Boycott Leicester

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Fri 28 May

The Friday email: 28 May 2021

USS: find out how proposed cuts will affect you 

Universities UK (UUK), the body representing higher education (HE) employers, is proposing severe cuts to University Superannuation Scheme (USS) benefits so today we've launched this modeller which shows any member of staff in USS how the changes will affect their pension. Just input your date of birth and salary details then share how the cuts impact you by tweeting the results with #NotTodayUUK. We have defeated similar attacks on our pensions in the past and we can do it again but we need to build awareness of what is at stake so please share the modeller link widely.

Read all the latest on USS here.

University of Liverpool strike action: #FightForHealthJobs 

Around 1,300 staff at the University of Liverpool have begun three weeks of strike action in a fight over cuts to jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences. Staff have organised digital picket line registrations and socially distanced physical pickets each day. Jo Grady said 'If these cuts go through, they would damage student learning, damage research, and have long lasting negative consequences for staff throughout the sector.'

Please send messages of support to University of Liverpool UCU branch president Anthony O'Hanlon.

Havant and South Downs College dispute

UCU members at HSDC, along with colleagues in NEU, have entered a trade dispute with the college.  HSDC is in a financial crisis due to failure of management and governance by the college. UCU members recognise that due to FE commissioner intervention, HSDC is obligated to resolve its finances. However our members are dealing with the consequences of the failures through redundancies and pay cuts. UCU members have been outraged that the principal has accepted a £10k pay rise (including bonus), whereas HSDC has reneged on a pay agreement with UCU, with an promised 1.5% increase still outstanding. UCU and NEU are seeking urgent negotiations with management about the crisis.

University of Sheffield: #SaveSheffieldArchaeology

University of Sheffield is threatening to close a world-leading archaeology department. despite an international outcry that has been covered by the BBC, the Guardian. Staff and students held a rally this week and have been in touch with local politicians and heritage partners. Sheffield UCU and the other campus unions are determined to resist the closure plans, which would affect academic, technical and professional services staff in the department. Find out more here and sign and share the petition.

Boycott University of Leicester: keep up the pressure 

Please help keep up the pressure on the rogue management at University of Leicester who seem hell-bent on damaging education and sacking staff. Respect the global academic boycott and find out what else you can do to stand up for our colleagues here.

UCU members fighting back

UCU branches across the UK are fighting to defend jobs and conditions and you can read our roundup of local disputes here.

Parliamentary motion on university redundancies 

Universities across the country are making staff redundant. Please encourage your MP to add their support to this parliamentary motion calling on employers stop the job cuts. 

Climate and sustainability update  

There has been a great deal of work carried out in the past few months in relation to our work towards tackling the climate emergency. Find out more here about our preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-26) including our new campaign and model claim for branches: 'decarbonise and decolonise 2030' and our forthcoming free member continuing professional development (CPD) workshops.     

'Academic Freedom in the Digital University'

Researchers at the University of Lincoln's School of Education have launched a new survey entitled 'Academic Freedom in the Digital University'. It looks at how metrics and the culture of continuous evaluation mediate power relations between academic staff and higher education institutions. The survey has been designed as part of an ongoing UCU initiative which is designed to provide improved help and guidance for UCU members in respect to their academic freedom rights and responsibilities. You can fill in the survey here.   

Love our academic-related, professional services staff: more than just a lecturers' union

UCU has organised a month of events focusing on the work of academic-related and professional services staff, with a launch event on Tuesday 15 June at 1pm. You can find out more about the events, and register to participate here.

Last updated: 28 May 2021