September 4th 2019 update

  1. Hourly Paid lecturers – transfers onto substantive contracts. Those HPLs who qualify for a permanent fractional contract (anyone teaching over 110 hours per year) will have been or are about to be written to and offered fractional permanent contracts. As anticipated this is already highlighting some issues which need addressing. Most of these so far appear to be due to Heads of Subject not being sufficiently aware that what is being offered and the way hours are calculated as part of a fraction should be NO DIFFERENT to how current permanent staff are treated. If there are issues then your first port of call is your subject group head. If there is no resolution here then you can contact one of us. We are running an initial advice session next Thursday 12th September from 1-2pm in the far end of the Rosebowl café(we’ll be at a table nearest the vending machines – so just come and join us if you have any questions) to deal with queries

2. Ballot to fight for better pay award. You will be aware by now that UCU nationally are balloting members to take action in support of a better pay deal – a paltry 1.1% has been offered and UCU is asking for 3% to try and claw back the significant real losses in pay that we have suffered. The ballot will open next Monday 9th September and will run until 30th October. So you should be receiving ballot papers from next week. As the ballot is being organised nationally but is disaggregated (to get round Tory ballot legislation) to branch level we MUST make sure that at Leeds Beckett AT LEAST 50% of our membership vote in the ballot. Therefore expect to be contacted by a branch rep/member asking you if you have voted. If as a branch we do not achieve 50% turnout (whatever the result) then we cannot as a branch take part in any action organised nationally. UCU is proposing that if the result is positive then the first strike day will be Monday 18th November. Both UCU and our cttee locally are advocating that members vote in favour of industrial action. In line with many other universities our university will be implementing the “final” pay offer this month – this should not deter members from voting in favour of industrial action in support of a better deal for this year.

3. Climate Strike 20th September – you may be aware that as a result of the call by Greta Thunberg and the weekly action by school students highlighting the climate emergency, a call has been put out to workers to join students on Friday 20th September. UCU nationally have proposed a 30 minute walkout on that day. We contacted HR and management are supportive of the cause and have agreed that if staff wish to be involved in the stoppage the then they will take no issue with members rearranging their commitments accordingly to accommodate that 30 minute period, provided that students are not adversely affected. This gives us all the go ahead to try and build involvement from our branch. A march is being organised from Leeds University – I have asked them to march past our entrance so that we can join in the demo into town on that day and join the protest planned for outside the town hall. We will notify members nearer the time of all the timings round this but it will be round lunchtime. A Climate Conference has also being organised in Leeds specifically for trade unions on Sat 19th October at Notre Dame Sixth from 10.30- 4.20 pm, register at www.tiny.cc/crisis2019

4. Recruitment and campaigning stalls – please let us know if you fancy helping us at some recruitment and campaigning stalls. The stalls will be both to recruit more members to UCU AND help build for the Climate action on Friday 20th September (we should have leaflets by then). We will be making some banners for the Climate Strike demo at the stall so please join us. The details for these are – Rosebowl and Gaiia Café Tues 17th September 12pm–. Wed 18th September stall at Headingley (near the Food Court) , 12pm. This will also be a further opportunity if you have an issue around fractional contracts to ask us questions.

5. We are organising a Stand Up to Racism day on Friday 18th October – at the moment speakers are being contacted but we hope to run sessions on Decolonising the Curriculum, a campaigning meeting with national speakers. This is a campaign supported by UCU nationally and given the current climate it is clearly important as trade unionists, and academic staff, to take this up. More info to follow on this but add the date to your diary. Please get in touch if you want to help us organise this.

6. Branch meetings – our next branch meetings are as follows:

  • City campus Wednesday 2nd Oct 11:30-12:30 at city, Headingley 12-1pm Thursday 3rd October
  • And again on Headingley Wednesday 30th Oct 12-1pm, and City, Thursday 31st 1-2pm

7. Our new general secretary, Jo Grady, is coming to Leeds on Wed 2nd October. You will have been emailed about this, but the details are – Wednesday 2 October 2019 1pm-2pm, at Leeds University, Mechanical Engineering Lecture Theatre B, Mechanical Engineering Building, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT. Full details including directions and accessibility at http://www.leedsucu.org.uk/ucus-new-general-secretary-is-coming-to-visit/ . It would be helpful if you could register on the EventBrite page at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ucu-general-secretary-jo-grady-at-leeds-tickets-67031700621 if you will be attending.