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March, 2016:

When is a pay rise not a pay rise ?

When the pay rise offered is so low that it does not even keep up with the increased cost of living.

That is precisely what has happened to staff working in higher education in every year from 2009 to 2013. Only in 2014, when UCU members took significant and sustained action in the face of yet another real-terms pay cut was a better offer forthcoming from your employers.   Read more …

HE pay index 2009-2015

pay poster

Update on the (anti-)Trade Union Bill

Friends from the local region of UNISON have produced a very helpful briefing on the state of the Trade Union Bill as of Friday 11th March:

Trade Union Bill Briefing

On Wednesday 16th March, the government suffered a significant defeat in the House of Lords, as three motions that sought to remove parts of the Bill (on political funding, electronic ballots and facilities time) were passed overwhelmingly.

The fight against the Bill, which would severely restrict the ability of workers in the UK to defend their pay and conditions, goes on.

Refugee Solidarity: What’s Going on This Week? (Lots!)

As the refugee crisis worsens, and while our university senior management continue to avoid supporting refugees in the UK, the fight for refugee rights in Bath and further afield continues. There is lots going on this week. Please have a read through the below to see what you can get involved with:

1) CREATE: Yarl’s Wood Protest Banner Making Session

Tue, 8th March, 6.15 pm
Chancellor’s Building 3.7

To mark International Women’s Day, University of Bath Amnesty Society are holding a banner and sign making workshop in preparation for Saturday’s protest outside Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre (see below). All welcome!

2) ORGANISE: Bath Welcomes Refugees Meeting

Tue, 8th March, 7 pm
BRLSI, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN.

This meeting of Bath Welcomes Refugees will focus on the support being given to refugees settled in Bath and the help needed from local residents (including University staff and students). We will also be discussing training and how to effectively support solidarity efforts in Calais.

3) LOBBY: Scholarships for Refugees

Wed, 9th March, 3 pm
Outside East Building

Despite a massive call from students and staff to create scholarships for refugees in the UK, the University of Bath senior management team continue to resort to gestures instead of meaningful action. Students and staff will be lobbying University of Bath Court, asking them to push for an urgent review of the inadequate response. Please join us from 3 pm outside East Building on Wednesday.

4) PROTEST: Bath Goes to Shutdown Yarl’s Wood

Sat, 12th March, 9.30 am
Leaving from Riverside Coach Park

Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre holds 400 women who have committed no crime but to seek asylum in the UK. They are detained indefinitely, lose contact with the outside world, and many have suffered violence and other abuses. Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts, Bath Against Cuts and University of Bath Amnesty Society are running a coach to join others from around the country to protest the treatment of women in Yarl’s Wood and other detention and “immigration removal” centres. The coach will leave the centre of Bath on Saturday morning and return in the evening. Tickets (£8 unwaged/£10 wages) can be bought online. More information: Facebook event.

5) DONATE: Support Refugees in Calais

Three PhD students, Karlijn, Tamsyn and Alaa, recently volunteered in the refugee camp in Calais, where they witnessed the desperate situation that people there are in. They want to continue supporting refugees in Calais, who are currently facing additional pressure as a result of the actions of the French police. They have almost raised their £1500 target – please help them go beyond it by donating online. All donations will go to Help Refugees charity, who will use your money to buy necessary food and clothes for the camp. For more information, see their Facebook event.

6) DONATE: Fundraising for Bath Welcomes Refugees

Two members of the Bath UCU committee, Chris Roche and Kim Luetchford, are running the Bath Half Marathon to promote Bath Welcomes Refugees and Labour Behind the Label. You can sponsor them and see other ways to get involved at their fundraising page.

If you would like to get involved with any of the above initiatives and actions, or are interested in setting up your own, don’t be shy, get in touch – the more of us who get actively involved, the more effective we will be.