Latest news and have you voted yet?

  1.  Fractional contracts for hourly paid members quite a few issues are arising as a a result of members being offered fractional contracts – these are mainly round deployment and a good starting point (for existing staff as well) is our website page on deployment guidelines (see link above).
  2. This link provides a useful guideline as to what to look for in terms of negotiating your deployment. There are also issues around whether some members should in some cases be offered a grade 8 (SL) as opposed to a grade 7 (which is the normal offer). This should be done to discussion with your line manager BUT is ultimately tested through a regrading application. We are also looking at whether those with longer experience should be higher than the bottom of grade 7 and have had discussions with HR about this. There is some agreement that those with more experience should placed on a higher incremental point – again your line manager is the person to have this discussion with initially.
  3. At our JCC last week we discussed the climate emergency and proposed that the university revisits and extends its commitment to look at all areas of its activities – for example travel for business/conferences etc. We have now been invited to take part in a working group to look at this. Our branch has also met with the NUS to try and work jointly and look to come up with a set of proposals to put to the university. If you would like to contribute and/or be part of a UCU working party on this then please let me know. We are also organising a meeting and inviting Extinction Rebellion to speak in November – details to follow.
  4. National pay/workload etc. ballot – it is not too late to post your ballot (as long as it is in by the 31st Oct.). It is not difficult to make a case for a better pay offer – as the value in our pay has fallen by around 20% since the crisis. We need a 50% turnout in our branch – so if you have not yet let us know that you have voted then please email me back (thanks to all those who did last week)
  5. Dont’ forget about the UCU initiated session, as part of Black History Month, next week on Decolonising the curriculum – Room CL313  Thurs 24th  October 13.00-14.30
  6. Protected conversations  ( a mechanism for employers  terminate employment without  evidence of an existing dispute) – these are currently on hold thanks to both our and UNISONs interventions. Though the last time we spoke to the university they were still intending to re-introduce them. These were discussed in our branch meetings and members unanimously opposed their re-introduction (will keep updating on this)
  7. Menopause guidelines – good news on this. Last year we asked mgmt to work with us to draw up guidelines to support women going through the menopause. As a result the university has now adopted this and we have been advised on the content. This gives details as to support mechanisms, reasonable adjustments, including requests for flexible working and timetabling considerations (i.e. asking for later teaching starts due to insomnia etc.). The guidelines go live today (see attached for mgmt guidelines).

Reminder forthcoming branch meetings:

Headingley Wed 30th Oct 12-1 Cavendish 104

City Thursday 1-2 Rosebowl 224








Your ballot papers should have arrived – look out for a white A4 envelope with the UCU logo. If you can’t find it, request a new one at

Please vote now – don’t let that envelope disappear under piles on your desk! It’s really important to have your democratic say, and your union needs to know what you think.

The two disputes are linked. Inequality and casualisation in employment lead to inequality in retirement. We have won a pretty impressive deal around casualisation at Leeds Beckett but there is more work to be done nationally.  Pay stagnation will reduce our incomes in retirement as well as squeezing us right now. Increased pension contributions mostly wipe out the tiny pay increase that has been imposed.

Four fights dispute
We were not impressed by the employers response to our annual pay and conditions claim. Pay inequality and excessive workloads are all significant problems at Leeds Beckett, as elsewhere. We had hoped that this year, the employers’ side (represented by UCEA) would negotiate sensible national agreements on these issues which matter so much to staff, often more so than pay. This has not happened – they were unwilling to discuss these issues meaningfully. On pay, the offer is yet another below inflation pay rise.

SO please use your vote