Friday image 13 October

The Friday email: 13 October 2017

Vote now to save USS 

The consultative ballot on USS pensions closes on Wednesday 18 October on the eve of an important meeting between UCU negotiators and the employers.

Our negotiators need your support. Current proposals could cut benefits for younger staff and mean those nearer retirement may need to work longer. A strong turnout and support for action will show the employers that we're prepared to defend our pensions. If you work in a university covered by USS please support your negotiators and vote now as a matter of urgency to defend your pension

Free membership launch: hundreds sign up in first week

Over 400 new members joined UCU for free in the first week of our new offer aimed at unionising early career education staff. As employment becomes ever more insecure and exploitative for new and younger staff, we've taken the bold move of offering free membership to thousands of PhD students employed to teach and those teaching in further education colleges without a teachers' contract.

We say: it's time to break the vicious cycle of low-security employment and low union membership amongst younger and casual workers. Please help us secure the future of the profession by sharing this offer in your workplace with full details and downloadable posters and leaflets here

Further education pay consultation 

FE (England) members have sent a clear message to the employers in the consultative ballot which closed on 29 September with 75% of those voting saying they would be prepared to strike for a better offer than the national 1%. UCU is now consulting with branches about their participation in strike ballots and we will be in touch soon about next steps. 

In the news...

  • apprenticeship starts drop by 61%
  • MPs backs striking UCU members at the University of Leeds
  • vice-chancellors' pay debate moves to House of Commons.

Read all about it

Leeds University UCU strike to stop 'sackers' charter'

UCU members at University of Leeds, now on their third day of strike action, received a boost today as another MP backed their campaign to stop changes to the university's dismissal policies. MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel joined fellow Leeds MP Hilary Benn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell by writing in support of UCU's campaign against the proposed 'sackers' charter'. Find out more and show your support here.

Further education staff training needs survey 

Further education sector bodies and the Department for Education under the aegis of the Education and Training Foundation have launched a major national survey of the training needs of teachers, trainers and leaders in FE colleges. If you work in FE please take this opportunity to let them know about your training and professional needs.

Britain needs a pay rise: join the TUC day of action on 17 October 2017

On Tuesday 17 October, the TUC is organising a lobby of parliament and a rally in Parliament Square to call for fair pay for public sector workers. For details on how to get involved, email here or visit the Facebook event page

Survey shows dissatisfaction with how universities are run

The results of the National Senior Management Survey based on over 6000 HE staff responses show that more than three quarters were dissatisfied with the way their institutions are run. The report shows 78% were not satisfied with how their university was managed and only 8.8% believed their managers deserved the salaries they are paid. 

'To Walk In Your Shoes' play, 22 October, University of Huddersfield  

Red Bobble Theatre and UCU Yorks & Humbs black and minority ethnic (BME) network present a play based on the experiences of refugees living in northern England. Sunday 22 October, 12 noon, St Pauls Church, University of Huddersfield, HD1 3DH, to book email here.

National officer and NEC elections in 2018

Nominations are now open for vacancies for a national officer of the union, and for more than 20 positions on UCU's national executive committee (NEC). Details can be found here, or requested from Kay Metcalfe. The deadline is 5.00pm on Wednesday 8 November 2017.  

Have your say on adult education

We're looking at how we organise the union in adult education and so please let us know your experiences and how best we can support staff by filling in this short online survey

World Mental Health Day 2017

Tuesday of this week was World Mental Health Day and you can see a presentation by UCU NEC member, Justin Wynne on the issue of mental health here.

Last updated: 13 October 2017