Taking action in higher education

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Campaign update: 28 April 2017


Government rushes through dangerous higher education bill

The controversial Higher Education and Research Bill finally completed its passage through parliament yesterday. MPs and peers agreed to a number of watered down amendments to ensure the bill became law before this parliamentary session ended. Writing in the Huffington Post, Sally Hunt said that in the rush to get it through, the government had managed keep its long-term plans to marketise the sector firmly on track. 

College leaders' pay boost while staff salaries remain frozen

More than half of college leaders received a salary increase last year - at the same time as their staff were subject to a pay freeze, according to new figures in today's TES. UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: 'College leaders who tell staff that the money is not there for a fair pay rise - all while pocketing massive pay rises themselves - are an embarrassment to the sector.'

Find out more about your pay and how it compares to your principal's and staff at other colleges using our Rate for the Job online tool here. 

Other news this week

1. In the news

  • MPs' Brexit warning
  • College heads' bumper pay deals
  • Universities' income up, staff costs down 

Read all about it here.

2. General election 8 June: make our voice heard

Following the announcement of a general election on 8 June UCU has released our manifesto setting out areas for reform of post-school education and our vision for a learning society that works for everyone. Please help make education a central issue in this election and make sure our voice is heard by encouraging your colleagues and students to register to vote

3. Higher education pay: employers' final offer

UCU met with the higher education employers' representatives this week and UCEA made a final offer which you can read here. Branches will be consulting with members so please let your local representatives know your views on the final pay offer. 

4. Manchester Metropolitan University: management fail to silence campaign to save jobs

UCU campaigners at MMU met this week despite management banning the union from holding a meeting on campus. The University of Manchester Students' Union stepped in at the last minute to host the meeting which was addressed by UCU general secretary Sally Hunt. Members are currently voting in a strike action ballot over proposed job losses as a result of the closure of MMU's Crewe campus. Please support the campaign to defend jobs and education by signing the petition here.  

5. Further education England pay claim 

Further education (FE) England trade unions have submitted their 2017-18 pay and conditions claim to the Association of Colleges. The first meeting to discuss the claim with the employers will be held on 17 May 2017. 

6. Mayoral candidates asked to support FE charter

Candidates standing in the Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Mayoral elections on 4 May are being asked to sign up to a skills charter developed by UCU and Unison in the North West to demonstrate their commitment to further education. More here. 

7. Celebrate May Day: international workers' day

London: Monday 1 May, assemble Clerkenwell Green, 12 noon and march to Trafalgar Square.
Manchester: UCU is once again sponsoring the Manchester May Day festival on Saturday 29 April. Come along and visit the UCU stall.

8. Chechnya: stop the persecution of gay men

Over a hundred men suspected of being gay have been abducted, tortured and some even killed in Chechnya. Please sign the Amnesty petition against the persecution of LGBT people. 

9. Workers' Memorial Day, 28 April

Today marks a day of remembrance for all those killed at work and to campaign for safer and healthier workplaces. Please find out what you can do to help and information on events taking place here

10. Rule 13: procedure for the regulation of the conduct of members

Following the application of the union's procedure for the regulation of the conduct of members the following sanction has been imposed on Mick Dawson of Brooklands College branch: a bar from holding any office for a period of three years from 20 April 2017.

Last updated: 24 June 2019