The University of Leeds looks increasingly isolated as management still [insist they will dock 25% of pay] if striking staff don’t rearrange lectures missed during strike action. This is on top of (expected) strike deductions so it is essentially docking twice for the same work. As we’ve noted before, the staff in our union HQ are taking legal advice on all policies like this in place at each university, but expect to find that in most cases they are “nasty but legal”. Remind yourself of our position and advice [here] and [here].
Massive political and industrial pressure has already forced a climbdown in other universities that threatened these punitive deductions, with St Andrews having rescinded their policy earlier today, and Sheffield last week. Please write to the VC (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask alumni to:
- Tweet @UniversityLeeds and @LeedsAlumni telling them they won’t donate until the policy is reversed #donationstrike #USSStrike
2. Call the uni’s HR dept questioning the policy’s legality and politely ask they reverse it (0113) 343 4146
3.Donate to the Leeds UCU hardship fund (Sort: 60-83-01 Account: 20391511)
4. Tell every alumnus they know to do the same and share [this image]!
External Examiners Resigning:
At HEC on Thursday 8 March, it was agreed that:
As a result of the punitive pay deduction policies at some universities, we are asking people with connections to the university such as External Examiners or alumni to consider their position. While it is a matter for individuals to decide whether to resign or withdraw their support, and anyone considering this should check the terms of their contracts with those universities, UCU members would be grateful for the support that resigning represents during what is a major dispute to defend our pension rights.
Therefore, we are indeed asking people with connections to the University of Leeds (External Examiners, alumni, and so on) to consider their position and how they may support us. We are asking all supporters to also write to the Vice Chancellor.
More and more of our alumni, potential students (and their parents) have joined Alex Sobel MP in writing to the Vice Chancellor to express their dismay. We’re asking anyone undertaking an alumni #DonationStrike to consider donating to the local hardship fund instead. We are already seeing the effects of boycotts organised [online] that call for external examiners to resign from institutions pursuing the punitive ASOS policy, with many noting just how little respect for staff such deductions by the university connote.
Workload and respect for the “goodwill work” members do:
Note that UCU research in 2014 [here] revealed that 41% of full time staff in HE generally work over 50 hours a week, and more than one respondent in ten (15%) work in excess of 60 hours per week. These were both increases from the previous study undertaken in 2012, and we have no evidence at Leeds that things are “improving”. So, you might be interested in the following sums:
Hours per week staff are nominally contracted to work: 37.5 (7.5 hours per day)
Hours many staff actually work: 50
– This means those staff are actually habitually paid for (37.5 / 50) × 100 = 75% of hours worked
Actual hours some other staff work: 60
– This means those staff are habitually paid for (37.5 / 60) x 100 = 62.5% of hours worked
It should not be this way. The policy around ASOS deductions has really brought home the importance of our branch’s campaigning on workload – let’s keep having these conversations on the picket lines and beyond.
Keep striking, keep observing ASOS to its fullest extent: let’s keep the pressure up!