LUCU News: June 2023
Please read below for updates on LU General Assembly, MAB Support, Dispute Issues (Four Fights), our new Branch Equality Officer, our Congress Motion, Social Sciences Senate Elections & a BAME Staff Research Study.
Following our members’ requests for a General Assembly, we submitted a formal request to the Vice-Chancellor. A special meeting of General Assembly will take place at 3.30pm on Friday 16 June in the Edward Herbert Building 110A. The meeting is in-person only for staff based at Lboro campus. Only colleagues from London will be able to access the meeting online. Room LDN.3.23 has been booked by the University for colleagues in London.
This General Assembly was called for by our members and we urge you to attend. This is your opportunity to voice your views on the university’s response to the Marking and Assessment Boycott.
General Assembly is a collective staff forum established under the University’s Royal Charter. Its role is set out in Statute XV. All University staff are members of the General Assembly, so please encourage non-UCU members to attend as well. Link to announcement on LU website.
Reminders: MAB support
We remind members that we have a weekly drop-in meeting every Wednesday – 2-3 pm – to support those who are participating in MAB and to answer any questions you may have. Please email the branch if you need the link to join.
The LUCU branch WhatsApp group is also a good source of support. If you haven’t already joined and would like to, you can do so by emailing the branch for a link. You can also speak to your department rep or email firstname.lastname@example.org should you need support.
To help the LUCU Committee build a picture of marking activity across campus, we would be grateful if you would email us with any information you have of unqualified markers appointed to cover marking at UG and PGT levels not completed as a result of the MAB, any instances where marks have not been properly moderated by a person qualified to do so, and any mitigations put in place that in your academic opinion are inappropriate. Please email email@example.com providing details of: School, module, and reasons for believing either that the marker is unqualified, the moderation is lacking or undertaken by an unqualified marker, or the mitigation is inappropriate.
Update on dispute issues: Workload; Casualisation; Equality
Workload: We now have a place on both the Project Enable and Project Expectation steering groups, enabling us to be at the centre of discussions on working practices in the interests of improving our members’ workloads.
Casualisation: We raised the need for revision of the LU Casual Staff Charter, created by the Task & Finish working group following our 2018 action. Concerns over inconsistent implementation across Schools and sections was also raised with senior management, and agreement for a revision of the principles and a review of existing contracts across campus was reached. Work on this is already well under way and we will provide an update on the outcomes in our next newsletter.
Equality: Agreement has been reached for union representation on the new EDI Operations board. Our place on this board will rotate with Unite and Unison and we will work collaboratively towards equity for our members. We are also delighted to have appointed Ellen Nicholls as our Equality Rep – welcome Ellen!
Introducing our new branch Equality Officer
Ellen Nicholls was recently appointed by the Committee to serve out the rest of the 22/23 term as our branch Equality Officer.
Ellen Nicholls, Careers Network. I am the Academic Success Co-Ordinator for the Student Success Academy (Careers Network) and I have worked at the University since 2021. Following the completion of my PhD research in 2019, I began working in widening participation, harnessing my passion for social justice by working to ensure all students have equal opportunities to succeed while studying at university. My work here at Loughborough centres on providing 1:1 academic success coaching and designing learning initiatives that help to reduce awarding gaps for Black, Asian, and low-household income students, in accordance with access and participation plan targets. As the equality officer for LUCU, it is my ambition to extend this EDI work to our staff, working towards gender and ethnicity pay equity for our members at the University.
2023 Glasgow Congress: LUCU Motion ‘UCU to move from Equality to Equity’
Our branch submitted and spoke to a motion to urge UCU to move toward the principles of Equity and implement use of the term Equity over Equality. As you can see here, an amendment to the motion was put forward, and following debate Congress voted to remit the motion with an agreement to take it to the LGBTQ+ Conference in Birmingham in November this year. Two members of the LUCU Committee will attend the conference and any other members who wish to join them are very welcome. To register your interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will inform you when registration is live.
You can find the full results of voting on motions here.
Social Sciences Senate Elections
There are currently two vacancies on Senate, from 1st August 2023, for members of academic staff in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Voting is open to all academic staff in SSH and you should have received an email with a link to vote: we encourage you to use this.
The LUCU Committee is promoting the candidacy of three of our members who are in the running for these positions. Please consider voting for Dr Giulia Piccolino, Dr Sarah Parker and Dr Paul Maddrell (in any order you choose) for your first three preference votes. Their candidate statements are available on the link to vote. If you have not yet voted, please check your email and look for “Subject: Ballot Notice: Senate Election for Academic Members of Staff in SSH”. The ballot is now open and will close on Thursday 22 June.
Call for Participants: Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Staff Research Study
Are you a BAME (Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic) staff member who would like to get involved in a research study?
One of our PhD researchers here at Loughborough University is conducting a study which seeks to examine BAME employees’ lived experiences of racial diversity management policies and practices. This research will seek to understand the impact diversity management practices have on BAME employees as well as the contexts that account for employees’ experiences of such policies/practices.
To find out more about how to get involved, please click here.