Taking action in higher education

HE REBALLOTS: VOTE YES, YES, YES, YES!    No ballot paper? Request a replacement here!

Campaign update: 12 May 2017


Stand up for jobs and education in Manchester: job cuts at University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan

UCU has said it will oppose compulsory redundancies at University of Manchester following shock proposals to cut 140 academic jobs and 31 professional support roles across several departments. The union has stated there is no economic rationale for the cuts and argues the university is using Brexit and uncertainty over new higher education law as an excuse. Please send messages of support to ucu@manchester.ac.uk

This becomes the second university in the city to announce major job losses and UCU members at Manchester Metropolitan have overwhelmingly backed strike action over closure of the Crewe campus and subsequent staff cuts. Following a fantastic campaign to 'get the vote out' the MMU ballot result announced last week cleared the new restrictive Trade Union Act ballot threshold with a turnout of 55% of members voting 79% in favour of strike action. Please sign their petition here

Academic boycott of London Metropolitan University: please support your colleagues

As the bitter dispute over contracts and working conditions at London Met continues, this week management agreed to meet with union representatives and UCU will continue to work towards finding a negotiated solution. Please help keep up the pressure by following the revised guidance on how you can support the academic boycott here. 

Other news this week

1. In the news

  • University of Manchester announces job cuts in light of Brexit and sector uncertainty
  • Manchester Metropolitan University staff announce two-day strike over Crewe campus closure
  • Jobs at risk at Southampton Solent University

Read all about it here.

2. Further education: empowering teachers, learners and communities  

As part of UCU's campaign to showcase the huge contribution further education colleges and their staff make to communities you are invited to a one day 'Reimagining further education' conference in Birmingham on 21 June 2017 and you can find details and registration information here.  

3. General election: UCU welcomes Labour pledge for free education 

UCU and our sister organisation the National Union of Students have welcomed indications that Labour will pledge to abolish tuition fees and reinstate maintenance grants if elected in June. We have produced our own election manifesto setting out our vision for lifelong learning and for more investment in colleges and universities. You can add your name to the Guardian letter in support of Labour's proposal to scrap fees here

Please help us make education a key issue in the general election by encouraging colleagues and students to register to vote before the 22 May deadline. You can find our joint UCU/NUS campaign materials including posters, films, downloads here

4. Stamp out casual contracts: get involved and make a difference

MMU UCU are the first branch to ballot members under the new restrictive trade union legislation, and the union is working hard to support staff at Crewe facing redundancy this summer and to achieve a successful vote for action. Please continue to send messages of support to: J.Wilkinson@mmu.ac.uk

5. UCU continuing professional development programme

Classroom management course, Oxford, 24 May 2017

6. LGBT+ research conference

UCU LGBT+ research conference for academics and activists will be held at the University of Manchester on Friday 9 June. Deadline for registration is Thursday 18 May. 11am - 4.30pm. It's open to people who do and do not self-identify as LGBT. Free for UCU members, £14 non-members. 

7. Welsh baccalaureate qualification: your views

UCU and NUS in Wales, is collecting views on the Welsh baccalaureate qualification (WBQ) to present to the Welsh government and Qualifications Wales. If you teach the WBQ please complete this survey which closes 31 May 2017.

8. Urgent action: dismissed educators on hunger strike in Turkey

Please support the demand to reinstate Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça to their jobs in Turkey. Both are currently on hunger strike and time is running out. Sign the petition here. #NuriyeAndSemihAreNotAlone

9. Adult and community education newsletter

Here's the latest edition of the ACE newsletter with a report from the ACE annual meeting, and an example of how to fight attacks on your terms and conditions. Please print off a copy and share it with your colleagues

10. Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival - 14-16 July 2017

The annual trade union music festival takes place on 14-16 July in the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset. UCU is supporting the event and is one of the 'magnificent seven' unions sponsoring the Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival 2017

11. National Senior Management Survey audit of senior management practices in higher education

Please take part in the 'National Senior Management Survey' and help academics at University of Brighton shine a light on the ever-more centralised and unaccountable senior management in higher education. 

12. Access to higher education for individuals with criminal records

Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) the organisation that promotes professionalism, fair admissions and access to higher education is seeking examples of where recruitment and admissions actively support the widening participation of individuals with criminal records.  If you have any examples that could be used in guidance or good practice papers, please contact Dan Shaffer at d.shaffer@spa.ac.uk

13. LGBT+ research conference

UCU LGBT+ research conference for academics and activists will be held at the University of Manchester on Friday 9 June. Deadline for registration is Thursday 18 May.

14. Women's march for abortion rights: Birmingham, 20 May

Campaigners in Birmingham will march to defend women's right to choose and say no to Trumpism on Saturday 20 May and you can find out more here

Last updated: 4 April 2019