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In the news: 18 May

Deal agreed for union recognition at Coventry University Group

Following a hard fought campaign that saw support from across the UK, Coventry University Group has agreed to allow UCU to represent staff. UCU will now be able to formally represent academic staff on key issues including pay and working conditions.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt told the Coventry Observer: 'I'm pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement that grants academic staff at the CU campuses the union recognition they have campaigned so long for. We hope that this will be the start of constructive industrial relations in those campuses and we thank everyone who has supported this campaign from the start.'


Pay deal agreed at Sandwell College worth over 6% by 2020

UCU members at Sandwell College have secured a bumper pay deal worth over 6% by 2020. Members had been due to walk out on strike this week but action was suspended on Monday as an agreement was reached that will see pay rise and the establishment of a 'joint working group' to look at working practice and staff wellbeing.

Speaking to FE Week UCU regional official Anne O'Sullivan said: 'This agreement is a great outcome for all concerned. It ensures consistent salary growth for the coming years, and should set an example to other colleges currently in dispute over pay.'


Hull College staff stage two-day walkout over job cuts

Hull College UCU members were out on strike again this week in a dispute over plans to cut hundreds of jobs.  Staff were joined by local MP Emma Hardy who made a speech on the picket line calling for more support for further education.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, told the BBC: 'These job cuts would be devastating for staff, students and the local community. We urge the college management to put an urgent stop to these plans and work with us to explore better alternatives which protect jobs and learning opportunities.'


Epping Forest College strikes

Staff at Epping Forest College joined those in Tower Hamlets and Hackney on strike this week in an ongoing row over pay. UCU regional official, Una O'Brien, said: 'Strike action is always a last resort, but staff at Epping Forest College clearly feel they have been left with no alternative having seen their pay held down for years.'


Durham University scraps 9 month contracts

Following an online campaign by casual staff and a formal request from UCU, Durham University this week announced plans to scrap the use of nine-month contracts for teaching staff.

The university had previously employed many teaching staff on nine-month contracts that meant they were not paid for preparatory work undertaken over the summer months.

Speaking to the Northern Echo, UCU regional support official, Jon Bryan, said: 'The move will mean more security for staff and we will continue to work closely with the university on the other issues facing staff on insecure contracts.'

Last updated: 18 May 2018