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Taking action in higher education

Campaign update: 22 April 2016


Higher education (HE) ballot: your pay is shrinking, please vote today

Higher education members are being balloted on the 2016 pay offer and you should by now have received your ballot paper in the post.

The ballot closes on 4 May. Please don't leave it to others to speak for you - cast your vote now.

Further education pay campaign

Further education (FE) unions met this week to discuss the main elements of a pay and conditions claim for the FE England 2016/17 pay round. Preliminary agreement on these elements was reached by the unions' negotiators and it was agreed that the full and final claim be submitted to the employers on Thursday 28 April. The union will be asking you to show support for the claim online via twitter when it is launched next Thursday.

Staff have suffered a real terms cut in pay of over 18% in the last six years. To see how pay at your college compares to the national 8 point scale and what it should be now if it had kept up with inflation go to UCU's 'Rate for the Job' web page.

Other news this week

In the news

  • UCU responds to 'University Centre' in Hastings
  • Cambridge MP to join UCU in opposing cuts
  • Worst universities 'win' Laurie Taylor's insecurity rankings award
  • UCU seeking advice on University of Edinburgh staff monitoring plans

Read more here.

Tackling the pay dockers

The union is pleased report progress on tackling universities that punished staff with full or half day's pay deductions for joining the 2 hour strikes in 2014. University of Central Lancashire has now agreed to pay compensation to those staff who suffered a punitive deduction. The union has now managed to reduce the number of employers taking this draconian line from 36 to 26 universities.

Worst universities 'win' insecurity rankings award

The Times Higher's Laurie Taylor has used UCU's recent casualisation survey to poke fun at the obsession with rankings in higher education. Read his full piece on the insecurity rankings here.

Tell Pearson campaign

UCU is part of a global coalition of trade unions and NGOs calling for Pearson, the largest global 'edu-business', to rethink its current strategy of high-stakes testing and support for fee-paying, for-profit schools in Africa and Asia.  Please add your voice to this campaign by signing this online petition.

UCU congress 2016

UCU branches that have not yet done so are urged to register their delegates for attendance at UCU congress 2016. Full details including how to register and entitlements can be found here.  Any questions email Sue Bajwa.

Turkish academics detained for signing peace appeal

UCU has written to the Turkish authorities to protest about the detention of four Turkish academics for signing the Academics for Peace appeal. Members are encouraged to sign an Amnesty International petition  in support of our detained colleagues.  

May Day trade union celebrations

May Day events celebrating International Workers Day are taking place on Sunday 1 May in London  and UCU is once again sponsoring the Manchester event on Saturday 30 April 2016.

The role of education institutions in tackling climate change

This Friday, the whole planet will be celebrating Earth Day 2016. The United Nations has chosen this special occasion for the formal endorsement of the Paris agreement on climate change by the 195 countries involved at the COP21. Education will play a vital role in delivering the outcomes of this agreement. UCU has linked up with the NUS to run a special conference at the University of Manchester,  'The role of education institutions in tackling climate change', on how this should be done.

Why FE matters' UCU/NUT event

You are invited to this event with speakers and discussion in defence of lifelong learning, at 6pm on 11 May 2016 at the House of Commons.

Last updated: 23 October 2017