Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 16th March

1) The Prevent Duty at Bristol

Thanks to everyone who signed the letter to the Board of Trustees:

2) 2016/17 Pay Campaign

UCU’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) has endorsed the proposed pay campaign timeline.

Unless we receive an offer worth consulting members about by 19th May, then we will enter industrial action from the week beginning the 23 May (assuming a positive ballot result).

Our pay claim of 5% has recently been submitted and the first negotiating meeting takes place next Tuesday.

Key facts about our pay and conditions:

  • The decline in our pay since 2009/10 could be as high as 17.5%
  • The total difference in average pay received by male and female academics is a staggering £1.3 billion per year
  • In 2014/15, the average V-C salary was £272K – an average increase of 3% and 6.7 times the average pay of their staff
  • 67% of research staff are still on fixed-term contracts, a third of these are for 12 months or less
  • Over the last six years capital expenditure has increased by 18.6%, income by 23.9%, surpluses by 125.4% and reserves up by 72.3%
  • We are working harder and longer than ever!

3) Key Points – Bristol UCU General Meeting, 2nd March

Pay Campaign & Pay Claim

  • Guest speaker, Michael Carley, Bath UCU and UCU South West Regional Chair, highlighted the different strategy and time-frame for this current dispute: UCU’s trying to get things in motion before the Summer exam period.
  • This is fundamentally different from the usual schedule in which the campaign leading to industrial action stops in Summer before a ballot in late Autumn/ Winter.
  • Also, external examiners would now also be in dispute with the institutions they do external examining for. An exam board cannot run without external examiners.
    Michael noted during the pensions dispute, as a potential cost, employers budgeted for 3.5% + RPI, roughly 5%.

University Vision and Strategy


  • Jamie Melrose, Tracey Hooper, and Scott Greenwell were approved as our three delegates to UCU Congress 2016.
  • The next General Meeting will be the AGM scheduled for 11 May 2016, Arts Complex, LT3.

4) New “Anti-Lobbying” Regulation

Please sign the ‘exempt grants for academic research from new ‘anti-lobbying’ regulation’ petition:

The Cabinet Office has announced that a new ‘anti-lobbying’ clause will be included in all Government grants from May 2016. ‘It could stop scientists from, for instance, responding to government consultations and parliamentary inquiries, or calling on regulators to allow new areas of research’.

As David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, points out, this will have a ‘chilling impact’ for academics in receipt of government money.

5) Want To Improve Teaching Quality?

Everyone seems to be talking about the ‘quality’ of teaching in HE. Yet no one seems to ever ask staff themselves what they think. Thus UCU has teamed up with London Economics to give staff a voice in this debate:

Another survey? Sally Hunt UCU General Secretary says ‘I have lost count of the times I have presented evidence to politicians and employers using members’ surveyed views on topics like admissions policy, stress at work, professional development, casualisation and many more. So your individual contribution is vital’.

6) Refugees Welcome Here: Stand up to racism, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism & Fascism!, London, Assemble from 12:00, Saturday 19 March

Coaches from Bristol for the above event are leaving Bristol Saturday meeting. If you’d like to book a ticket, please visit the Eventbrite page below:

Coaches have been organised by UNITE Bristol Health branch

Pick up points:
Wells Rd (bottom end opposite the Co-op), 7.45am
Anchor Rd, near @Bristol BS1 5LL, 8.00am
Laura Place, Bath City BA2 4BL (approx.), 8.30am