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branch minutes and documents

Pensions, workloads, and why we care about pay inequality

Your latest UCU Bath newsletter

And for latest news on action to protect USS pensions

Pensions ballot starts tomorrow – vote YES and YES to action

Employers are divided over the future of the USS pension scheme, with Warwick VC today making public his concerns about proposals to end the current scheme and transfer all risks to members.  Bath VC Glynis Breakwell, who sits on the board of USS, has not revealed Bath University’s view.

UCU members are now being balloted for strike action to defeat the proposals.  The ballot opens tomorrow, but members at Bath may not get their ballot papers untial a week later after Bath’s HR raised objections to the ballot process.

For more information go to the national UCU website and see the latest Bath UCU newsletter

Bath UCU Update: Tue 7 March

1. Branch Meeting – Mon 13 March, 1.30pm
2. LGBTQ Rights: Call Me Kuchu – Tue 7 March, 6.30pm
3. International Women’s Day in Bath – Wed 8 March
4. Refugees Welcome – Over £2,000 Raised!
5. Pay Inequality – Report from University Court
6. Why are Students Boycotting the NSS?
7. Panopto: serious breaches of confidentiality
8. Go Green Week – Mon 6-Fri 10 March
9. HE Bill Defeat for Government in Lords
10. Union Democracy – Elections & Branch Committee
11. New LGBTQ Group for Staff & PGRs
12. Refugee Solidarity – Collection for Calais


Bath UCU Update: Tue 14th Feb

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1. Pay Inequality – Lobby of Court (Thurs 23rd Feb)
2. #HE4Refugees
3. Support the NSS Boycott
4. Quotes of the Week:
5. Nominations for Committee Positions
6. UCU Elections 2017
7. Survey: Take Action on Racism
8. Other Upcoming Events:
– We Love Bath – Demo Against Cuts to Libraries, Arts & Social Care – Petition & Demo (TODAY)
– NHS in Crisis – You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til it’s Gone! (Thurs 16th Feb, 19:30)
– Educate, Agitate, Celebrate – Celebration of Migrants in the UK (Sat 18th Feb)
– One Day Without Us – Campaign to Support Immigrants in the UK (Mon, 20th Feb, 1 pm) (more…)

Bath UCU AGM 2016 Policy Motions

Members voted on four policy motions at our quorate AGM on Wednesday 14th December. The motions, detailed below, covered a range of topics: Welcoming Refugees to Bath, boycotts of the NSS and TEF, the loss of confidence in the Remuneration Committee over VC Pay, and affiliation to ‘Bath for Europe’. All motions were discussed and passed.

Motion 1: International students & Refugee Scholarships [Passed]

Bath SU has recently adopted a policy of support for international students in the form of scholarships for refugees who wish to study at Bath. Bath UCU expresses its full support for the SU policy. The policy includes an action for “SU Officers on University Senate submit a proposal and request a vote that ‘refugees are welcomed to the university through provision of scholarships'”. The branch will encourage members of UCU sitting on Senate to support this motion. The policy also references plans by students and staff to launch a crowdfund with the aim of opening up access to Higher Education for refugees. The branch encourages all members to contribute to the fund and will match the first £500 of contributions from members.

Motion 2: Boycott of the TEF and NSS [Passed]

In agreement with national UCU policy on supporting NUS opposition to the TEF and NSS, the local association offers its full support to Bath SU in its policy of joining twenty other students’ unions in supporting a boycott of NSS and the TEF. These measures are detrimental to higher education and staff and students are united in opposition to them. We encourage UCU members to support Bath SU in practical measures to end TEF and NSS and to take part in national action in support of these aims.

Motion 3: Fair Pay & University Remuneration Committee [Passed]

The local association notes the policy position taken by the University of Bath SU on transparency and fairness in staff and senior management pay, in particular the policy of rejecting use of Zero Hours Contracts, limiting executive pay to five times that of the lowest paid member of staff and the expression of no confidence in the remuneration committee. Staff have also lost confidence in the committee. We offer our full support to the SU in working towards the objective of transparent and fair pay for university staff and senior managers. In order to restore confidence, the remuneration committee must include democratically elected staff and student representatives and should be required to publish proper minutes and a list of Key Performance Indicators used to justify executive salaries.

Motion 4: Bath for Europe [Passed]

Bath UCU still believes that some form of membership of EU institutions is crucial for higher education and the success of Universities such as Bath. It therefore agrees to become an associate member of Bath for Europe (BfE) which is affiliated to Britain for Europe: a federation of local groups campaigning for the UK to remain in, or close to EU membership. The link with BfE will entitle UCU representatives to attend BfE events and propose its specific concerns for inclusion in BfE campaigns. In return, Bath UCU will keep its members informed of news, developments and events led by BfE.

Branch meeting Thursday 14th April 1.15 pm 1E.4

newsletter.april 16The main item for this meeting will be the ballot (opens 14 April) on action in support of the national pay claim.   Full details of the meeting are in the agenda papers.

See also the local newsletter for updates on pay, grading casualization and the VC’s latest part-time post.

Members call for more job security for hourly paid staff

A well attended members’ meeting on 25th February agreed to lodge a formal reference with our employer over its use of casual contracts.  The University of Bath was revealed as one of the country’s heaviest users of casual contracts for teaching and research, and despite an undertaking last October from the Vice Chancellor last to reduce its dependence on casual contracts we have seen no movement.

Our growing number of members who are hourly paid are looking for support from those on more secure contracts to win some improvements, and the branch has put its weight behind them.

The meeting also called on University managers to:

  • modify the University’s disproportionate’ response to the Prevent legislation
  • honour its 2007 agreement with UCU that staff on Grade 6 should progress to Grade 7
  • improve access for those with sensory and mobility impairments trying to get from the bus terminus to the Parade

Full report of this members’ meeting

Annual General Meeting Tuesday 8th December 1.15 pm

University of Bath UCU Annual General Meeting takes place next  TUESDAY 8th DECEMBER  1.15 PM  Wessex House Council Chamber.


If you wish to nominate yourself or another member (with their agreement) for any position please contact me before Tuesday.

There will be light refreshments from 1 pm, and after we have disposed of the routine business of the meeting we will have a chance to discuss the recent Green Paper on HE, which

  • threatens to put up tuition fees,
  • imposes a Teaching Excellence Framework that will have exactly the opposite effect and
  • creates a cowboys’ charter (‘provider exit’ will be permitted) for HE

We will be joined in that discussion by Jamie Melrose (University of Bristol UCU)

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.


Branch meeting Wednesday 22nd April 1.15 pm 1W2.104

Main items for discussion are the 2015 pay claim and the proposal by management to record all lectures.