The branch committee has called an extraordinary general meeting to discuss a number of urgent issues which won’t wait until the next scheduled general meeting. The meeting will be: 12pm – 1pm on Wednesday 22 January Roger Stevens lecture theatre 16 (which is on level 12). Members are invited to submit motions on the subjects on the agenda. These should be received by 2pm on Tuesday 14 January, after which the motions received will be circulated to members. The agenda will be: Disputes USS pensions dispute ‘Four fights’ dispute (pay, anti-casualisation, equal pay, workloads) Organisational change policy Please send any relevant motions to the branch administrator Alan Smith using email@example.com. (The next scheduled general meeting, open to motions on any subject, is Monday 2 March.)
The second report of the JEP arrived last Friday, and it’s a crucial document within the context of the current dispute over the USS pension scheme. Again, it vindicates the positions that UCU has adopted in relation to both the governance of the scheme and the valuation methodology. You can read the document here, and it contains a useful executive summary (pp. 7-12) and a summary of their conclusions (pp. 120-1). The JEP was established last year as part of an agreement between Universities UK (UUK) and UCU to pause the dispute after a historic fourteen days of strikes across the country. Its first report of September last year addressed the 2017 valuation that was central to the onset of the industrial action. It offered a series of recommendations for adjustments to that valuation. The panel now state that ‘the failure to collectively go forward with these recommendations was […] a missed opportunity to resolve the dispute’. This second report focusses on the scheme governance and key principles that should inform future valuations. The panel urge both UCU, UUK and USS to work together swiftly to embed these recommendations into the 2020 valuation process, which begins in a matter of weeks. On … continue reading
Text from branch president Ben Plumpton’s email to members 27th November Negotiations The most important thing to tell you is that our UCU negotiators on pay and conditions met with UCEA, the employers organization, on Tuesday. See UCU’s statement about that meeting. This is really important, because it shows it only took one day of solid striking and record breaking pickets to get UCEA to do what they should have done weeks ago; sit down and talk. However, they are still not willing to talk about pay. We need to push them harder on this, because stopping pay erosion is central to our claim and low pay is one of the issues which creates pay gaps and which exacerbates the already impossible position of casualised staff. UCEA are now consulting with university leaders. We need to send our Vice-Chancellor a clear message that our claims are urgent and that we won’t settle for anything other than substantial change. For those striking, please stand firm. We need to sustain our action. We want to make our pickets (physical and digital) bigger, louder and clearer, so help us make some noise over the next few days. If you are not yet striking, please come … continue reading
Amazing picketing on the first two days of our strikes – more pickets than we’ve ever had, brilliant support from students, and much determination despite the wet weather. Thank you everyone! Here’s a small selection of photos.
Text from branch president Ben Plumpton’s email to members 25th November It was great to see so many of you picketing today, thank you! I think it was the most pickets we’ve had round our campus, and special thanks to those who were picketing for the first time, hope you enjoyed it despite the rain… We were blown away by the support and enthusiasm from students at the Parkinson steps rally, it was brilliant. Check out some photos from today tweeted by the branch account at https://twitter.com/leedsucu Keep on tweeting and Facebooking and everything (use #UCUstrikes and tag @leedsucu) – we love seeing your photos. Hope to see you all back again tomorrow. If you havent picketed before, no need to feel nervous, come along to the pink gazebo near the main entrance as early as you can in the morning and we’ll find you a buddy to stand with.Remember, every day picketing is happening from 7:30 am (come as early as you can manage) and a rally on the Parkinson steps at 11:30. The ever-growing Leeds UCU songbook is here: https://tinyurl.com/t7vsy8e – bookmark it on your phone so you can sing along at the rallies. We might have to do ‘Striking in … continue reading