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January, 2016:

Great victory for trade unions in Bath

Please see below a post from Bath Trades Union Council about an excellent result for recycling workers and Unite members in Bath.                          


Recycling workers, outsourced to Kier Ltd by Bath & NE Somerset Council, have been getting paid less than a Living Wage and £2/hour less than other workers doing a similar job a few miles away. Instead of passively moaning about their conditions, almost all of them joined Unite the union, balloted to strike and have been taking industrial action since the beginning of the year. They’ve been working to rule, refusing overtime and have taken several days of all out strike action. Members of Bath Trades Union Council went down to the picket line in Keynsham last week and it was militant and solid.

The Tory Council responded by trying to recruit scab labour from the local community, and were aided, quite disgracefully, by the BBC, who uncritically used their local news programmes to recruit workers to break the strike. It looked like this was going to go on for a while, and Bath Trades Union Council started putting together plans to collect for their strike fund…

But, faced with the threat of rolling strike action for months to come, a united work force and support from other trade unionists, Kier have backed down! Yesterday, the recycling workers in Unite were given a new pay offer of 9% backdated to July, another 6% this July and another 3% in July 2017. An 18% pay rise over three years, front loaded. Everyone will now be paid above a Living Wage.

In the current political climate, particularly after the TU Bill passes, local Trades Union Councils are going to be increasingly important for facilitating local union branch cooperation. Bath Uni UCU is affiliated to Bath Trades Union Council.


TEF: Bath and Bristol UCU branches oppose new Government push to privatise HE

Invitation: From REF to TEF: On the Government’s Plans for Higher Education, Thursday, 21st January 2016, 17:00-18:30, Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building

Dear Bath UCU Member,

Bristol UCU invites you to From REF to TEF: On the Government’s Plans for Higher Education, a panel discussion and Q&A on the future of Higher Education in the wake of the government’s recent proposals.


From REF to TEF provides a space to debate this direction of travel. What exactly do the Green Paper and coming White Paper mean for the notion of a University? What is to be done in the face of Jo Johnson’s ‘reform’ agenda?

Panellists include
• Sorana Vieru (NUS Vice President, Higher Education)
• Harriet Bradley (UWE and UCU NEC and HEC)
• Jessica Patterson, (PGR Rep, NCAFC)
• Tom Hickey (University of Brighton)


Statement from UCU branches at Universities of Bath and Bristol

We endorse comments circulated to branches in the UCU briefing on the Green Paper (November 2015).  However, we call on the HEC at its meeting on 13 January to make a clear statement of opposition to the Teaching Excellence Framework and the role it is intended to play in the further privatisation of higher education.  With HEFCE teaching grant now reduced to 5% of total HE income, we call on the HEC to respond to the consultation by calling for an increase in public spending on university teaching as the only way to guarantee teaching excellence. (more…)