LUCU General Meeting Report

LUCU General Meeting Report

Unfortunately, the General Meeting held on Friday 8th March was just shy of being quorate, this means no official business could be voted on. However, Mary Brewer presented the Chair’s Report of LUCU activity since our November GM, including announcement of new Department Reps in English, IRPH, Chemical Engineering and Materials, an increase in our local membership numbers, and details of recent local wins from our negotiators. David Wilson gave an update on the University’s Saudi Arabia Proposal, took questions from the floor and led a discussion on how to move forward with a campaign in opposition to the proposal.

The motions submitted will now be considered at the next branch committee meeting as per branch rules and we will update members on the outcomes in due course.

November General Meeting Report

November General Meeting Report

For those who couldn’t attend the branch general meeting on 8th November we are providing this written summary of what took place. Mary Brewer, Branch Chair, opened the meeting and, after the formalities, presented slides on new LUCU activity since our June AGM as well as developments to projects that are ongoing.

Branch Wins

We have successfully negotiated that performance ratings will be removed from PDR, which was recently confirmed by the VC at the General Assembly meeting.

We also supported Unite and Unison in persuading the University to become a Living Wage Employer. We now plan to push for an increase in London Weighting in accordance with research conducted by Loughborough University academics that demonstrates the current weighting is insufficient to compensate for the real cost of living.

Regular meetings are now taking place between LUCU Reps and Deans/Directors. We will work to capitalise on the outcomes of these meetings to increase membership across campus by demonstrating how the branch positively impacts on working conditions.

We achieved agreement with management for Facilities Time that means we are able to offer more hours of workload remission to our caseworkers, and this enables the branch to support more members when they need help.

We have succeeded in establishing a constructive working relationship with Loughborough Students’ Union. In our most recent meetings with LSU officers, they reported a favourable view of our branch and its members and an understanding of our reasons for taking action among students. Going forward, we will work more closely with LSU on issues of commonality, especially EDI. The tri-partite meetings that we initiated during recent industrial action will now become standard practice at LU. We will meet with LSU and SMT once per term, and potentially more if there is a period of further industrial action.

Anti-Casualisation remains on the agenda.  A revised and improved Charter has been distributed to managers.  Our requested review of contracts across campus to check that staff are on the correct type of contract and are being paid at the correct grade level has been completed. As a result of this, more staff have been moved onto permanent contracts. Should any staff be found to be on a lower grade than should have been the case, we will be working to get them back pay.

USS Pensions Win

We can report that the Joint Negotiating Committee has asked the trustee to implement member contributions at a rate of 6.1% as of January 1, 2024. This leaves more money in members’ pockets at a time when it is really needed.


As always, casework has been a major focus of our time and efforts as a committee, led by Andrew Dix, our Casework Coordinator who we thank for his ongoing efforts in this area.  Andrew gave an overview of the casework undertaken on behalf of members, and the related individual support provided to 24 members since June.

Local Negotiations

We have firmly embedded the union’s voice across campus, and we are active contributors to numerous committees where we work to ensure that strategy and processes are working in the interests of those who will be working to implement them – you, our members.  For example, our branch has representation on The University Research, Culture and Innovation Working Group, Project Enable, Project Expectations and the EDI Operations Committee.

Increasing Branch Membership

One of our main desires currently is to increase our branch membership therefore recruitment is a key campaign for the branch. We will employ strategies from organising for power and the new UCU campaign, Me Plus 10.

LUCU Annual General Meeting

LUCU Annual General Meeting (AGM) for all members.

The topic(s) of the meeting and an agenda will be provided to all LUCU members in the weeks running up to the meeting.

This meeting is currently scheduled to be held online and the date is subject to change.

LUCU General Meeting

LUCU General Meeting for all members.

The meeting notice will be emailed out to all members two weeks before. An agenda will be provided to all LUCU members one week before the meeting.

This meeting is to be held online.

LUCU General Meeting

LUCU General Meeting for all members.

The meeting notice will be emailed out to all members two weeks before. An agenda will be provided to all LUCU members one week before the meeting.

This meeting is currently scheduled to be held online and the date is subject to change.

LUCU Emergency General Meeting – Marking & Assessment Boycott Deductions Response

The branch committee have called an Emergency General Meeting, for 12:30pm on Friday 12th May, in response to the university’s announcement of deductions for taking part in the Marking & Assessment Boycott (MAB).

An agenda for this meeting, minutes of our previous meeting and a link to join have been emailed to all members.

We hope to have as many of you as possible join us for the meeting on Friday where we can formulate our branch response.

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

LUCU Annual General Meeting

LUCU Annual General Meeting (AGM) for all members.

The topic(s) of the meeting and an agenda will be provided to all LUCU members in the weeks running up to the meeting.

This meeting is scheduled to be held online.

LUCU News – July 2022

LUCU News – July 2022

This newsletter reports on the AGM, USS & 4 Fights and Management Negotiations.

AGM Report

In brief, the AGM addressed the activities of the branch committee over the last year including – e.g. – the removal of ratings and the decoupling of rewards from PDR, our monitoring of Covid safety measures, GTVO campaigns for USS and 4 Fights, organising strike actions, the joint statement with Loughborough management on USS, and our input to Project Enable and the review of promotions criteria.  Looking ahead, we discussed a major recruitment campaign for next year, which will include opportunities for members to receive training and support their Reps in this vital activity. 

Officers for the 2022-23 committee were also confirmed:

  • Mary Brewer: Chair
  • Marc Gibson: Secretary
  • Marie Hanlon: Membership Secretary
  • Alec Edworthy: Health, Safety and Environment Officer
  • Andrew Dix: Casework Coordinator
  • David Wilson: Treasurer
  • Sue Hignett: Equalities Officer
  • Joanna Boehnert: Ordinary member

Minutes of the AGM have been emailed to all members.

USS & 4 Fights

A branch delegates’ meeting was held on 27 June.  Delegates were asked to vote on the timing of an aggregated ballot for industrial action on USS & 4 Fights. 79% of delegates voted to ballot in October, with action to take place in Spring/Summer 2023; 51% of delegates voted against a summer ballot.  Full details of questions and ballot results have been emailed to members.

HEC met on 1 July and agreed the following demands for 2022/23:

  • To call on UUK to withdraw their imposed benefit cuts to USS
  • To call on USS to carry out a new evidence-based valuation
  • To reject the pay offer from the employers
  • To seek a substantial (at least £2,500) pay increase
  • To seek meaningful agreements on workload, casualisation, and equality pay gaps

However, regard timing, HEC decided to open the ballot in August to run until October, with industrial action to begin in November, should the employers not agree to the above demands. This appears out of line with the expressed view of a large majority of branches, whose delegates proffered a variety of reasons why they did not support this strategy and/or feel able to deliver a positive ballot result within this time frame. Consequently, branch officers have requested a meeting with Justine Mercer, HEC Chair, to discuss further the rationale for November strike action.

Management Negotiations: PDR and Covid 19

JNCC, in which the 3 campus unions negotiate with management, met on 6 July.


Management confirmed that the 2023 round of PDR will follow the same process as this year, that is, there will be no ratings or reward tied to PDR.  However, in 2024, management is considering returning to ratings and re-linking PDR to rewards.  The three campus unions made clear our strong opposition to the reintroduction of a judgemental rather than developmental review of staff performance.


The unions requested that senior management

  1. reiterate to all line managers that staff are not expected to work when ill, whether from Covid or another illness,
  2. recirculate the policy that asks staff who have Covid or any other communicable disease to stay at home to protect others, and
  3. continue providing cleaning materials for commonly used equipment, whether desks, copiers, vans, etc. We are pleased to report that management agreed to these requests.

The unions also asked that clean air is ensured, free from airborne spread diseases. This could be provided by adequately filtered air handlers, where fitted, and HEPA air purifiers where there is no mechanical ventilation.  We are disappointed that management would not agree to the installation of air purifiers, because, they argued, there is insufficient evidence to support their effectiveness. LUCU disagrees with this analysis, and our Health and Safety officers will discuss the question of evidence further with Neil Budworth, the Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing.


We have received a response to our newsletter, above, from Anne Lamb, Director of Human Resources, regarding the item on PDR.

It remains the case that there is not likely to be any significant change on ratings or rewards for PDR 2023; however, we have been asked to circulate further details about the timing and decision-making process regarding PDR.

  • Following a meeting of the Academic Leadership team and consultation with Deans, final details about PDR 2023 will be shared with staff in the autumn.
  • Looking ahead to 2024: PDR and reward are to be included in one of the University’s enabling projects, Project Expectation, which will explore the longer-term arrangements.

LUCU Committee