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March, 2013:

University Chancellor warns high earners as MP attacks ‘eyewatering’ VC salary

Outgoing University Chancellor Lord Tugendhat has warned of the dangers of the growing pay gap between high earners and the rest of society.   The Chancellor said in a lecture on Trust and Transparency in Public Life and Business to mark University Founders Day that leaders risk losing their moral authority if their pay and pay increases outrun those of the people who work for them.   You can read the transcript of Lord Tugendhat’s lecture here

Meanwhile Andrew Murrison MP has responded to news of the Bath VC’s ‘eyewatering’ 25% pay increase by telling the Chair of Bath’s Remuneration Committee Peter Troughton that he agrees with UCU.

Casualisation petition launched

anticasLast week’s day of action against casualisation drew support mainly from the growing number of casual workers on campus. While it is encouraging that casual workers are joining UCU, the campaign needs more support from members who see their positions as ‘secure’. Casualisation threatens the security of all employees, so all should join the action.

We have launched a charter for the treatment of casualised staff, which is attached to this message. Over 100 staff have already signed the petition in support of the charter, and you can help by

– downloading the petition and asking others in your Department to sign

– signing the petition here and passing the link on to others

The petition will be presented at the next meeting in May of the Joint Academic Consultation and Negotiation Committee, and the charter will form the basis of our negotiations with HR.

Casual hourly paid staff

Dear colleague

We the undersigned members of staff at Bath University support the Charter for the treatment of casualised staff
We are seeking a commitment from our employer on the following:
1. A fair rate of pay for all hours worked by hourly-paid staff including sufficient time for preparation, marking, administration, student support and scholarly activity.
2. Annual pay rises and incremental progression for all staff.
3. Working conditions for staff on casualised contracts that are comparable to those on permanent, full-time contracts.
4. Increased job security for staff currently on casualised contracts – transferring hourly-paid to full-time or fractional permanent contracts,
and fixed-term staff to permanent contracts.
5. Ensuring systems are in place that significantly reduce the risk of redundancies for all staff including those on hourly-paid, fixed-term contracts or whose posts are underpinned by fixed-term external funding eg redundancy avoidance committees, effective redeployment and retraining policies.
6. No zero-hours contracts to be used.
7. Ensuring staff are employed on contracts that state they are employees and not give bogus self-employment status.
8. Fair treatment and pay for postgraduates who teach.
9. Support for ongoing access to professional development opportunities.
10. For staff that leave the sector, increased support for careers outside HE eg specialist career support and training.

[signature]

55 signatures

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UCU NEC election results

Marie Morley narrowly missed out in her first attempt to secure a place on UCU’s National Executive. Marie was the last to be eliminated under the voting system. Election results are here.

Austerity policies damage HE

Des Freedman of Goldsmiths UCU spoke to our branch last year.  He now asks for our support for a letter to be published in Times Higher or Guardian, opposing austerity policies and their impact on HE.(more…)

UCU backs libel reform – contact your MP now

UCU is backing the libel reform bill, because UK libel law has been
used against academics.    UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt has sent a letter of support  to the Libel Law Reform Group, but Bath UCU member Joanna Bryson says members need to act this week to stop damaging changes to the reform …  (more…)

The cost of knowledge – campaign for open access publishing

Academics have protested against Elsevier’s business practices for years with little effect. These are some of their objections:  read more

UCU action against casualisation Wednesday March 6th. Join us !

anticasOver 100 casual teaching staff responded to our brief survey of changes to their pay and conditions.  We highlight some of their concerns in our latest newsletter.  As a result of what the casual teaching staff told us we are supporting the UCU National Day of Action against Casualisation this Wednesday 6th March.  We will be outside the Library from 12-2 – join us there.

University of Phoenix – US private university placed on probation

Problems mount at the US flagship private university … read more