LUCU News – March 2023
We would like to thank Reps and members for their tremendous support for the action so far: our success is driven by your creativity, time, and energy!
An additional day of action has been called by the HEC for 15th March in order to increase pressure on the employers during the ongoing talks. Upcoming strike dates, pickets and teach-outs as below:
|Strike action date
|Wednesday 15 March
|11am-12pm: Organising and Power – Rose Pesotta
|Thursday 16 March
|Lboro Picket: 8:30 – 10:30 Main Gate
|11am -12pm: Memories of anti-racism
|Friday 17 March
|2pm-3:30pm: Organising for Power Workshop
|Monday 20 March
|Lboro Picket: 8:30 – 10:30 Main Gate
|11am-12pm: Starting conversations about race and racism
|Tuesday 21 March
|Wednesday 22 March
Teach-Out Details: Please advertise the three of these events that are open to all students and colleagues.
The “Organising and Power” teach-out will be held online. Ruth Kinna will give a talk about Rose Pesotta (1896–1965), anarchist, feminist and labour organizer in the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union: Teams link
The “Memories of anti-racism” teach-out is hybrid. Emily Keightley will introduce the Migrant Memory and Postcolonial Imagination exhibition at: Charnwood Arts (27 Rectory Pl, Loughborough LE11 1UW) and will talk about histories and memories of anti-racist protest and experiences of racism in Loughborough and East London. All are welcome to attend in person or via Teams link.
The “Organising for Power Workshop” will be held online. Alexandre Christoyannopoulos will lead the workshop introducing methods from the Organizing for Power training that some members attended last year, with time for discussion about how they could work within Loughborough UCU. This workshop is for LUCU members only, and you can attend via Teams link.
The “Starting conversations about race and racism” teach-out is hybrid. Denise Coles and Amanda Harrington will talk about how to start conversations about race and racism, with fellow workers and students, in meetings, corridors, formally and in informal exchanges. All are welcome to attend in person at: The Council Chambers, Loughborough Students Union, or via Zoom Link.
ASOS: We would also like to remind members that ASOS is ongoing.
It is vital that the union returns a Yes vote to further action to give our negotiators the necessary mandate and leverage to succeed in discussions with UUK and UCEA. Your ballot must be received by 31 March, and the last safe posting date is 28 March. If you have not received a ballot, please contact UCU directly: replacement ballot request form.
Thanks to Saul Albert and Anthony Kevins we have some inspiring videos that showcase student support for our action. Please support UCU Rising by circulating these videos via your social media. We are very grateful to Saul and Anthony for creating these valuable resources. To see the videos on our various platforms please click the links: YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
Local Strike Fund
We would like to acknowledge grateful receipt of a £100 donation from Leicester Workers Support Group, which will allow us to make another donation to the UCU Fighting Fund, directly benefitting our members in the coming months.
EDI: We are pleased to report that there will be direct union involvement on the new University EDI Operations Committee, led by the new PVC-EDI Charlotte Croffie. This recognises union members as a key stakeholder constituency, and our participation in the work of the committee will enable us to inform the direction and implementation of EDI initiatives. As this is not a space for negotiation, the three campus trade unions will rotate sending a delegate to serve for one year. There will be regular meetings with Unite and Unison to consolidate the unions’ perspective.
LUCU is currently in the process of expanding our representation on LUCU committee by seeking multiple equality officers. Our aim is to maximise our engagement with relevant university EDI projects and working groups and to prioritise aspects of EDI in line with national campaigns. We have expressions of interest from two members to stand for the following officer roles: Disability; Women & LGBTQ+. We are keen to hear from other members who may wish to join committee and lead on BAME. We would like to assure members that we recognise the importance of an intersectional approach to EDI, and we envision our EDI officers and other committee members working together to ensure our approach to EDI is aligned with best practice.
REF: LUCU will also continue to have a voice on the REF Code of Practice Working Group, which is chaired by the PVC for Research and Innovation. The group works to ensure the fair and transparent identification of staff and selection of outputs for REF. We ask that members feedback any issues of concern about the REF process in their schools so that they can be raised either at a working group meeting or ARSNC.
Professor Dan Parsons, PVC – Research and Innovation, attended ARSNC to discuss items we had put forward for discussion following concerns raised by our members about the internal review of REF outputs at school level, as well as grant capture and EDI. It was agreed that schools should ensure they approach the review with parity and transparency in mind; the process should be developmental in focus, and internal scores will not be used as a measure of performance during PDRs. The University also recognises the inherent biases in the grant process in terms of applicants with protected characteristics, and the PCV was keen to ensure that the University aims to mitigate as much as possible these external factors when, for example, considering applications for university fellowships and promotion.
Restructures: We have been in consultations with management about restructures in IT Services, the Research and Innovation Office, and the School of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering. We can report that no redundancies are planned, and where individual members have requested it, a caseworker has been assigned for support.
WAMS and Workload: Members have raised concerns about the timing of workload allocation, which, in some schools, has come too late for efficient planning of teaching and research. Steve Harris, Change Portfolio Manager & Process Improvement Lead, has agreed to review WAMS to explore how workload allocation can be managed in a timelier manner.