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Looking back and looking ahead to 2014

IMG_0587Students join members of UCU, UNISON and Unite in one of the many protests to win support for the campaign for Fair Pay in HE.

A round-up of national and local news for UCU members at the University of Bath

NATIONAL NEWS: Fair pay in HE campaign to escalate in New Yearstopthesqueeze

 

 We estimate that about 10% more people took part in the second one day strike on 3rd December.  There is no sign that members of the three trade unions resisting a fifth year of pay cuts are prepared to accept the miserable 1% increase they will give us this month.  Not while they are sitting on over £1 billion surpluses, and not while they are awarding themselves fat pay rises.

UCU has set out plans for stepping up the campaign in the new year as follows:

  • Continue to work to contract alongside other industrial and associated activity – up until marking sanctions are implemented
  • Work toward a one day strike in early February with other HE union(s)
  • Branch briefings across the country to take place at the end of January
  • Two-hour strikes targeted at main teaching hours to take place once per week from 20 January
  • Marking sanctions to be implemented in late April.

This escalating strategy is designed to give the employers the maximum opportunity to improve their current offer, maintain the visibility of the campaign, retain the unity of all the trade unions and, if the employers will not budge, to cause significant disruption to university life.

LOCAL NEWS: building a campaigning branch

A well attended Annual General Meeting of the local UCU branch on 9th December received reports on the year just ended from the Branch President which gives a good overview of how busy it has been and some of the highs and lows of the year.  There were also reports from the Treasurer and Membership Secretary.   The branch committee was re-elected and the meeting adopted a set of objectives for the coming year which are:

  • negotiating reduced use of insecure contracts of all kinds – zero hours, variable hours, casual.  We are actively supporting the workshop for casual members and staff in Bristol on 22 January
  • all teaching work to be paid at Grade 7 or above
  • a ration of 10:1 for the pay of the Vice Chancellor and the lowest paid member of staff in the University
  • social spaces for staff to relax and eat own food away from where you work

The last two of these were matters we raised at UCU National Congress in 2012 and 2013 and are now national policy.

To achieve these we need a stronger branch so we aim to

  • increase UCU membership to over 50% of staff eligible
  • improve the paid time allowed by HR for trade union activities, from  0.6 FTE to 1.0 FTE
  • appoint three new reps for recruitment, campaigns and anti-casualisation

The branch made a start by electing two new reps, for anti-casualisation and recruitment.  With universities, including Bath, moving to consolidate their position as leaders in the use of casual contracts, it’s good news that we have two new activists eager to work on your behalf to protect and improve our terms and conditions of work.

YOUR BRANCH COMMITTEE

President (Marie Morley)
Vice‑president (Michael Carley)

Treasurer (Tim Barrett)
Secretary (Hedley Bashforth)
Membership Secretary (Katy Jordan)

Equality rep (Mark Baldwin)
Health and Safety convenor (Michael Carley)
Casework coordinator  VACANT
Learning rep (Theo Papadopoulos)
Environmental rep (Hartmut Logemann)
Pensions rep (James Davenport)
Anti-casualisation rep Kate Seaman
Recruitment officer/rep Keir Mobbs
Campaigns rep  VACANT
Student Liaison rep VACANT

WHAT CAN YOU DO ?

  • Take on one of the vacant posts on the Branch Committee – contact Branch Secretary if you want to know more
  • Become a department contact – acting as first port of call for members who want help and support, distrbuting information
  • Recruit a new member – send them this link to JOIN UCU
  • Put up a poster
  • Stand up for yourself – and call for support and advice from us if you need it
  • Contribute to the strike fund that will be used to make sure that nobody is stopped from supporting our action because they can’s afford to lose pay.

  If we build a stronger local branch we can win our national dispute over fair pay and make a difference to our terms and conditions here in Bath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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