be great if you could write to the University of Leeds Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands (email@example.com and copy to firstname.lastname@example.org) expressing your concerns and asking him to use his influence on Universities UK to get them to negotiate meaningfully with UCU, with no pre-conditions. A particular concern you might like to raise is the intention of university management to deduct wages from members observing the Action Short of a Strike. We have already had wages deducted for strike days, but in addition management intend to … continue reading