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240604 University Winchester strike

The Friday email: 7 June 2024

7 June 2024

Strike action at University of Winchester

University of Winchester staff took part in strike action on Tuesday 4 June over brutal job cuts. They then began action short of strike (ASOS) on Wednesday 5 June, including working to rule and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.

The action follows an overwhelming 79% of UCU members voting to strike on a turnout of 59% in a fight against plans to cut around 40 academic staff and increase workloads. UCU fears the changes will lead to unmanageable working hours. Click here for the full story.

UCU declares academic boycott of Goldsmiths over job cuts

This week UCU announced a global academic boycott of Goldsmiths, University of London over the institution's confirmed plans to cut one in six academic jobs. Staff at Goldsmiths are already undertaking a marking boycott and will be striking for two weeks later in the month in a dispute over management's attempt to sack these staff. 

This means the union is calling on members, university workers, trade unionists, and supporters worldwide NOT to:

  • apply for any advertised jobs at Goldsmiths
  • speak at or organise academic or other conferences at Goldsmiths
  • give lectures at Goldsmiths
  • accept positions as visiting professors or researchers at Goldsmiths
  • accept new contracts as external examiners for taught courses at Goldsmiths.

You can click here for further information and show your support by donating to Goldsmiths UCU's local strike fund.

UK general election 2024

The UK general election will take place on Thursday 4 July. Make sure that your voice is heard by:

UCU also encourages members to remind their students to register to vote. The 'Turn Up' campaign, led by the National Union of Students (NUS), is providing a suite of resources that you can point your students towards:

UCU Congress 2024

The union's supreme policy-making body is its annual Congress, which has taken place in Bournemouth this year from Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 May:

Cambridge college supervisors win 15% pay rise

University of Cambridge college supervisors have won an average pay rise worth 15%. The bumper pay jump follows Cambridge UCU's multi-year 'Justice for College Supervisors' campaign. College supervisors lead undergraduate tutorials, or 'supervisions' as they are known, yet many are precariously employed by colleges and paid an hourly rate. The campaign demanded that supervisors' training be paid, that pay packets properly reflect the full number of hours spent on preparation, and that supervisors be moved from gig-economy style hourly paid contracts into secure employment.

Cambridge's colleges and Cambridge UCU have now agreed new rates for college supervisors that peg pay to the university's salary spine and include multipliers to account for the number of students being supervised. The changes will result in a pay rise worth 15% on average and over 20% for some supervisors.

Reclaim Higher Education updates

The UK higher education sector is facing unprecedented threats and attacks; last month UCU launched its Reclaim Higher Education (Reclaim HE) campaign. You can view a recording of the live launch event here and the campaign video here.

The next online Reclaim HE live event will take place on Wednesday 19 June, 18:30-19:45. Please look out for more information regarding special guests soon.

Please support the following university branches where UCU members are continuing to defend jobs and education:

UCU continuing professional development workshops

Join us for the following 90-minute online interactive workshops that are free and open to all UCU members:

Please look out for our Monday CPD email with details of all the online workshops running this term.

London Pride 2024

UCU has a few wristbands available for joining the UCU walking group at London Pride on Saturday 29 June. If you are available that day and are interested to join, please click here for more information and complete the form.

TUC project on Black women's experiences of workplace sexual harassment

UCU is working alongside sister unions to identify and tackle sexual harassment, misconduct and violence in our individual unions, and across the wider trade union movement. Any woman who self-identifies as Black is invited to participate in this survey (deadline: Saturday 15 June), which will bring Black women union members together to share experiences.

Ceasefire NOW!

UCU joins with many others in Palestine, the UK, and beyond to reiterate the demands for an immediate ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, and the lifting of the siege of Gaza. 

We are very concerned by the sharp rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia across the UK and beyond since October. We restate our unwavering opposition to all forms of antisemitism and Islamophobia--hate has no place on our campuses or in our society.

UCU also has a dedicated 'Ceasefire Now' web area where you can find downloads, information and resources. Members are encouraged to read a new open letter by Gaza academics and university administrators. It calls on international friends and colleagues to help them resist the Israeli campaign of 'scholasticide' and to assist them in rebuilding their universities.

Last updated: 7 June 2024