Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 13th January 2015

1) General Meeting, Wednesday, 20th January, 1pm-2pm, Arts Complex LT2

Items on the agenda include: Progression and Promotions (pathways 2 and 3 especially); Prevent Duty, Bristol UCU Green Paper response, Workload and Well-Being Survey – Summary of Responses.

2) Bristol and Bath UCU Green Paper Statement & From REF to TEF

Reps from Bristol and Bath UCU met recently and drafted a short statement on the Green Paper, available as a blog post.

The statement has gone forward to UCU Head Office to inform UCU’s submission to the Green Paper Consultation.

Don’t forget our Bristol UCU Green Paper-themed From REF to TEF event, Thursday@17:00 next week.

3) UCU’s National Priorities

Given the new year, it is probably worth a reminder of UCU’s 2015/6 priorities.

These include working with the TUC to campaign against the Trade Union Bill currently going through parliament, the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and other regulatory issues such as making it easier for private providers to enter and leave the higher education ‘market’.

To quote Sally Hunt, ‘[a]s regards the TEF, the minister has said that in his view teaching staff in universities have low status and that for some staff students are very much a second order priority. In all my travels around the country meeting UCU members, I feel qualified to say that he is right about the first point. Teaching staff along with other academic and professional staff do have low status, largely because so many find themselves in insecure employment, with little if any chance of progression while even permanent staff have seen their salary fall in real terms by around 15% from 2009’

4) Kill The Trade Union Bill

South West TUC has circulated ‘A Force for Good’, spelling out the dangers of the current Trade Union Bill. Bristol City Council, alongside others such as Plymouth, publicly opposes the Bill. Bristol Mayor George Ferguson has called the proposals ‘unnecessary’

For Labour peer and University of Bath Pro-Chancellor Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, ‘[t]his Bill is an unacceptable attack on trade unions …We are determined to do all we can to stop this Bill because it’s going to erode the rights people have fought for over the last century’.

5) The Truth About The Junior Doctors Dispute

As junior doctors take strike action, the BMA has published an excellent short briefing, detailing the main issues of their current dispute.

6) South West News – Regional Committee, Saturday, 30th January, UCU Regional Exeter Office, 11:00-15:30

The main item on this meeting’s agenda will be the setting up of a Black Members’ Group here in the South West. Lunch is provided

David Muritu, NEC Member and Chair of the national Black Members’ Standing Committee, will kick off the session from 11am, offering practical advice on how branches can better support and engage black members.

If you would like to attend, contact Regional Chair Steve Allen,, or Rebecca Richards,, by 22nd January.

7) UCU Professional Development Courses at Bristol

We are pleased to host two UCU continuing professional development (CPD) courses:

Classroom management, 10:00-16:00, 21st January 2D2 Priory Rd Complex.

This one day course will help you develop strategies for managing student behaviour in the classroom.

Register for free:

Speaking up: voice care for educators, 10:00 – 16:00, 4th February, Wills Reception Room.

A practical and interactive one-day workshop designed to help you find, use, enjoy and maintain your voice and use it to best advantage in a teaching environment.

Register for free: