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Intellectual property

Pay talks stall but UCU makes national and local gains for members

Last week’s branch meeting heard a detailed report from our delegates to UCU national congress, and also news of a couple of wins for union members nationally and locally.

The employers’ pay offer remains at 1%, with slightly higher increases for those in Grades 1 and 2.   UCU is recommending members to reject this offer, which consolidates our 15% loss of pay since 2009.  Members will be consulted on the offer in an e-ballot starting this week

Nationally UCU have defeated an attempt by the University of Warwick to create a new agency for hourly paid teaching staff, TeachHigher.   Terms and conditions of employment would have been even worse than those on offer to hourly paid staff currently.  Their plan was to roll this out nationally, so its collapse is a significant victory.

Locally UCU is continuing to seek improvements to the terms and conditions of casualised staff at the University of Bath, and there will be a further meeting with university managers on this later in June.

The university has withdrawn its plan to change the way that lecture recording is organised.  The existing system, where staff opt IN to recording rather than opting OUT, will continue.  This follows strong representations from local UCU reps.

UCU has won concessions for some of our student members who are resident tutors.   Those who are Tier 4 visa holders were facing the prospect of losing all their opportunities for paid work but following a productive dialogue with university managers this has been mitigated.

UCU is supporting the anti-austerity demonstration in London on 20th June.   There are coaches from Bath.

 

Staff and students express concerns about loss of classroom privacy

University managers have been pushing for changes to existing policy on recording of lectures.  In a poll of staff, 88% are in favour of keeping the existing arrangements, which permit the use of recorded lectures, but leave the decision to individual members of staff.  Many are concerned about the loss of classroom privacy, as well as the problems associated with intellectual property rights.   Students are also concerned about the loss of privacy.   For an informed point of view see the blog post from Prof. Charles Crook of Nottingham Uni

Management want more control of recording of lectures

UCU members have expressed support for the existing policy on the recording of lectures and other teaching sessions. Currently staff make decisions about what is and is not recorded, and many make use of the facility. But now senior managers are saying that they want to record everything unless we sign a form saying we don’t want them to. Branch officers have referred the matter to UCU’s legal department.