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Branch meeting in Room: 3E 2.4 on Tuesday 18/02/2020 Time: 13:15-14:05

Dear Bath UCU Members,

This is advanced notice of:

  • An informal branch meeting in Room: 3E 2.4  on Tuesday 18/02/2020 Time: 13:15-14:05
  • To discuss the current negotiations, strike action and picket line duties.


We are entering the final days before scheduled strike action starts on Thursday 20th February. UCU have been negotiating with employers on pay and conditions. Negotiations are taking place over pensions with UCU, Universities UK, USS and the pensions regulator all in the room together. See the email sent by Dai Moon on Wednesday for more details.


The message coming out of yesterday’s briefings in London from the national negotiators, attended by branch delegate, is that the their negotiations are at a key point –“on a knife-edge”. They believe deals can be reached on both the pensions dispute and on pay and conditions (including workloads, gender gap, anti-casualisation). Employers representatives have moved father than they have before; progress has been made. But at this point a further push is needed to get us all there.


Here at Bath, we have developed a positive working relationship with senior management, shown in local negotiations over anti-casualisation that are ongoing. We welcome the role that our VC has taken to pressure employers to negotiate nationally. We also welcome the tone of emails to staff respecting the right to strike – a very different message to other institutions.


Critically, however, this is a national dispute. It has taken two previous strikes, with all the attached economic hardship and disruption, to end the deadlock with employers and to get into the current national negotiating position. We are where we are because of the action previously taken. The message coming loud and clear from negotiators is that they once again need our support. They need to be able to demonstrate that their fellow members are there in the room behind them, providing power to their elbows.


If deals cannot be reached before the 20th, as we all hope they can, the quickest route to reach one as quickly as possible is thus through a show of solidarity nationally. Quite simply, if we don’t turn up for them, they won’t have the negotiating clout they need to have, to secure a deal for all of us.


In practical terms, we will be providing further information on strike action and picket lines early next week.


For now:


All the best,


Keir Mobbs (UCU Bath branch secretary along with Mesar Hameed)


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