Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 7th November 2018

1) Higher Education Sector Conference & Bristol UCU General Meeting Next Week

Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC) meets in Manchester today to discuss pay and pensions. Motions are available here:

The branch is represented by Suzy Cheeke (Vice-President), Lucy Langley-Palmer (Equalities Officer) and Jamie Melrose (Branch Secretary).

In our indicative branch survey, 73% of respondents said they did want UCU members to be consulted over the proposed JEP solution – 2.1% employer/1.1% employee contribution rise based on the September 2017 valuation –, while in the case of re-balloting, a slim majority (52%) favoured re-balloting branches 10% short of 50% turnout threshold. 68 members replied to the survey.

We have a General Meeting next week, Wednesday, 14th November, 13:00-14:00, Powell Lecture Theatre, Physics. Reporting back from HESC is on the agenda, as well as discussion of our current Gender Pay and Anti-Casualisation Claims.

2) Staff Mental Health Consultation – Bristol UCU Response

The strategy is OK as far as it goes, but seems to ignore the underlying causes of stress and anxiety. I believe a comprehensive change in working and management culture is needed

The results from our branch survey are in. The comments make for interesting reading. They can be read in full below:

Key points include lack of acknowledgement in the Strategy documents regarding the causes of stress such as overwork and spiralling, under-resourced work demands. Colleagues also highlight how diminishing autonomy has contributed to rising stress levels. The top-down, mangerialist University is consistently identified as contributing to rather than dealing with the mental health ‘crisis’ in our workplace.

The branch has submitted members’ feedback as part of our branch response. UCU will be further consulted once the accompanying action plan is in development, so we will be seeking your ideas and comments again in the near future.

3) Humans. Not Resources, Wednesday, 21st November, 17:00-19:00, Social Science Complex Cafe, University of Bristol.

To get your free ticket:

Bristol UCU is proud to present Humans. Not Resources, the launch event for the campaign in support of Bristol UCU’s current Anti-Casualisation Claim:

Join us for an Anti-Casualisation soiree on Wednesday, 21st November, between 5pm-7pm, in the Social Science Complex Cafe. Mingle and mix with fellow casualised (and non-casualised) colleagues – hourly-paid teachers, postgraduates who teach, fixed-term teaching and research staff. Discuss Bristol UCU’s Anti-Casualisation Claim and how it affects you. Share and listen to short contributions from the floor on the effects of casualisation

Importantly, join the Humans. Not Resources. campaign

We will be serving drinks and nibbles. Contributors include:

  • Vicky Blake (Leeds UCU President & former Chair of UCU’s Anti-Casualisation Committee)
  • Paul Hurley (Performance Artist and Researcher, UWE & University of Bristol artist-in-residence)