Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 22nd March 2017

1) Timetabling and Staff Constraints

Thanks to everyone who contributed at the General Meeting last week on the new Staff Constraints Guidance, and the Timetabling Policy in general over the last month.

Following the General Meeting, branch officers have sent a letter [PDF] outlining the branch position. Our key point is a timetable to review the application of the Guidance over the course of its pilot year.

For further information, please see an earlier statement commenting on the proposed changes [PDF].

2) New UCU GS

Sally Hunt has been re-elected as UCU’s general secretary

The full result:

3) Brexit

UCU has teamed up with Bindmans to provide immigration law services for members worried about their right to work, or remain working, in the UK.

Download the new poster promoting the service [PDF]

4) HE Bill

‘University leaders… failed to stand up for the higher education sector’ with regard to the HE Bill. UCU GS Sally Hunt noted ‘given that staff and students overwhelmingly oppose the bill we have been disappointed that Universities UK (UUK) and GuildHE signed up to support plans which would so damage our sector’. These plans include using the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in the setting of student fees and international student numbers.

UUK and GuildHE, the two recognised representative bodies for UK Higher Education, both backed the Bill, prior to a raft of new amendments to the Bill such as ‘blocking plans for a crude rating of teaching quality, removing the link between teaching excellence and tuition fees, and ensuring any organisation awarding degrees must meet improved quality standards’.

In being fully prepared to sign off on the Bill and government policy, UUK – the body representing Bristol’s interests – jumped the gun (assuming its decision to back the bill was pragmatic rather than ideological). There was scope to challenge the Bill further, but UUK decided not to. Both UCU and NUS have been strongly lobbying for the new amendments.

5) LSE, Leeds and Brighton

Support the LSE Cleaners: cleaners at the London School of Economics (LSE) have returned a 100% yes vote for strike action. For more information:

No To The Sacker’s Charter!: The University of Leeds branch of UCU is in a formal dispute with the University on plans to make it easier to dismiss staff. For more information:

Brighton UCU is currently in dispute with the University of Brighton. The University is refusing to enter meaningful negotiations on the scrapping of promotions to Principal Lecturer, the downgrading of Lecturers to Demonstrators in the College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences and a slew of redundancies at the Grand Parade campus. For more information:

There is also a petition: