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The Friday email: 8 December 2017

Vote now to save your pension: support for our campaign builds 

If you work in a university covered by USS pensions you should by now have received a ballot paper to vote. Please vote and send your ballot back in the envelope provided. You can order a replacement here. 

Support for our campaign grew this week as shadow education secretary Angela Rayner raised concerns over attacks on the USS scheme. She said in her statement she wanted 'our brilliant university staff to stay in UK higher education' and that plans to slash pensions could lead to 'a brain drain that the UK can ill afford'.

Meanwhile the National Union of Students (NUS) called on university leaders to negotiate with UCU to end the dispute and said students benefitted from properly paid staff who would receive fair pensions in retirement.

Further education England: it's time for change

With some FE branches now preparing for potential action in the new year it's a good time to help publicise our campaign for better pay and pay in your college workplace. Please download and distribute posters and leaflets and show our campaign video to colleagues.

In the news...

  • Shadow education secretary and students call for negotiations in USS pension dispute
  • Bath Spa University vice-chancellor in £808,000 pay deal
  • University of Sussex vice-chancellor got £230K pay-off on departure

Read all about it

 Vice-chancellors' pay and perks scandal continues

The storm over pay offs, perks and secrecy continued to rock the university sector this week with news of Bath Spa University VC Christina Slade's £808,000 final year pay off, University of Southampton's admission that VC Sir Christopher Snowden did in fact sit on the pay panel that awarded him £433,000 and calls for an enquiry into University of Bath's retirement deal for VC, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell.   

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt made clear our members' anger at this 'rotten system' in TV and radio interviews and in this article for the Guardian describing the growing fightback from staff and students including a protest at University of Birmingham today at 1pm over pay inequity and unmanageable workloads. 

Wales further education: overworked and under-paid

Members in Welsh further education are currently being asked to show support for action on pay and workload in a consultative eballot and you can catch up on all the campaign news in our bulletin here and there is more on the campaign here.

If you can't find the email containing your link to vote please check your junk email and quarantine box, if you still can't find it call the Wales office on 01656 721951 or email

UCU wins £1m pay-out for former Ulster University staff

UCU has won over £1m compensation for 143 former Ulster University employees after an industrial tribunal criticised the 'sham' redundancy process. The tribunal found that the UCU was not only deliberately kept in the dark, but actively misled by senior management at the university.

Supporting academics at risk

Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics) has a launched a new fundraising appeal aimed at UK university staff. See also this video message from Jon Snow. 

University of Brighton UCU fight off redundancies threat

Solidarity and determination won the day at University of Brighton and management have now withdrawn the threat of compulsory redundancies following a series of strike days. Congratulations are due to the branch and its members for this excellent victory which you can read more about here. 

May They Stay - day of solidarity with EU colleagues

The London First EU Solidarity Campaign is organising a show of support for EU colleagues on Wednesday 13 December at 8am in Trafalgar Square. For more information and to register, visit the Facebook page.



Last updated: 8 December 2017