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The Friday email: 14 April 2023

14 April 2023

UCU Rising: shape the next steps of our disputes and prepare for the MAB

Time is running out for members in higher education to vote in our formal consultation on the latest proposals in our pay and conditions and USS pensions disputes. This is your chance to shape the next steps of the dispute--every vote counts.

The e-ballot closes on Monday 17 April at 10:00. If you have not received your ballot you can order a replacement via this form [link closed].

The higher education committee (HEC) has called for a marking and assessment boycott (MAB) to begin from Thursday 20 April. This means that from Thursday 20 April we are asking you to cease undertaking all summative marking and associated assessment activities/duties. The boycott also covers assessment-related work such as exam invigilation and the processing of marks. 

In preparation for this, all members are asked to read the MAB guide here and are invited to the final MAB training session on Monday 17 April at 17:00 - click here to pre-register. We will also be sharing a recording with you imminently.

Members are reminded to attend local meetings and make their views known to their reps in advance of the special higher education sector conference (SHESC) on Wednesday 19 April which will decide on the next steps in our disputes including the MAB.

Respect FE: what has happened to college pay?

You can read the full Institute for Fiscal Studies report on how pay and retention levels among college staff in England has changed over time and compared with schoolteachers here. Our recent Respect FE consultation showed an amazing 87% of members who voted (51% turnout) said they would back a strike action ballot over pay, conditions and national bargaining. 

UCU's special further education sector conference (SFESC) took place on Saturday 1 April) and you can read the motions debated here. Please watch this space for an update on decisions coming soon.

Meanwhile UCU college branches continue the fight for a better deal including Barnet and Southgate College UCU, who have just voted for industrial action over pay and workload, and industrial action ballots at Tyne Coast College, Bury College and Blackburn College. 

Petition to University of Leeds vice-chancellor and senior management

University of Leeds management decided to make further pay deductions at a rate of 100% for staff who do not deliver teaching missed on strike days i.e. additional deductions far beyond the days for which UCU members were already not paid while participating in strike action. Sign this petition to University of Leeds vice-chancellor senior management to revoke this punitive action.

Anti-casualisation legal toolkit

This new toolkit is designed to help members understand how the law may help them in the fight against casualisation and its limitations.

Anti-casualisation committee seeking new members

The anti-casualisation committee (ACC) is looking for new members from FE (four places) and HE (one place) to join them for the forthcoming year. ACC advises the union on all things anti-casualisation and meet three times a year (currently on-line). No experience is necessary, but you should be employed on a casualised contract (or most recently employed on such a contract if you are currently out of work). If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Jane Thompson before Tuesday 18 April.

UCU LGBT+ research conference 2023

The 2023 UCU LGBT+ research conference will be held as a hybrid event on Friday 19 May at the University of Manchester. This is an open event; delegates do not have to be UCU members. However, if the in-person places are over-subscribed, UCU members will be given priority access. To register please follow the link to the online form.

Last updated: 17 April 2023