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October, 2013:

Strong support in Bath for national fair pay campaign


Research and teaching staff, postgrads, catering staff, professors, cleaners, undergraduate students, technicians, admin staff all joined the pickets today in a strong show of support for an end to greed at the top and zero hours/minimum wage at the bottom of  the University of Bath’s growing pay divide.  it’s the same story across the country, but nowhere more so than Bath, where the VC took a 25% pay rise last year as the University moved to the top of the minimum wage and zero hours leagues.  For photos of today’s action see @ucubath.

Working to contract starts Friday 1st November.

One of the highlights of the morning was when we were joined by Robert Brinkworth from the Bath Trades Council and members of the Fire Brigades Union.

FAIR PAY IN HE: preparing for Thursday’s strike action

hedispute_unitedforeducation_lg.miniINFORMATION ABOUT THURSDAY’S ACTION
Why we are striking: 10 reasons to take industrial action for fair pay

The three unions taking action on Thursday have written a letter to the new University Chancellor expressing our concern at the moral vacuum in the university’s leadership.  We received this reply

There will be pickets on the three main entrances to the University from 7.30.   These are Convocation Avenue, Quarry Road and 2 South. If you can help with picketing please contact
or just join us there.

We also need people to leaflet students at the main bus stops in town
from 8.30 on Thursday.  If you can help with this contact



UCU Fighting Fund.   UCU will support its members who face financial
hardship as a result of taking strike action.  Please contact one of the
branch officers for more information.   You can also contribute to the
fund here


Depending on the employers’ response, we may be called on to take
further strike action.

From Friday 1st November we are being called on to work to contract. We
will call a campus meeting about this next week.


TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will speak at a UCU rally outside
Senate House, Bristol University at 11 am on Thursday.

Twitter  @ucu   #fairpayinFE

We’ve had enough of this – strike on Thursday for an end to pay cuts and job insecurity

“As a long serving member of UoB staff, I am joining the
union as I am distressed about pay levels falling so far behind others
within the institution and also across the HE sector in the UK.”

statement from one of UCU’s newest recruits in Bath


Research staff are not ‘disposable tools’

Bath routinely sacks many of its research staff at the end of their ‘fixed term’ and employs many more on zero hours contracts.   The strike on 31st October is not only about pay – it is also about improving job security for researchers and other staff.  UCU is appealing to research staff to join the strike this Thursday to put pressure on employers to stop treating them as disposable tools’.   More …

REF survey highlights widespread concerns

UCU has published a report based on around 7000 responses to a survey carried out in the summer.   Responses were received from staff across academic grades and in 153 Higher Education institutions (HEIs), demonstrating the strength of feeling on the REF among academic staff in the UK. (more…)

Misleading Newsnight story on Universities Pension Scheme

BBC Newsnight carried a story on  24th October suggesting there is a big hole in the USS pension fund and it will have to be filled by increased student fees.   To say this is misleading is an understatement.   For a fuller examination of the ‘facts’ in the BBC story see Dennis Leech (Warwick University and UCU) response.


“The real wages of academics have fallen by 13% since 2008, one of the
largest sustained wage cuts any profession has suffered since the Second
World War”  (Will Hutton)

Volunteers needed for picket duty on 31st October.   Contact your local branch at

Strike FAQs.


Strike on 31st October – join the action here

With employers showing no signs of giving us the kind of pay rise they have just received themselves, plans for strike action on 31st October are going ahead.   YOU DO NOT NEED TO INFORM ANYONE IN ADVANCE IF YOU INTEND TO JOIN THE STRIKE ACTION.  There will be a planning meeting on Thursday 24th October 12.15 – 1 pm in 1E2.4. Please call in even if for a few minutes to pick up materials and volunteer for jobs that need doing. Keep in touch with local information on this blog and with national developments at UCU.

BANES Citizen’s Advice Bureau under threat – sign petition here

Cuts to third sector organisations have been harsh over the past
few years and while reductions have been made in Bath and North East
Somerset none have been so severe as the cuts which are intended for
the next financial year (more…)

Bath bosses get 10% as three unions call strike for October 31st

Following the recent ballot of members which supported the call for strike action in support of the joint trade union claim on pay and pay-related matters, UCU, UNISON and Unite are calling on members to take action on October 31st unless employers make a significant increase to the 1% offer for 2013.

The University of Bath, which already has one of the highest paid Vice Chancellors in the land has responded to this news by revealing that the Vice Chancellor and some of the other high earners in the University will receive an increase in their remuneration of just under 10%.

Bath is already the heaviest user of zero hours contracts in England, and employs more staff on the minimum wage than any other university.

The employers are sitting on surpluses of over £1 billion which they have accumulated by cutting the value of our pay by 13% since 2009. There is no evidence that Vice Chancellors will put a stop to this trend so we have to take action now.