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Friday email image 10 November

The Friday email: 10 November 2017

Build the union: thank you!

This week you've been knocking on doors, meeting in staff rooms and canteens, running stalls, and talking to staff about why they need to be in the union. It's one of our regular recruitment weeks when we focus on inviting colleagues to join UCU and we've been overwhelmed by the response. Large numbers of new members are being reported by our membership department and in particular early career staff taking advantage of our free membership offer. Thanks to all our fantastic local reps, branch officers and active members who work so hard to promote UCU. The more people who join, the better able we are to support you at work and to stand up for education: the union makes us strong!

Fair funding for further education

The government has come under more pressure on FE funding this week as a House of Lords committee asked senior civil servants to explain funding disparities across the sector. The hearing quoted figures showing this year FE students received £2,700 funding per learner in contrast to students in higher education who received £11,000 and Lord Layard called on the government to radically rethink the fragmentation of FE funding. More on our campaign for fair funding for FE here.  

In the news...

  • Vice-chancellor's bizarre charity donations plea to avoid pay cut
  • UCU calls for end to mock REF exercises in sackings row
  • Crackdown on universities' false marketing statements

Read all about it

Cranfield University staff face compulsory redundancy

Cranfield University announced up 113 compulsory redundancies in September which put a total of 201 staff at risk across the university - 1 in 8 of the workforce. UCU strongly opposes compulsory redundancies and believe the damage caused to morale and staff loyalty at Cranfield is irreversible; this short sighted strategy will take a long time to recover from. Please send messages of support to our branch campaigning against these cuts.

New settled status for EU citizens

The government this week provided more information on 'settled status' for EU citizens ahead of the next round of Brexit talks. According to a Home Office technical document sent to the European Commission, citizens of EU countries will be given a two year grace period to apply for settle status once Britain leaves the EU. The document says that paperwork will be kept to a minimum and will cost no more than a current UK passport. UCU has called for a guaranteed right to remain for all existing EU staff and their families as well as EU students already accepted onto courses.

Birmingham City University staff to lose academic jobs and freedoms

During a shock meeting at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching staff were told 'you are no longer academics but 'near-peer critical friends''. The Centre is subject to a restructure proposal that will see academic roles disappear following a 34% budget cut. Staff will have to apply for lower paid professional services jobs with the new roles being described as 'scholarly professionals' and 'near-peer critical friends.' Please sign the petition here which closes 20 November.

Victory for campaign against Open University ban on Cuban students

Following a major campaign by Cuban Solidarity Campaign, UCU and other unions, the Open University has reversed its discriminatory policy of barring Cuban students. See here for UCU statement.

Anti-bullying week 13-19 November 2017

Next week is anti-bullying week and you can download a range of UCU posters and leaflets highlighting the issue here.

Last updated: 10 November 2017