This is advance notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the branch to consider a single issue – our disputes over Four Fights (“pay and related matters” i.e. pay, casualisation, workload and equality) and USS pensions – and in particular, to discuss any motions which the branch might want to send to the next UCU Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC) on Thursday 9 September. Apologies that holding an EGM in August is not great timing when many people might be taking annual leave, but it had to be held in August to meet deadlines set by UCU centrally for receipt of motions to HESC.
Our EGM will be held on Friday 20th August from 1-2 pm, online using Zoom. The meeting link will be circulated nearer the time. The EGM was called, to discuss this one issue, by request of your branch committee at its meeting today, Tuesday 20th July. The deadline for motions to the EGM is 10 am on Friday 30th July. (Motions on other issues can be submitted to the first normal General Meeting of the next academic year, once the date for that is notified to members).
The previous Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC) on 2 June resolved to reject UCEA’s 2021-22 offer (on pay and related matters) and to formally enter into dispute. It also agreed to ballot for industrial action over the Four Fights, and to ballot for industrial action over USS if “the employers have not joined UCU to pressure USS and the pension regulator to cancel the 2020 valuation and use an evidence-based moderately prudent approach in 2021”. This next conference on 9 September will decide on how we approach balloting, when we ballot, and whether to link the two disputes. If you would like to submit a motion on this topic, but are unsure how best to word it to go forward to a UCU UK wide conference, get in touch with the branch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m sure you remember, just before the pandemic we were taking industrial action over our two disputes, the Four Fights and USS pensions. That action was beginning to have a real impact in negotiations, but then the pandemic happened. UCU paused our disputes, but the issues we were fighting over haven’t gone away, and indeed have got worse over the last 15 months. There’s a strong feeling across the union, as seen at the recent UCU Congress, that we can’t continue to accept dire pay offers, no progress on the other three issues, and more detrimental changes to USS pensions. We must take a stand. Come along to the EGM and have your democratic input into how we do that.
For more information see:
– Details of 2021-22 negotiations over pay and related matters (“new JNCHES”) see https://ucu.org.uk/he2021
– Outcome of 2020-21 negotiations over pay and related matters (zero pay rise, very little progress on casualisation, workloads and equality) see https://ucu.org.uk/he2020
– FAQ on proposed USS pension changes see https://www.ucu.org.uk/uss-faqs
– Motions passed at UCU Higher Education Sector Conference 2 June, including motions on balloting for industrial action, see https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/11596/Higher-education-sector-conference-2021
Note also that one of our sister unions on campus, Unison, are already balloting over the summer for industrial action over pay.
Hope you manage to get some rest and relaxation this summer, despite everything.
In solidarity and with hope for a better year ahead,
University of Leeds UCU President
Email sent to branch members 20 July 2021
This page was last updated on 21 July 2021