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Fri 06 Feb

The Friday email: 7 February 2020

7 February 2020

Higher education action: support our strikes!

Following recent reballots for industrial action over USS pensions and pay and equality, UCU members in 74 universities are called on to take 14 days of strike beginning on 20 February and the main dates are as follows (some branches have opted to vary dates so or with your local UCU contact): 

  • Week one: Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February
  • Week two: Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February
  • Week three: Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March
  • Week four: Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March.

Members at institutions taking action are also called on to support the 'action short of a strike' by working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action. 

Please contact your local branch to get involved, join the picket lines and download posters and leaflets here.

There is advice for migrant workers on taking industrial action including impact on indefinite leave to remain here. Please share this page with  anyone who may be concerned and send specific queries to Jon Hegerty.

FE pay in Wales 

The joint trade unions have written to the employers accepting the 2.75% increase in pay for all staff excluding those on MG1 of the lecturers' common pay scale and 5% increase in pay for all staff on MG1. We are expecting the increase and back pay to be in the February 2020 pay packets.

HeartUnions next week

HeartUnions week will be taking place from 10 to 16 February. A week of activity throughout England and Wales that highlights the good work that unions do every day to offer everyone a voice at work. 

College workforce data collection

The government has announced that all colleges and training providers will be required to collect and submit workforce and pay data. Workforce data is currently submitted on a voluntary basis through the Staff Individualised Record (SIR) but UCU has argued that the optional approach has failed as many colleges don't collect data, making it difficult to get an accurate picture of how staff are being treated. See here for the full consultation response from Department for Education.

In the news

A round up of this week's news coverage: read all about it here.

Climate Learning Week, 10-14 February

Next week UCU is holding a climate themed learning week alongside the National Education Union (NEU) and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS). Education unions have a crucial role in the global climate movement and that's why we're also supporting Teach the Future, a youth-led campaign to repurpose the education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis. #ClimateTLW #ClimateTeachIn #gogreenweek

Please take this short survey looking at educators' experiences of teaching and learning related to climate change. 

Migrant members' conference

A reminder that the deadline for registration and committee nominations for UCU's first annual migrant members' conference is Thursday 13 February. The conference will take place on Thursday 27 February in London and is open to all migrant members.

Week of action against workplace racism

Next week is our annual week of action against workplace racism and this year we've produced short videos exploring four themes:

You can find more information and downloadable posters on each theme here. 

Contact your local branch to find out what's happening in your workplace and let us know if you are holding an event or want more information.

UCU equality research conference, 15 May

There is a one-day conference for academics, researchers and activists conducting research on equality in Manchester on Friday 15 May. The call for papers has a deadline of 17 February.

NEC and officer elections

Ballot material for the election of UCU's vice-president (who will go on to become president), trustees and national executive committee members is reaching members now. You can find out more about the process here. Please use your vote and have your say on who is elected to these important roles within the union. All ballots close at 12 noon on Wednesday 4 March.

Nominations open today for two casual vacancies: vice president (becoming president 2023-2024), and NEC representative of LGBT+ members. Full details and nomination form here. Deadline for nominations is 5.00pm, Friday 6 March.

Last updated: 7 February 2020