LUCU News January 2023

LUCU News January 2023

Addressing UCU Rising and local negotiations & campaigns

UCU Rising: Update

At the January BDM, branch delegates fed back members’ views as expressed at our recent GM and via email, where a majority of LUCU members backed escalating strike action in semester two and a marking and assessment boycott (MAB) beginning in April.  Feedback from other branches and voting results at the BDM indicated that these views were also held by a majority of members across the union.  Accordingly, HEC voted to call for 18 days of strike action, with the first day of action on Wednesday, February 1st (future dates yet to be confirmed), and members will be re-balloted so that action can continue after the current mandate ends in March 2023, that is, should current negotiations not bring about a resolution to the disputes on pay, workload, casualisation and USS pensions. 

The branch committee is already mobilising for a re-ballot and planning for a MAB. Branch officers have undertaken training on MAB and will produce guidance that is specific to LUCU members in due course. 

Interestingly, new research by Loughborough’s Centre for Research into Social Policy underscores the need to continue the fight for restoration of our benefits, as inflation adds 20% to the cost of retirement, while UUK chooses to cut our pensions by c. 30%:

Our action has already resulted in positive movement on the pay front, with UCEA making an improved offer to UCU negotiators. However, negotiations on pay are ongoing, as the offer of a pay rise between 4-5% was not deemed sufficient considering the insufficient pay rises awarded over the last 10 years and current inflationary pressures.  Negotiations on workload and insecure contracts also continue at national level.

At local level, discussions continue with University SMT about workload, pay and pensions. The University remains committed to the position it set out in our joint statement on USS, which we were pleased to hear from the visiting speaker at our recent GM has proved helpful to other branches in moving their SMTs toward a public statement supportive of improved benefits, as well as to UCU’s national negotiators. We are currently exploring with management the idea of another joint statement addressing other issues in the dispute – workload, pay, precarious contracts.

We have had some promising discussions with senior leadership regarding workload. The matter was discussed at the Vice Chancellor’s Reports meeting on Monday 16 Jan, and it will be discussed in more detail at University Executive Board (formerly known as ALT) in early February. We have a meeting scheduled shortly after this and will provide an update in next month’s newsletter.

Tri-partite meetings involving LUCU, SMT and LSU also continue, which offers a valuable space for us to present our perspective on the disputes to student representatives.

Local Negotiations and Campaigns – Re-structures

We can also report that LUCU has been meaningfully consulted on a new restructure in IT Services, where we do not envisage any negative impact to members. However, we remain available to support any member affected by this restructure. Any member who would like a caseworker to attend meetings with them should contact their area Rep in the first instance.

The Enabling Programme:

The Enabling Programme – comprising six projects – has been established to collectively drive positive change in the areas of Loughborough’s reputation, digital capabilities, workplaces, compliance levels, processes/ways of working, and culture. Details of the projects and their aims can be found via the Organisational Development website. All six projects are now live, with Projects Enable, Workplace and Compliance being the most advanced.

LUCU is regularly consulted by management on programme developments as these initiatives impact on our working conditions, and we can raise issues of concern in our monthly meetings with SMT, as well as via JNCC and ARSNC.

We would like to update members on key examples of Project Enable’s success so far:

  • Changes to the ethics approval process: ethics applications made by UG and PGT students classified as low risk will be signed off by the supervisor without further review. This will remove over 1500 additional checks from the process each year.
  • Changes to assessing student placements, will save over 800 staff hours (academic and Professional Services), whilst it is estimated that the change to a greater number of online progress meetings will save over 4,500 hours per year.

Project Expectations’ workstreams have been defined, focusing on strategy engagement; leadership development; reward and recognition; internal communications; development and performance. The findings of the recent Staff Engagement Survey will also help to shape the project, and an independent review of the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Awards has commenced to inform enhancements for 2023. Projects Reputation and Digital have set up their governance and Programme Boards and have begun scoping the project workstreams.

If you have a question(s) about any of the projects, please feel free to contact the Enabling Programme Manager Meg Stafford, who is taking over from Jenna Townend. We would like to thank Jenna Townend for working so collegially with LUCU committee members on Project Enable.

Casual drop-in meetings; UCU annual meeting of staff on casual contracts

The first two drop-in meetings with our colleagues on casual contracts went really well. Attendees are steadily building a sense of community, and we were able to discuss their concerns at the meeting. We have since progressed some issues through our casework. We are happy to announce a third meeting on Friday 27th January at 2-3pm, which is open to all Lboro staff (UCU members and non-members) on these types of contracts. To get a link to join the meeting please email ucu@lboro.ac.uk and encourage folk to come along!

The annual UCU meeting of staff on casualised contracts takes place on Sat 25 Feb, online. If you are interested in being one of our Lboro UCU branch delegates for this meeting, please email the branch. More details can be found here.

Branch membership

After reaching a low point in October 2022, membership secretary Marc Gibson is very pleased to announce that branch membership has subsequently been rising, while we have also recruited 3 new area reps. As one of LUCU’s priorities this year is to ensure this upward trend continues, we’d like to ask you to consider adding one of the following logos into your email signature. Video instructions for adding signatures with logos to your email can be found here.

LUCU Committee

Training – Understanding the role of a LUCU Caseworker

Training – Understanding the role of a LUCU Caseworker

We have written before about the important work done by the Branch’s volunteer caseworkers in support of members facing a variety of difficult situations at work. We are always looking for more people to join the team and, by way of initial preparation, ask only that you attend a short online training course delivered by one of UCU’s Regional officers. Even if you are not sure that you want to become a caseworker, please join us to find out if it’s a role that would interest you in the future.

The next training session will be on Teams on Tuesday 17 January, from 2 to 5 pm. Members of the current casework team will be among those attending. If anyone would like to participate, please contact our Casework Coordinator Andrew Dix (A.Dix@lboro.ac.uk) for further details. Andrew will also be pleased to talk with you about the caseworker role more generally.

LUCU Committee

Updates on Industrial Action & MAB Training

Updates on Industrial Action & MAB Training

LUCU General Meeting & UCU Branch Delegates Meeting (BDM) Results

The results of the voting at our branch meeting combined with email responses were as follows (abstentions mean the results do not add up to 100%):

Escalating strike action – 67%MAB Jan 2023 – 35%Immediate Re-ballot Yes – 76%
Indefinite strike action – 13%MAB April 2023 – 42%Immediate Re-ballot No – 6%

At the Branch Delegates Meeting, our branch delegates cast LUCU’s votes as follows: for escalating strike action, for MAB April and for re ballot. The voting at the BDM was in line with LUCU voting and the results have now been released:

Escalating strike action – 57%MAB Jan 2023 – 26%Immediate Re-ballot Yes – 91%
Indefinite strike action – 31%MAB April 2023 – 56%Immediate Re-ballot No – 4%

Full question/answer text and results of the BDM can be found here.

The next steps are for the results from the BDM to go to the HEC on Thursday for consideration with the aim of a clear outcome from HEC on our next steps in the dispute. We will let you know as soon as we have the outcome.

Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) Training

We strongly encourage members to attend one of the two upcoming sessions on Marking and Assessment Boycott training. Please pre-register for one of the following 90 minute online training sessions held later today and Friday:

  • Session 1 – Wednesday 11 January – 16:00 to 17:30 – Register here
  • Session 2 – Friday 13 January – 10:00 to 11:30 – Register here

LUCU Committee

Winter Break Office Closure

Winter Break Office Closure

The LUCU office will be closed for the winter break from 4pm today (21st December). We will re-open (and respond to enquiries) from 10am on Wednesday 4th January 2023.

Have a great winter break!

LUCU will not be monitoring the main branch email inbox during the winter break so if an urgent response is required please email the branch secretary or relevant committee member directly. Please bear in mind they are also on their winter break so won’t be checking email daily. Their contact details can be found here: https://ucu.lboro.ac.uk/contacts/

In the meantime, should you need it, the Education Support Partnership is a free service for our members, active 24/7. They provide counselling, support, financial assistance and more.

Phone: 08000 562 561

Email: support@edsupport.org.uk

Website: https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/helping-you/

LUCU & UCU emails not reaching all members

LUCU & UCU emails not reaching all members

It has come to our attention that since moving to the new mailing list system our branch emails may be going into people’s Junk folders.  To ensure our branch and national emails go to your inbox, please follow these steps in Outlook.  If you don’t use Outlook you can change your settings in Outlook on the Web.

One email you may have missed contained a link to this Jo Grady video, please watch it if you haven’t already.

Instructions for Outlook

On the Home tab, click on the Junk drop-down menu, and select Junk E-mail Options

Click on the Safe Senders tab

Click the Add button

Enter @mailbox.lboro.ac.uk

Click the OK button

Click the Add button again

Enter @ucu.org.uk

Click the OK button

Click the next OK button

Outlook on the Web

Log in to https://outlook.office.com/

Click on the cog icon to open Settings

Enter the word Junk into the Search box

Click on Safe senders and domains

Click on + Add

Enter ucu.org.uk and press the Return key

Enter mailbox.lboro.ac.uk and press the Return key

Click on the Save button to save the changes

Click on the X to close the Settings window


LUCU Committee

December 2022 Newsletter

December 2022 Newsletter

This month we report on industrial action, caseworker training, and local negotiations.

UCU Rising Update

We would like to thank members who took part in pickets at the Loughborough Midland and London campuses – the turnout was fantastic!  Our branch also made a good showing at the virtual picket, and members helped swell the numbers at the London Rally on 30 Nov.

We would like to remind members that Action Short of Strike – ASOS began on Wednesday 23 November and will continue until further notice.  ASOS entails:

  1. working to contract;
  2. not covering for absent colleagues;
  3. removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action;
  4. not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action;
  5. not undertaking any voluntary activities.

It can be difficult to ascertain the duties that fall under ASOS. If you are unsure whether a task is covered by ASOS, or if you feel that you are being pressured to undertake work that is covered by ASOS, please contact your area Rep – you can find their contact details here: https://tinyurl.com/3hw4h6sb

Casework training 

We reported in our last newsletter on the scale of personal casework undertaken in support of our members. Additional volunteers to join the casework team are always very welcome. If anyone is interested in taking on this role, then please come along to an online training session that will be delivered for the branch by UCU’s Regional Office from 2-5 pm on Tuesday 17 January. From past experience, this will be a friendly and supportive occasion; existing members of the casework team will also be attending. Anyone who would like to take part in the session should contact our Personal Casework Coordinator Andrew Dix (A.Dix@lboro.ac.uk) for further details. Andrew will also be happy to meet with anyone to discuss more generally the personal caseworker role. 

Local Negotiations

UCEA Consultation on Pay: As you may be aware from Jo Grady’s recent comms, the strikes have brought the employers back to the table to discuss pay and working conditions. Loughborough management recognizes the need to reward staff fairly for the University to retain and recruit staff.  We can report that management responded to the consultation carried out by UCEA in November in favour of bringing forward the March pay negotiation round.  This has been agreed by UCEA and the unions at a national level and negotiations regarding the 2023/24 pay round will commence in December with the aim of being concluded by the end of January. 

Working Group on Pay, Pensions and Workload: The new working group to explore how Loughborough University might address the issues at the heart of the industrial disputes held constructive meetings in November and December.  The first meeting refined the group’s objectives and scope, while the second meeting followed up on national developments and preliminary plans to make meaningful changes to local teaching loads and modelling good practice around evenings and weekends.  The group will meet monthly, and we will keep members informed on progress via the newsletter.

Review of Promotions Process and Criteria: As part of the consultation regarding the promotions process and criteria, LUCU recommended an additional focus group to capture the experience of colleagues with disabilities. The focus group has met, and the views expressed will inform the final draft documentation that will be submitted to for approval by Senate and Council. We would like to thank Lisanne Gibson (Dean SSH) and Chris Reily Dean (AACME) for working with us to facilitate this additional focus group.

Working with LSU:  We are pleased to report that the first meeting between LUCU, Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU) and University senior management will take place in January.  We look forward to working collaboratively with student union Reps alongside management to progress matters of common interest.

Health and Safety – Rest Breaks:  We raised the issue of back-to-back Teams’ meetings with management following reports from members of difficulties experienced after spending too much time in front of a screen without a break.  We would like to thank management for actioning a change to Outlook so that meetings are scheduled by default for 25 or 50 minutes.  This cannot be automated across all computers, so staff are advised set up their own Outlook accounts if they wish meetings to follow this pattern.

Instructions below:

Open Outlook and go to the “File” tab at the top of the page and select “Options” at the bottom on the left-hand side

Click on “Calendar”

Put a tick in the box next to “Shorten Meetings and Appointments”.

Select “End Early” in the drop-down list next to this

Next to “Less than one hour” select 5 minutes from the drop-down box

Next to “One hour or more” select 10 minutes from the drop-down box

Click Ok

A communication has also gone out to line managers so that large group meetings are also scheduled to allow staff time away from the screen between Teams meetings.

Have a great break over the holidays and a very happy new year!

LUCU Committee

November News

November News

UCU Rising Update/Casework Report/Reps Recruitment Campaign

UCU Rising – Update

LUCU was represented at the Branch Delegates’ Meeting on Monday, Oct. 31st where our delegate used their vote in line with members’ views as expressed at the Oct 26th GM and via the survey.

The GM vote combined with the survey feedback showed a clear majority among LUCU members for: 1) giving the employer a time limited period of negotiation to reach a settlement prior to calling strike action; 2) no action in November; 3) if action were to be called in November, it should be limited; 4) initiating a programme of phases of escalating action to cover the six-month lifetime of the ballot mandate; 5) an assessment and marking boycott beginning in Spring 2022; 6) prioritising action that members feel able to support and that will promote unity.

The BDM voted 72% in favour of offering the employers time to negotiate; 80% in favour of action in November, but with 70% voting for action in November to be limited; 87% in favour of escalating phases of action throughout the ballot period; 54% in favour of a December assessment and marking boycott, and in favour of prioritising action that members feel able to support and that will promote unity.

The HEC met on Thursday, Nov. 3rd and voted in line with the views expressed by the majority of branch delegates. The employers will be served notice for three days of strike action at the end of November, a marking and assessment boycott to begin in December, and to escalate action from February unless the employers enter into good faith negotiations.  We expect further details and strike dates to be announced the week of Nov. 7th. Once we know the details, we will invite members to a GM for a discussion about local strategy.

Personal casework

Compared with other of LUCU’s activities – negotiating local conditions with senior management, say, or planning for industrial action – the personal casework that we do is inconspicuous, even hidden. By its very nature, it takes place behind the scenes. However, it is one of the most vital things we do.

Since the beginning of the last academic year, our personal caseworkers have supported over thirty members. Some of this has been low-key and time-limited – offering advice by email, for instance, or via a brief meeting. The majority of the cases we take on, however, are more complex and demanding; they range from supporting members in preparing grievances through advising them when they are at risk of redundancy to representing them at disciplinary hearings and appeals.

Challenging as it is, however, this personal casework is highly rewarding, as we can make a difference to members in very difficult and stressful circumstances. It also gives caseworkers an opportunity to become familiar with other parts of the University – we don’t take on cases in our own School or section – and to identify issues that may have broader significance and connect to our campaigning and negotiating activities.

Our team of caseworkers is small – we need more. We would ask anyone interested in joining us to contact our Personal Casework Coordinator Andrew Dix (A.Dix@lboro.ac.uk) for an informal conversation about what the role entails. Training will be given, with the next course – delivered by the Union’s Regional Office and lasting only a few hours – to be delivered sometime in January. Do look out, in due course, for the exact date. As you begin your casework, you will also be supported by an experienced colleague. We hope to hear from interested members. 

Building LUCU: Your branch needs you to become a rep

There’s never been a greater need for members to step up to becoming a branch rep. The current committee is committed to facilitating a thriving branch reps’ network, empowering you to take an active role in guiding the branch in its negotiations with LU’s senior managers. Reps are our eyes and ears on the ground, the first port of call for members in need of assistance, and crucial to helping us recruit more members across campus.

The role will be what you make of it, though we are positive in encouraging you to help make Loughborough the best place to work that it can be. Though Reps are not eligible for facilities time, in keeping with the positive working relationship we have developed with management, most reps have been granted some remission in their workload by their managers who recognise the value of working with LUCU on matters of common concern (c. 10-15 hours). We can help facilitate a discussion with your manager about this should you wish to serve as a Rep.

Come and join the life of the branch and make a difference! Contact our Membership Secretary, Marc Gibson, for more information: M.A.Gibson1@lboro.ac.uk or via Teams.

LUCU Committee

LUCU News: October 2022

LUCU News: October 2022

In this newsletter, we report on local negotiations, UCU Rising, and upcoming training/conference opportunities. 

Local Negotiations

Cost of Living Support

We are continuing discussions with management, including our Vice Chancellor, regarding support for staff during the cost-of-living crisis. We are pleased to report that senior leaders recognise the need to act on this important matter. We are discussing a range of measures to support members in this difficult financial climate – e.g. one-off payments, supermarket discount cards, discounted gym memberships.  Further information on this is expected shortly.   

Project Expectation

This project is related to the new University strategy and aims to ensure the accountability of managers at all levels.  LUCU has long argued that there are areas in the University where management practice could be better. Branch officers will be participating in the development and furtherance of this project: our aim is to improve members’ conditions through working with management to devise leadership development processes and best management practice recommendations.   

Living Wage

We have been working closely with the local Unison and Unite committees on a living wage campaign, and we can report that management has reiterated its commitment to paying staff the living wage and to becoming an accredited living wage employer. The Vice-Chancellor indicated his support for this in our October quarterly meeting with him, and so we expect further information on this in the coming months.  

UCU Rising

Just in case you haven’t voted yet, we again encourage you to return your ballots asap.  Also, a reminder that we have another GM on Wednesday, October 12 at 12 noon (you should have received a Teams invite). This meeting will offer another opportunity to discuss the issues on the ballot: USS, pay, workload, casualisation. 

Conferences/Training Opportunities

Annual Equality Groups Conference, 8-10 December 2022

This year the equality groups conference will be focused on building a shared intersectional equality agenda that pushes back against far-right narratives looking to divide workers, with the aim of building solidarity among members. There will be the five separate conferences for black, disabled, LGBT+, migrant and women members to discuss issues relevant to their group, move motions and elect members to the national standing committees. It will take place at Conference Centre Hotel, Aston Street, Aston University Campus, Birmingham, B4 7ET.  

Participants to the Black, Disabled, LGBT+, Migrant and Women’s conferences are self-nominating and delegates must self-identify with the relevant equality group. All members of UCU who self-identify with a relevant equality group(s) are invited to attend.   

Registration deadline is Tuesday 8 November. This is set so UCU can accommodate all accommodation requests. For more information about this conference and for registration details please click here:  

 Climate and Ecological Emergency Annual Meeting, Thursday 10 November 2022

The UCU Annual Meeting for Climate and Ecological Emergency will be held on Thursday 10 November 2022 online via Zoom from 11.00 am to 4.00pm. The annual meeting will advise and make recommendations to the climate and ecological emergency committee and National Executive Committee on matters relating to climate and ecological emergency and environmental sustainability.  The meeting will hear reports on the work of UCU in relation to the climate and ecological emergency, discuss motions submitted by branches and local associations. There will also be plenty of opportunity to network with colleagues.   

Members with an interest in furthering the union’s work on climate and ecological emergency may register to attend the meeting. Registration deadline is Friday 4 November, 12 noon.  For more information about this conference and for registration details please click here.  

LUCU Committee

Drop in Meeting for Staff on Casual Contracts

Drop in Meeting for Staff on Casual Contracts

We inviting all Loughborough University staff on Fixed Term, Zero Hours, Hourly Paid or Variable Hours contracts to attend our first drop-in meeting for members of staff who are on casualised contracts.

We are keen to offer you a safe space to discuss any concerns or issues you are having in the workplace and an opportunity to build links between workers with similar employment terms. During the meeting there will be options for discussion as a group or one to one.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 31st of August at 1-2pm please join at any time during the hour if you can’t make it from the start of the meeting.

Email the branch to get a login for the meeting: ucu@lboro.ac.uk

We plan to hold these meetings regularly going forward and will try to hold them at different times on different days to allow all members of staff to attend. These meetings are open to both UCU members and other members of staff at Loughborough University, so if you have any colleagues who also fit into the above-mentioned categories please invite them to come along.

We hope to see you at the meeting.

LUCU Committee

LUCU News: August 2022

LUCU News: August 2022

Featuring news of the USS Governance Review, Covid-19, current campaigns and negotiations

USS Governance Review 

We are pleased to report that LUCU has been consulted by the University on the UUK-initiated review of USS governance. LUCU argued for early clarification of the review’s purpose; evaluation of the governing board’s composition and member competencies; formulation of clearer processes for recruiting and removing board members; assessment of the role of the ‘independent’ chair; channels for feedback from the scheme’s members, as well as employers, on reforms; better and more timely communication with members; and – crucially – the devising of a valuation process that is fit for purpose. We are pleased to report that these suggestions form part of the University’s response to the consultation.  

Further, management confirms that they stand by the terms of our joint statement on USS, specifically regarding benefit restoration as preferential to lower contributions. Sadly, this remains a minority position among SMTs across the sector, but Lboro SMT continues to lobby behind the scenes to increase support, and a member of SMT will be standing for a position on the USS Employer Liaison Group, which will offer a wider platform for influence. The possibility of another joint LUCU-SMT statement remains an option as the review and the pensions campaign progress.   

Covid-19 

Covid precautions 

Throughout Covid, LUCU has been campaigning for every protection possible for members, other staff, and students. Unfortunately, as precautions in wider society have been relaxed, we have found it harder to keep protections in place on campus. The University’s view is that if the precaution has been removed in the country at large (e.g. face coverings), then it cannot be imposed on campus. LUCU disagrees: we believe that we can continue to ask staff, students and visitors to take additional measures in the interests of public health.  

Teaching spaces 

All lecture spaces should have presenter positions that provide a natural separation from the other room occupants (usually 2 metres or more; where it is less than 2 metres, additional protections such as Perspex screens are available). This, coupled with the improved ventilation and CO2 monitors, means that teaching spaces should have a high level of protection from the risks of Covid. All teaching spaces should also have printed details at the presenter location of the room’s ventilation arrangements. If you find yourself in any locations where the information given is clearly incorrect (e.g. stating that windows should be opened where this is not possible), please get in touch with either the University’s Health and Safety department or with LUCU. 

FFP2 masks 

Where staff are concerned about additional risks (e.g. close working with students, visitors or other colleagues), then the University can provide FFP2 masks. These protect both the wearer and those around them. If you are interested in obtaining an FFP2 mask, please speak to your line manager in the first instance. LUCU recommends that FFP2 mask wearers undergo a Face Fit Test to ensure the mask is providing a high level of protection. 

Lateral flow tests 

The University has supplies of lateral flow tests and will continue to make these available to staff and students while stocks last. You may request LFTs here: You will be sent a QR code, and the tests can be collected from the Wavy Top building (at the rear near the steps leading to EHB) on presentation of your QR code or staff ID on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at either 11am or 2pm. This arrangement will be reviewed at the end of October.  Please continue to inform the University about a positive result, through the Connect and Protect service here.  

At the start of term, students will be encouraged to test but will not be required to show proof of a negative result before coming on to campus. LFTs will be made available to all students on arrival, and through the scheme above for students who wish to test. LUCU believes that the University should test students on arrival, but management will not agree.  

Contingency planning 

Should the rate and severity of Covid infections increase to the point of posing a significant threat to staff, students and visitors, management has plans to reapply proportionately the precautions developed over the last few years. The University will also be purchasing a limited supply of flu vaccinations, to be made available to staff later in the year; please look out for details on the University’s news channels.  

If anyone has specific concerns about Covid, Neil Budworth (Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing) has offered to discuss these directly with staff: N.Budworth@lboro.ac.uk. LUCU is also happy to raise your concerns: please contact Alec Edworthy, our Health and Safety Officer, at A.Edworthy@lboro.ac.uk

Campaigns

UCU Rising 

On 10 August, UCU launched UCU Rising, which follows on from the USS and Four Fights campaigns. This initiative focuses on the connection between pay, casualisation, workload, and USS pension cuts. Further details may be found here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/12469/FAQs

All universities are to be balloted from the end of August on ASOS and strike action, and the results will be aggregated: therefore, any university where more than 50% of UCU members participate in the ballot and deliver a yes vote will be able to join the action.  

The decision to ballot at this time was made by HEC in June, following a branch delegates’ meeting, at which LUCU was represented. However, the timing is not in line with the voting preferences expressed by delegates: a minority wanted an immediate summer ballot, but a majority favoured a later ballot to allow for recovery from previous actions and to enable branches to build support for further campaigning.  

Branch officers will be attending a meeting chaired by Jon Hegerty, UCU Head of Bargaining, Organising, Campaigns and Education, on 17 August. This will offer an opportunity to ask questions about the rationale for an August ballot and other issues raised at the branch delegates’ meeting in June. We will organise an EGM once we know when the ballot will open.  

Help up grow the branch!  

We would appreciate members sharing the following social media recruitment posts via Facebook and Twitter. Due to the nature of social network algorithms, and with many of you being connected to other colleagues via these platforms, if members share these posts, they are more likely to be seen by colleagues who are not yet UCU members.  The bigger our branch the stronger our position to negotiate better terms and conditions for all staff!   

Facebook post – please share  

Twitter post – please retweet 

Negotiations 

Parking 

Negotiations with management on parking charges has resulted in a fairer system, especially for those on lower pay. One sticking point remains, however: whether visitors will be charged. LUCU supports visitor charges as a way of raising income to subsidise further reductions in parking charges for the lowest paid and to encourage more environmentally friendly ways of travelling to campus. We can report that any new software system introduced will provide the University with the ability to charge visitors. While there is a general view that visitors should pay to park, this has not yet been translated into policy; therefore, we will raise the matter again at the September meeting of JNCC.  

Fair pay 

The branch is currently negotiating on behalf of members in SDCA to ensure that staff receive the appropriate pay for work being done as University Teachers, in line with the University’s own policy (see here). We have received broad agreement and co-operation from senior managers and are working to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of the members concerned. 

LUCU Committee