Covid-19 (coronavirus): UCU has produced advice for members. Find more information and updates here.

Fri 18 September 2020

The Friday email: 23 October 2020

Covid crisis update

UCU is fighting to protect staff and students in universities during the pandemic crisis and you can help by signing our petition calling for fair funding and online learning in higher education.

A new support package of over £10 million for university students has been announced by the Welsh government and UCU is calling on Westminster and devolved governments to follow their lead and make a financial intervention to address the crisis in universities. 

We are monitoring cases of Covid-19 in universities and colleges and you can see latest reports on our dashboard here. Please get in touch and help us keep track of any outbreaks at your institution. 

Further education Northern Ireland: fight for fair pay and working conditions

UCU has declared a dispute about pay and working conditions in all six of Northern Ireland's further education (FE) colleges after an attempt by employers to blackmail staff into giving up workload protections and trade union agreements and you can read Jo Grady's letter to members here.

UCU solidarity gig: watch again here 

Our very first online solidarity gig took place last night and you can watch all the excellent performances here. The gig was headlined by singer songwriter Joe Solo and he was joined our president Vicky Blake and included music from Dave Thorpe and Yumi Hara, all to raise money for UCU's fighting fund which you can donate to here. 

Heriot Watt University staff back action to defend jobs

UCU members at Heriot Watt University have voted to support strike action to protect 130 jobs currently under threat. 77% of those who voted backed strike action on a turnout of 66%. Congratulations to the branch of this clear mandate for action. Branch activists will meet this week to decide next steps. 

Anti-casualisation organising and training event

You're invited to our anti-casualisation organising and training event on Thursday 19 November 2-5pm and Saturday 21 November 10am-1pm. The event will be held online (on MS Teams) and is aimed at members on casualised contracts who want to get involved in their union and help to campaign against casualisation. However, it is also open to any UCU members who want to campaign against the endemic use of casualised contracts in higher, further, adult and prison education. 

Pay freeze reversed at Kings College London 

Following sustained campaigning by UCU and our fellow campus unions, Kings College London have reversed a decision to freeze staff pay and remove the incremental pay increase. This is welcome news for our members and congratulations to our Kings College London UCU branch and sister unions. 

Last updated: 23 October 2020