Campaign update: 24 March 2017


Your vote is your voice: UCU ballots and the Trade Union Act

In response to new legislation introduced this month requiring trade unions to achieve a minimum 50% ballot turnout, UCU has launched a raft of measures to ensure that where necessary the union is able to take industrial action. UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt wrote to members earlier this week announcing plans to improve participation in ballots and to support our branches to 'get the vote out'. More than ever it's important that we participate so please speak up and have your say and remind colleagues to do the same when a ballot is taking place. 

UCU winning for members in further education 

As part of the union's 'national plus' strategy to win improvements for staff working in FE, five new agreements have been made in colleges addressing issues including pay, working hours, lesson observations, and the gender pay gap. Congratulations are due to the branches involved and you can read full details here

Other news this week

1. In the news

  • Further drop in teacher training numbers 'cause for concern'
  • Two-year degrees criticised as higher education bill debate delayed
  • Staff force meeting at University of Warwick over employment rights

Read all about it here.

2. University of Leeds: no to the sackers' charter

UCU at University of Leeds are currently in dispute over moves by management to make it easier to sack staff. The branch are currently conducting a poll of members to build support for industrial action. Please send messages of support to

3. Hope Not Hate: united message of hope 

UCU supports the Hope Not Hate campaign and in the aftermath of Wednesday's terrorist attack in London the group has produced this short message with Brendan Cox and Mike Haines. If you would like to order Hope Not Hate leaflets for your workplace please email

4. Support Manchester Metropolitan UCU: sign the petition 

Please sign the petition calling on Manchester Metropolitan University to commit to no compulsory redundancies. Following the decision to close the campus at Crewe the union is campaigning to save staff jobs.

5. University of Brighton members to strike next week

Members at the University of Brighton will take strike action next Friday in a dispute over redundancies, downgrading and breach of agreements and you can read more here. 

6. UCU LGBT+ Research Conference 2017

Equality Today? conference in Manchester on Friday 9 June for academics, researchers and activists on sexual orientation and gender identity issues and LGBT+ lives. Contact:

7. March for Science, 22 April

Amidst fears of a growing climate of anti-intellectualism and what has been called the 'post-truth age', the science community has come together to form the campaign group March for Science to promote and celebrate publicly funded science, progress and academic freedom. There is a march in central London on Saturday 22 April and you can find out more here. Contact Marsha Nicholson to get involved:

8. UCU budget statement

Please see here for a report on the proposed budget for the financial year ending 31 August 2018, and the proposed subscription rates from 1 September 2017. 

9. UCU financial statement

This documents here contain the financial statements of UCU for the period ending 31 August 2016. 

10. 'Abortion is a workplace issue' conference, 25 March, Birmingham

In this 50th anniversary year of the 1967 Abortion Act, please join West Midlands UCU to discuss abortion rights. Focusing on the importance of access to abortion in achieving gender equality in the workplace, the event will highlight issues around the legal status in different parts of the UK, emphasise why trade unions should support abortion, and discuss mobilization against the global anti-abortion movement. Facebook event here

Last updated: 23 October 2017