LUCU News: October 2018
In this month’s newsletter:
Results of the 2018 Pay Ballot
General Meeting – change of date
Memorial service for Memiş Acar
Update on Local Negotiations (USS, Lecture Capture, Increments, PDR, Annual Leave Protection)
Proposed campus smoking ban – tell us what you think
Child Tax Credits
Pay Ballot Results & Thanks for Voting
As many of you will already know the pay ballot has closed and the votes have been counted. At Loughborough we achieved the 8th highest turnout of any HE branch in the UK so we wanted to thank everyone for voting and congratulate our members for the turnout. Unfortunately, this was still one vote short of the 50% government-required turnout. Loughborough’s results, on a turnout of 49.8%, were 55.6% for taking industrial action consisting of a strike and 68.3% for taking action short of a strike. Full results are available here.
General Meeting – Note: Change of Date and Time
All LUCU members are invited to our first General Meeting of the academic year which will now be held on Wednesday 5th December from 4pm-5pm. This meeting will be held in Room J001 in the Edward Herbert Building.
Nita Sanghera, Vice President of UCU, will be attending and speaking on the topic of “Defending Education & Academic Freedom” An agenda and a request for motions will be communicated nearer the time.
Memis Acar Memorial Service
A secular service for our colleague, and longstanding UCU committee member, Professor Memiş Acar, who passed away following a short illness in August, will be held at 1:15pm on Wednesday, 14th November at Loughborough University in room T003, Wolfson Building.
Colleagues, family and friends will pay personal tributes to Memiş and acknowledge his contribution to university and professional practice. If you would like to attend the service and stay for refreshments after the service, please click here. A book of remembrance has been placed outside the Wolfson Reception and will be available until Friday, 9th November.
We draw members’ attention to a series of statements from Dr Sam Marsh and Professor Mike Otsuka, both prominent commentators on the ongoing USS dispute, about whether USS has correctly applied its own Test1, which largely drove the disastrous proposals a year ago. These begin here with further analysis of USS’s responses in later posts here. Meanwhile the University has replied to the latest UUK consultation expressing support for the first report of the Joint Expert Panel. This is good news for members and we hope that other institutions will take the same sensible approach.
After much discussion about ruling out the use of lecture capture to undermine industrial action the University have committed themselves to the following: “The University agrees that it will not use ReView, or any material taken from ReView, to undermine lawful industrial action (for example, by telling students in a live dispute that they could make up for lost lectures by viewing ReView at the time)”. We are pleased that the University has taken this pragmatic step which underlines the respectful nature of industrial relations here. This now needs to be integrated into the Lecture Capture policy.
Withholding of Increments
The University continues to push for a policy change allowing “automatic” increments to be withheld for those staff on a final written warning. We expect a final proposal from management soon which UCU has agreed to put to a vote at the upcoming General Meeting.
We would like to thank members who took the time to complete our PDR survey and send us their thoughts on the system. The unions and University management held a special meeting to discuss potential revisions to the PDR system. The University has decided not to make significant changes this year although there are a number of minor tweaks many of which we feel could be beneficial. The University has committed to a more thorough review next year which we are hopeful will include a full reconsideration of the usefulness of the grading system.
Protection of Annual Leave
The University have agreed that in situations where a member of staff moves down a grade, such as during a restructure, and this reduces their leave entitlement (i.e. moving below grade 6), leave will only be reduced to 25 days. Previously the leave entitlement reduced to 20 days where accrued service was less than 5 years.
We encourage members to attend the General Assembly on the 7th of November. This is an opportunity to hear from senior management about current events, future plans and, more importantly, to put your own questions to them.
Smoking on Campus
The University are considering whether a smoking ban across campus would be desirable and UCU have been asked how our members would feel about such a move. The issue is bound to be divisive. If you have strong views either way we would be interested in hearing them. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.
Child Tax Credits
We want to alert you of changes that could significantly impact on people with children born before 6 April 2017. You are urged to read the link and consider whether you should claim, even if you are not granted an award now, as it may protect future applications.
The Loughborough UCU Anti-Casualisation Campaign is getting underway. Look out for updates from the branch and remember that all casually-employed staff (on fixed term or variable hours contracts) can join the Facebook group and can always contact the committee members involved: T.Swann@lboro.ac.uk and S.J.S.Parfitt@lboro.ac.uk
With best wishes from your LUCU Committee, 30th October 2018