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November, 2013:

Bath students call for support for Tuesday’s strike

Students support for our campaign for fair pay in higher education is growing across the country. In Bath, an open letter calls on the Students Union to follow the example of students unions in Bristol and elsewhere by supporting our strike action next Tuesday.  Bath Chronicle has a feature on this breaking news.

Strike action brings fresh talks with employers

Today the employers said they would be prepared to talk to unions about the pay dispute.

This represents a real shift. It is the result of taking strike action and working to contract.   We have to keep up the pressure until the employers start listening to our demand for fair pay (more…)

Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to see things as they really are …

A message from someone new to the University …

I have only recently joined the staff at the University of Bath and have to say that I am appalled at what I have seen so far. Having attended the ‘Let’s Talk’ event yesterday, I believe that the Vice Chancellor would be much better employed as a politician given her consistent skill at deflecting questions surrounding contentious issues and refusing to provide tangible evidence that she will consider installing the minimum living wage for certain members of staff. (more…)

Further strike action on fair pay called for December 3rd

With employers refusing to budge on pay or any other matters, all three unions representing staff in HE are being called to take further strike action on December 3rd.   Some employers have already ‘imposed’ the 1% offer we rejected in our ballot in September.   UCU have responded to this by confirming that it makes no difference to the fact that we are still in dispute over pay and a range of pay-related matters.

There will be a local meeting for members on Wednesday 27th November in 3E2.4.   The three unions are also inviting students to a meeting on Monday 2nd December 1.15 (3E2.1) to explain our action.     The majority of our members supported the strike action on October 31st.   It is up to all of us to persuade the minority to support the action and to recruit new members so that the action is as effective as possible.

Working to contract: ask HR about it

We are still working to contract, and many members are asking what they can do if they are not sure what is in their contract.  Here’s a suggestion from St Andrews University UCU.   Write to HR asking for details so you can be sure you don’t overstep the mark.   Below is suggested text for a message to the Director of HR Ian Cheetham <>

To:  The Director of HR Re:  Working to Contract Pay Dispute

As a member of UCU who urges UCEA to reopen meaningful negotiations over the pay award I am participating in “Work to Contract” action.

To ensure that I meet my contractual obligations I would be grateful if you could forward to me all documents relevant to my employment with the University (e.g. Letters of appointment, terms and conditions, contracts and HERA assessments).  As you will understand it is important I get these documents urgently to ensure I am not in breach of my obligations.

In instances where these documents do not stipulate specific duties I may seek written clarification from my line manager to ensure there is no misunderstanding.  I will share this information with UCU who may use it both to advise me during the “work to contract” action and to conduct an equalities audit across UCU members.

Sincerely UCU Member Unit/Department/School

USS pension scare stories are ‘overblown’

Financial Times 10 November 2013

Let’s Rest … starts this week


Party time ! Thursday 12th December

Members and friends from Bath, Bath Spa and Bath College will be joining up for our Christmas party at the Brewhouse, James St West  on Thursday 12th December.  Full details to follow and tickets on sale next week .. .

Advance notice of local annual general meeting. Monday 9th December

This will take place on Monday 9th December 1 pm 8W2.5.      Refreshments provided.
All members are invited.  Please show your support for the local branch and its committee members by coming. (more…)

What the new University Chancellor says about fair pay in HE

The three campus trade unions have been in touch with the new University Chancellor about the Fair Pay in HE campaign.   See his private secretary’s reply to our letter and coverage of this in the Bath Chronicle.