Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 18th October 2017

1) Me & UCU

UCU’s Me & UCU campaign is ongoing: free membership for postgraduates who teach:

Put a poster up in your office or School today [pdf]

2) USS Update

NB the e-ballot consultation closes TODAY.

Bristol UCU reps are attending a special UCU meeting on Thursday, 9th November.

Reps from all USS participating branches will be agreeing (or not) several recommendations and a motion proposed by UCU’s Higher Education Committee (HEC).

In short, the special meeting will be asked to endorse the following actions:

  • UCU write to Vice Chancellors and other Heads of USS institutions seeking a commitment from them that they will not support any detrimental changes to the current USS pension arrangements and to instruct their USS negotiators to do the same.
  • In the event of a positive consultative e-ballot result, UCU make preparations for a statutory ballot for industrial action.

3) UCU National Strategy

At the same 9th November meeting, UCU’s future plans regarding pay, pension and anti-casualisation are also on the agenda. What are UCU’s plans going forward?

As well as the outcomes of the Novemeber meeting, UCU has also setup an ongoing Commission for Effective Industrial Action (CEIA).

Chaired by the UCU President Joanna De Groot, and consisting of one elected Congress delegate for each region and nation in UCU – the South West delegate is Jamie Melrose, Bristol UCU – CEIA is tasked with looking at the pros and cons of different industrial action strategies and making recommendations to a future Special Congress.

More information on CEIA can be found on the UCU website [webpage].

4) Progression and Progression Update

The next Newsflash will have an initial response to the progression and promotion proposals. They proposals will also be on the agenda of the first branch meeting of the year: Wednesday, 8th November 2017@1pm.

5) Casework Training, 1st November 2017, University of Bristol

If you are interested in representing Bristol UCU members, then feel free to register for the Bristol-hosted Caseworker Training event:

Please also let our Caseworker Coordinator Stephen D’Evelyn – – know, if you are thinking of registering.

6) Strike Pay Deductions – Wrong Rate!

UCU wrote to the University last week. This follows the recent Supreme Court judgement concerning deductions of pay for strike action [webpage].

The letter points out that strike pay deductions in Higher Education have been ‘calculated by dividing our members’ salary by 260’.

The Supreme Court judgement, though ‘has made it clear that, in calculating strike pay for sixth form college lecturers, employers are only entitled to divide the employee’s annual salary by 365’.

‘…it made no sense to choose a calculation of 1/260 of annual salary, which assumed only weekday working’

‘If necessary, the UCU will support our members in pursuing legal claims to recover the monies which were unlawfully deducted from their salary’.