Taking action in higher education
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Campaign update: 16 September 2016


United for Education: UCU and NUS national demonstration, Saturday 19 November

We are delighted to announce that we have joined up with our sister union the National Union of Students (NUS) for a mass demonstration in defence of free, accessible and quality further and higher education and to demand an end to privatisation and cuts in universities and colleges. Staff, students and supporters from across the education sector and trade union movement will march in London in what promises to be a huge show of opposition to Tory policy on post-school education. 

Please find more information and circulate here and watch this space for transport details, ways to get involved and line up of speakers and entertainment.

Further education in England: fair pay for FE

Please show your support for the joint trade union campaign for an extra £1 per hour, to close the gender pay gap and for better contracts for further education staff by downloading the poster here and tweeting your photos using #fairpayinFE or email campaigns@ucu.org.uk. The latest update on FE England pay negotiations is here.

Closing the gender pay gap in universities

Following a study that found women at London School of Economics earned 10.5% less than men with similar experience and output, female academics are set to be given salary increases aimed at redressing the gender pay gap at the institution. This follows the University of Essex's decision to move its female professors up three pay points to bring average salaries in line with male counterparts.

UCU has been campaigning hard to highlight the issue of pay inequality in higher education and the urgent need for employers to take action. UCU is pressing the national employers representatives (UCEA) to agree meaningful action plans to close the gap and has published a report naming and shaming colleges and universities on this year's International Women's Day


Other news this week

1. In the news

  • International report warns UK student debt levels could put students off studying
  • MP calls for crackdown on university fat cat salaries
  • University of Essex to recognise postgraduate teachers
  • University of Leicester lobby
  • UCU at the TUC

Read all about it here
2. Colombia: Dr. Miguel Beltran released

Following a long-running campaign by UCU and Justice for Colombia, Dr. Miguel Beltran was released from prison on 1 September.  A big thank you to all UCU members who supported the campaign and you can find out more here

3. Jobs and education threatened at University of Leicester

UCU members have launched a campaign to save jobs and courses at University of Leicester as management plans to make massive cuts including compulsory redundancies and the closure of whole departments and subject areas. Education for the disadvantaged in the city is particularly under threat as the university's popular lifelong learning Vaughan Centre is facing closure. Please sign the petition - already 2000 strong - calling for plans to be withdrawn

4. UCU recognition at Coventry University subsidiary company

Staff teaching at CU Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary company of Coventry University, delivered a stunning 100% majority for union recognition on a 73% turnout in a ballot held by the central arbitration committee to decide whether UCU could negotiate for teaching staff. It's an inspiring result for these hard-pressed and mostly casualised staff. Read all about it here

5. Turkey: 'Teachers will not be silenced', Wednesday 5 October

To celebrate this year's World Teachers Day, UCU is supporting an event on academic and political freedom in Turkey. 'Teachers will not be silenced' will be held at the NUT HQ in London on the evening of Wednesday 5 October.

6. Refugees welcome here: London march, Saturday 17 September

Campaigners will be gathering in support of refugees tomorrow at 12:30pm at Park Lane to march to Parliament Square calling on our government to do more to help. The charity group Care4Calais will be joining the event and highlighting the growing humanitarian crisis of refugees in Calais in need of aid. 

7. Improving student finance information, advice and guidance

National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) and UCU are hosting a one day event on student finance as part of our joint effort to examine and improve student finance IAG. Register here or please contact anartey@ucu.org.uk for further info.

8. UCU equality conference 1-3 December 2016

Members are invited to register for our annual equality groups conference in Birmingham between 1-3 December 2016. This is an excellent opportunity to meet other members and take part in discussions on issues facing black, disabled, LGBT, and women education staff. 

9. Vacancy on the board of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF)

ETF is looking for a serving practitioner in FE and training to act as a trustee and play a leading role in chairing the SET management board. Prospective candidates can view the full details about the role, how to apply and the selection criteria on the ETF website

10. Rule 13 decision

Following the application of the union's procedure for the regulation of the conduct of members, the following sanction has been imposed on Mr Rus Gandy (London retired members branch): expulsion from membership.

Last updated: 23 October 2017