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Taking action in higher education

Campaign update: 4 March 2016

HE pay campaign | Fair pay in FE | In the news | Stamp out casual contracts | Refugees welcome | People's Assembly march: 16 April | Improve your classroom management skills | Events and publications

Dear colleague

In this week's campaigns update:

  1. Higher education (HE) pay campaign: closing the gender pay gap
  2. Fair pay in further education
  3. In the news
  4. Stamp out casual contracts: our campaign needs you!
  5. Refugees welcome: stand up to racism events, 19 March
  6. People's Assembly march: 16 April
  7. Improve your classroom management skills with UCU's free professional development courses
  8. Events and publications

1. Higher education (HE) pay campaign: closing the gender pay gap
This week, as we approach International Women's Day (Tuesday 8 March), the union has been highlighting the inequality facing those working in HE. The battle for fair pay involves everyone not just women and achieving transparent pay and promotion criteria in universities is a UCU priority. 

Action to reduce the gender pay gap is part of this year's salary claim to your employers and we have made a short film which you can watch and share here. Find out what the gender gap is at your institution using our Rate for the Job webtool here

2. Fair pay in further education
Following last week's strike action in further education (FE) in England, the union's FE committee (FEC) are meeting today to discuss next steps in the campaign for a fair deal. For the last six years take home pay for FE staff has been declining in value -  check your pay and compare it to those at other colleges with our new webtool here.

3. In the news

  • UCU responds to Select Committee report on teaching quality
  • Government commission recommends universities should remain subject to FOI Act
  • Concerns raised about restructures at University of Reading
  • Outgoing Ofsted chief attacks FE sector

Read all about it here

4. Stamp out casual contracts: our campaign needs you!
Campaigning for more secure employment in education is a priority for UCU and there is a meeting for members on casual contracts, on 11 March where our new anti-casualisation committee will be elected. If you would like to get active in this campaign and are interested in putting yourself forward please send in a short supporting statement (200 words) to by 8 March. To be eligible members must be employed on a casual contract, or currently unemployed but have been employed on a casual contract within the past two years. 

5. Refugees welcome: stand up to racism events, 19 March
To mark the United Nations (UN) international day for the elimination of racial discrimination UCU is supporting the 'Refugees welcome - stand up to racism, islamophobia, anti-Semitism and fascism' demonstrations on Saturday 19 March in London, Cardiff and Glasgow. UCU general secretary Sally Hunt will be speaking at the London event.

  • London demo assembles 12 noon, BBC Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA
  • Cardiff demo assembles 11:30am, Clare Gardens, Cardiff, CF11 6EN
  • Glasgow demo assembles 10:30am, George Square, Glasgow

6. People's Assembly march: 16 April 2016
UCU members will join the anti-austerity march for health, homes, jobs and education in London on 16 April 2016.

7. Improve your classroom management skills with UCU's free professional development courses
There are still some places available on the following classroom management courses, which are free to all members. More details and registration:
Classroom management - Luton, 19 April
Classroom management - Newcastle, 4 April 2016

8. Events and publications
Defending further and adult education conference, 5 March 2016
This initiative taken by London region UCU will discuss how we can build a movement to defend the sector and put forward alternatives to the government's cuts agenda. Gordon Marsden, shadow minister for lifelong learning will be addressing the event. SOAS, central London, Saturday 5 March, 10:30am. Register here.

Celebrate International Women's Day 8 March
Each year International Women's Day is celebrated across the globe on 8 March as an opportunity to draw attention to the struggle for women's rights. You can find UCU postcards and a special film 'A woman's place is in the union' here.

Getting involved in UCU - a course for black members new to activism
This one day course is specifically designed for UCU black members who are interested in becoming more involved with UCU. The course will also include a professional development session about leadership. For more details and to check entry criteria please use this link.

Middle East solidarity day school, Saturday 12 March 2016
10am-6pm, SOAS, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

Cuban arts and education initiative
UCU is supporting this Music Fund for Cuba art and education initiative with an exhibition of Cuban artists in London in the autumn and you canhelp the appeal here.

All the best

Justine Stephens
UCU head of campaigns

Last updated: 23 October 2017