UCU

Industrial news in brief

Security staff at the University of Leicester are currently in dispute with management, who wish to cut their working week to 35 from 37 hours, with the loss of two hours’ pay. Effectively this works out to be about £800 per year. A large sum for relatively low paid workers but a tiny sum for the university, especially when the team they are targeting is very small. A consultative ballot was held last week where 100% turnout achieved 100% in favour of industrial action. This, from the 100% unionised team, should send a very clear message to the bosses that a cut in wages will not be tolerated...

Industrial news in brief

GMB and Unison picket lines covered Glasgow on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 October in a two-day strike by City Council employees. A lunchtime demonstration on the first day of the strike also saw four thousand people march through Glasgow to a rally in front of the City Chambers. It was the biggest strike for equal pay in British history. The target was years of pay discrimination against City Council women employees, resulting from the Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) which was introduced and defended by successive Labour administrations The then Labour-controlled Council rejected the...

Industrial news in brief

Further Education (FE) college workers are holding a national week of action from 15-19 October. The week of action over FE funding involves the FE lecturers′ union the UCU, plus other unions including Unison, Unite, GMB, NEU, NUS, TUC, and ASCL. The week will also involve a march, rally and lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 17 October (as Solidarity went to press). FE funding has been cut by around 30% since 2009. This has resulted in fewer teaching hours, a drastic reduction in adult education courses, and a real-terms pay cut of 25% for staff — college teachers now earn £7000 less on average...

Worker activists meet to build solidarity

Activists from the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), United Voices of the World (UVW), UCU, Unite, RMT, Bectu, and other unions and workers’ organisations came together for the “How To Win At Work” conference on Saturday 18 August, hosted by the left-wing think tank New Economics Foundation. The culmination of a project aimed at linking up the struggles of “precarious” workers such as cleaners, bar workers, restaurant workers, delivery couriers and others, the conference saw activists take part in workshops on the basics of workplace organising and planning workplace action...

HE pay ballot new test for UCU

On 29 June, UCU confirmed that, between August and October this year, it will ballot HE members for industrial action over pay. This follows a consultative members’ ballot on whether to accept the 2% pay rise offered by the Universities and Colleges’ Employers Association (UCEA). On a 47.7% turnout, 82% of UCU members rejected the offer and 65% said they would be prepared to take industrial action. Additionally, a Special Higher Education Sector Conference (SHESC) was held on 21 June, following requests from at least 20 UCU HE branches to discuss the United Superannuation Scheme (USS) dispute...

Officials suppress the rank-and-file at UCU Congress

The congress of the University and College Union (UCU) on 30 May to 1 June was repeatedly shut down by officials to prevent discussion of motions criticising the General Secretary, Sally Hunt. The 14 days of strikes this year to defend USS pensions in 65 universities, and a coordinated wave of local campaigns in further education colleges, have boosted union membership and pushed forward a new generation of activists. But in mid-March Hunt attempted to sell members a raw deal from the employers to halt the strikes, only to be pushed back by a resounding “no” from branch delegates and a...

Post-grads as workers?

We should welcome the opportunities Labour’s mooted National Education Service (NES) presents to transform education. One area that especially deserves attention is postgraduate and early career research. Graduate teaching assistants, hourly paid tutors, and other precarious education workers would benefit immediately from Labour’s policy commitments on workplace rights, including their commitments to repeal the 2016 Trade Union Act and to ban zero hours contracts. Nevertheless, abolishing tuition fees and providing maintenance grants at the postgraduate level can only go so far to provide...

UCU branches should keep pushing for democracy

Comment by a Workers' Liberty UCU member on UCU Congress can be read here. Jo Grady, UCU activist and Lecturer in Employment Relations at the University of Sheffield, spoke to Solidarity about the USS dispute, UCU Congress and where next? Solidarity: Where are things with USS at the moment? In April members of UCU voted to accept the offer that was on the table. This involved keeping the arrangements we currently have for the time being and installing a Joint Expert Panel (JEP) which has equal member representation from UCU and UUK. It was not entirely clear what the remit of that panel would...

Unite UCU walk out is abuse of trade union principles

The actions of full time officials of the UCU in walking out of the union's Congress is effectively a dispute with their own members. It is unprecedented in the history of British trade unionism and an abuse of trade union principles by the Unite branch to which UCU full-time officials, including General Secretary Sally Hunt, belong. The initial walkout was in response to a motion (B19), from the University of Sheffield branch, calling for the establishment of a democracy review within the union. This had originally been left off the order paper but when delegates voted to put it back on the...

FE strikes win a pay rise

UCU members at Further Education (FE) colleges in Hull, Sandwell, and across London have been on strike over a variety of dates in May over pay and jobs. As a result of the strike management at Sandwell college have offered a pay rise equating to 6.45% over three years. The deal has been endorsed by UCU, as well as by Unison. The deal also includes an increase in the minimum pay level to bring all workers onto the voluntary Living Wage, and the establishment of a joint working group to look at working practices, including staff well being. FE colleges can set their own pay rates, though there...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.