Queens UCU Newsletter
- Contact the Politicians about the Impact of the Funding Cuts on Queen’s
- Update on USS
- Meeting for Members on Casual Contracts (Fixed-term Contracts and Hourly-paid)
- Open Meeting for Staff on Probation
- Open Meeting for Fixed-term or Hourly-paid Staff. Friday 13th Feb 2015 at 1.05 p.m. in room 01/052 Lanyon South
- Queen’s UCU Committee Elections
Contact the Politicians about the Impact of the Funding Cuts on Queen’s
The proposed DEL funding cuts will have a devastating impact on Queen’s and the community. We urge you to contact any politicians and people of influence that you know to try to ameliorate the cuts. You need to do this before Christmas, as the NI budget will be finalised in early January. You can find contact details for MLAs on www.niassembly.gov.uk/Your-MLAs. You can use this model letter. This letter will be updated as more information comes in. If you meet the politicians face to face give them a sheet of facts to jog their memory. Please report any responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Arising from the meeting of the Union’s higher education committee (HEC) last week, there will now be a programme of negotiating meetings between UCU and the employers. If agreement is not possible, then the union will need to resume our boycott of assessment again in mid-January.
In order to clearly demonstrate to vice-chancellors and principals the strength of feeling among staff about USS, UCU has launched a mass petition which you can sign here. At least 17,000 have already signed so please make the effort and add your name.
UCU will be presenting the national petition to the Universities UK Board at the next USS Institutions meeting on Thursday 4 December in London. In order to maximise the impact in Queens, we will be presenting a copy of the final petition to the vice-chancellor during that week.
Members are therefore asked to do three things to help:
1. Sign the national petition yourself as soon as possible
2. Circulate the link to your colleagues, including non-UCU academic and academic related staff and encourage them to sign the petition
3. Support any activity planned by your branch when they hand over the petition
With your help we can make the voices of thousands of USS members heard.
USS campaign - action suspended
The union's higher education committee (HEC) met today to discuss the USS pension dispute including the agreement to a programme of negotiations between now and 15 January 2015. HEC also considered the following statement on pay docking arising from last week's negotiations:
"The University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) have confirmed, following discussions yesterday (Wednesday), an agreement to suspend the industrial action in relation to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pensions dispute from today (Thursday 20 November) until after the joint negotiating committee (JNC) meeting scheduled for Thursday 15 January 2015.
UCU and UUK have agreed to a series of negotiating meetings between now and the scheduled January JNC. It is hoped that this period can be used to close the differences between the negotiating positions, with a view to reaching agreement on reforms to the USS scheme.
Both parties are committed to seeking a joint proposal for reform that offers an affordable, sustainable and attractive pension scheme, for both current and future members. Both parties are pleased that the agreement to suspend industrial action at this early stage will mean that students will not have been adversely affected and members of staff will not have had pay deducted."
HEC agreed on the above basis that the current boycott of assessment and any planned strike action related to punitive pay docking should be suspended with immediate effect until 16 January 2015. HEC also agreed that should any subsequent action by UCU next year attract punitive pay docking then national strike action would follow.
On behalf of HEC I would like to thank you for your continuing support of UCU in this dispute. The modest progress achieved so far has been as a result of your action in support of our negotiating strategy. The employers should be in no doubt that if agreement is not possible, UCU will call upon you to resume the action again in January. Sally Hunt
Please read letter from UCU Officers
Times Higher Education Best University Workplace survey
Please express your views on QUB as a workplace by taking part in the Times Higher Education Best University Workplace survey. The survey is confidential. It starts by collecting some informatin you and your role in QUB. Then you will be presented with about 35 rating scale questions and finally you have the option to provide your contact details if you wish to do so.
Invitation to join letter 2014
Recruitment Drive for UCU Members
We have launched a recruitment drive to attract new members to UCU at Queen’s. Whilst we have a substantial number of members in UCU at Queen’s, we feel that many staff are unsure about what support UCU offers and have not considered joining. The officers involved have worked hard in their own personal time to organise this effort. Over the next few weeks individual hardcopy letters to all staff who are not members of UCU are being sent along with a membership pack and form. These will be followed up by personal contacts in each area. If you know of any colleagues who are not members of UCU, please encourage them to join. They will receive their letters in the very near future.
Students, why we strike
Students: read here to know why your lecturers are taking industrial action