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UCU has produced advice for members. Read the latest UCU operational note here.  Find more information and updates here.

Friday 1 November 2019

The Friday email: 1 November 2019

UCU members back strikes over both pensions and pay and conditions

Overall, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). In the ballot on pay, casualisation, equality and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action*.

Here is a full breakdown of the results currently available in the USS ballot. The turnout in the USS ballots was 53%. The ballots were counted branch by branch and, with four results still to come in, 41 branches beat a legal 50% turnout threshold required for strike action. The threshold rule does not apply to Queens University Belfast or the University of Ulster. Based on the results so far, 43 institutions could take strike action that would hit almost a million students (953,871).

Here is a full breakdown of the results currently available in the pay and working conditions ballot. The turnout in the pay and conditions ballots was 49%. The ballots were counted branch by branch and, with four results still to come in, 52 branches beat a legal 50% turnout threshold required for strike action. The threshold rule does not apply to Queens University Belfast or the University of Ulster. Based on the results so far, 54 institutions could take strike action that would hit over a million students (1,143,782).

*There are still four results to be counted, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Institute for Development Studies, The University of Liverpool, and The University of Sussex.

Voter registration pledge

Help us lobby universities and colleges to pledge to do three very simple things to persuade students to register to vote:

  • email students when an election is announced telling them how to register;
  • send a reminder email a week later
  • display voter registration info on campus noticeboards.

Please contact your vice-chancellor or college principal now, either with an personalised email, or with an email or tweet generated through the website to ask them to make this pledge.

#UCUTransformed2019

The union's higher education committee (HEC) are encouraging members and reps to attend the #UCUTransformed2019 event, called by UCU London Region, this Saturday 2 November. Details available here.

Prevent review

Following repeated calls from UCU and others, the government is now carrying out a formal review of the controversial Prevent agenda and gathering responses and evidence until 9 December. UCU will be responding to the review and is keen to hear from members to inform our submission. If you have experience of Prevent in the workplace and would like to inform our response, please send your experiences and examples to Will Pickering by 18 November. We are also interested in hearing from members who are studying the impact of Prevent.

The review is also welcoming individual responses from those with direct experience of, or views on, Prevent.  A summary of the review and questions can be found here and the full survey is here if you want to respond to it in person.

UCU's complaint to UNESCO on academic freedom

Earlier this year, UCU submitted a complaint to the UNESCO/ILO Joint Committee regarding the inadequate protection of academic freedom in the UK. A new briefing paper on the issue is available.

Last updated: 1 November 2019