Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 18th January 2017

1) General Meeting, Wednesday 25 January 2017 , 1.00pm – 2.00pm, Arts Complex LT3. Woodland Rd

We have a General Meeting Wednesday next week. A copy of the agenda is available [PDF].

On the agenda we have National Executive Committee elections, NSS boycott, change to voluntary severance scheme, report on branch priorities – workload, promotion & progression and gender equality and new branch rules.

2) National Executive Committee Elections – Michael Carley

Michael is from the University of Bath and is running for the National Executive Committee (NEC) as a South West HE NEC representative. He will be speaking at the General Meeting.

The NEC is an important national body, determining our national policy regarding Brexit for example.

Michael is running on a platform of representing South West HE concerns.

3) National Student Survey (NSS) Boycott

As you may have seen, Sally Hunt sent a message to all members (Update from UCU: NSS boycott, 13th December) stating our position as regards the National Union of Students’ campaign to boycott the NSS to halt the implementation of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

It is now UCU policy to ‘give full support, within the law, to NUS’s campaign’ to boycott the NSS. As a branch of the NUS, Bristol Students’ Union has decided to boycott.

We will have a motion at the General Meeting to determine our local position. Zoe Backhouse, Bristol SU Education Officer, will be writing shortly to you to explain Bristol SU’s position and campaign as regards the boycott.

4) Voluntary Severance Scheme

Bristol UCU branch officers believe the current voluntary severance scheme (VSS) that the University is offering to academics in the Faculties of Biomedical and Health Sciences is seriously flawed.

Contrary to past practice, the terms of the scheme are based on an offer of only 6 months pay, rather than the customary 12 months. Our view remains, therefore, that the terms of the scheme violate an established norm, with potentially detrimental consequences for UCU members throughout the institution.

Again, there will a motion at the General Meeting to determine our branch position.

5) Branch Priorities – Workload, Promotion & Progression and Gender Equality

This item on the agenda will be an update on the part of branch officers on our key branch priorities. These priorities form our response to the new Strategy.

6) New Branch Rules

The branch needs to approve new model rules. This should be a formality as there are no significant changes:

For your information:
Old Rules [PDF]
New Rules [PDF]

7) South West UCU Regional Committee, Saturday 21st January, 11am-3pm, UWE, Room 2A027, Frenchay Campus

Please note the next regional meeting for all South West branches is this Saturday.

Rob Goodfellow, the current UCU President, will be attending. He will be speaking about the current priorities of the UCU and he has also agreed to lead a session on using social media in a campaigning context.

Free lunch!

Please let Rebecca Richards – – know of attendance and any dietary or access requirements by 18th January.