Campaign update: 18 March 2016

HE pay | Reimagining FE | In the news | Stand up to racism | Campaigning on casual contracts | Undergraduate teaching quality survey | Reduction in your take home pay | Free Miguel Beltrán | march for health, homes and jobs | Develop your career | ITT in the education white paper | say no to forced academies

Dear colleague

In this week's campaigns update:

  1. Higher education pay campaign: when is a pay rise not a pay rise?
  2. Reimagining further education
  3. In the news
  4. Stand up to racism tomorrow, Saturday 19 March
  5. Campaigning on casual contracts: 'our working environment is your learning environment'
  6. Undergraduate teaching quality survey - have your say
  7. Reduction in your take home pay from April
  8. Free Miguel Beltrán - video message to UCU members
  9. People's Assembly march for health, homes and jobs
  10. Develop your career with UCU
  11. Initial teacher training in the education white paper
  12. Hands off our schools - say no to forced academies


1. Higher education pay campaign: when is a pay rise not a pay rise?
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt wrote to all members in higher education (HE) this week to highlight the facts around pay deflation in the sector, with the value of salaries having fallen 14.5% against RPI inflation since 2009. Pay rises failed to keep up with the cost of living in every year from 2009 to 2013 and this pattern was only broken in 2014, when members took sustained action in defence of their pay. UCU has published a graph which highlights the growing discrepancy between inflation and pay; please help spread the word and support our campaign by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter and you can see the letter from Sally here

2. Reimagining further education
UCU, ATL and The Education & Training Foundation are co-hosting a conference on 29 June at Birmingham City University bringing together key figures in the sector to cover themes including apprenticeships, work-based learning, accountability and governance. See full programme details here and you can register here

Guidance on further education (FE) area reviews is available here providing information explaining the process and timescales and setting out our position on the proposals and you can catch up with all the latest developments in FE here.

3. In the news

  • UCU responds to budget
  • Sally Hunt talks casualisation in Times Higher
  • Schools white paper
  • UCU Scotland welcomes Commission on Widening Access report
  • Guardian HE gender equality debate roundup
  • College principal pay hikes

Read all about it here

4. Stand up to racism tomorrow, Saturday 19 March
Please join UCU in supporting the 'Stand up to racism' demonstrations tomorrow Saturday 19 March in London, Cardiff and Glasgow. UCU general secretary Sally Hunt will be speaking at the London event and meeting points for all three demos are as follows:

5. Campaigning on casual contracts: 'our working environment is your learning environment'
A busy week in our campaign for secure employment for ALL staff:

6. Undergraduate teaching quality survey - have your say
If you teach on an undergraduate HE course at any UK university, FE college or private provider please add your voice to the debate about teaching quality by filling in this short survey which you can find here

7. Reduction in your take home pay from April
Please note that due to the introduction of the new single state pension you may notice a reduction in your take home pay from 6 April 2016. The reasons why, and more detailed information on this, can be found here

8. Free Miguel Beltrán - video message to UCU members
Jailed academic, Dr Miguel Beltrán, has recorded a moving message from inside the notorious La Picota prison thanking UCU for campaigning for his release and for an end to the persecution he has suffered for criticising the Colombian government. Please watch and share the film and sign the Labour Start petition.

9. People's Assembly march for health, homes, jobs and education
UCU members will join the anti-austerity march for health, homes, jobs and education assembling at 1pm, Gower Street, London, NW1 on 16 April 2016. Invite your friends on Facebook

10. Develop your career with UCU
There are still some places available on the following courses, which are free to all members. More details and registration:
Classroom management - Luton, 19 April
Voice care for educators - Sheffield, 21 April

11. Initial teacher training in the education white paper
UCU has highlighted concerns about proposed new quality measures and 'centres of excellence' for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) announced in the white paper from the Department of Education this week, and the general secretary is writing to the Secretary of State on the issue today.

12. Hands off our schools - say no to forced academies
Following the announcement that all schools are to be forced to become academies, often against the will of local communities, parents and teachers; our sister union the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is organising a march to the Department for Education on Wednesday 23 March, assembling 5pm at Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Street, London, SW1P 1QW. 

All the best

Justine Stephens
UCU head of campaigns

Last updated: 23 October 2017