From email sent to members 16 April 2021
You’ll have seen from the General Meeting agenda circulated yesterday that we’ll be discussing a motion about the UK Research and Innovation Official Development Assistance funding cuts at our branch meeting next week, to go forward to the union’s Higher Education Committee.
Before then, your UCU committee would like to find out more about who is affected and what’s happening on the ground so that we can better support members and campaign against these cuts. We have set up a special meeting for UCU members about this next Tuesday, 20th April, from 1-2 pm on Teams (see email for link).
Locally, your branch negotiators have raised serious concerns with management, and we received an update from the deputy vice-chancellor for research, at the Organisational Change Group meeting this Monday. The timescales that the government have imposed for this have been incredibly tight, and we know that universities must respond to UKRI by today (16th April) with their proposals. We understand that 16 major projects at Leeds are affected, many involving international partners, and at various stages. The DVC told us that replacement funding had been found for about half of the cuts but there is still a significant shortfall. We argued, and will continue to argue, that the university should cover this shortfall from reserves and honour all staff contracts.
If this affects you, please come to Tuesday’s meeting. If you can’t make that time, please let us know by email to firstname.lastname@example.org what’s happening in your area.
Also, if you signed the Open Letter about this you will have received an update from the letter organisers on Monday, about the publicity they have generated and the lack of response from UK government, and encouraging you to write to your MP. Please do – I have attached their template letter but please add examples and personal insights. They are hopeful that creating sufficient pressure can prevent further cuts next year. You can find your MP and write to them via https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/
Branch Secretary, University of Leeds UCU
This page was last updated on 20 April 2021