Wor Blog


In the autumn statement, George Osborne announced the scrapping of the NHS bursary for new student nurses, midwives and allied health professions in England from 2017. The ‪NHS bursary supports over 80,000 healthcare students at more than 120 universities each year and the Tories want to scrap it.

Why does this matter to UCU members? Because our hardworking health academics are at possible risk because of the possible loss of NHS commissioned training places at Northumbria University. These commissioned places bring vital finance into the university in excess of £20 million per year.

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You are paid less - part 4

By Julia Charlton, Branch Chair, Northumbria University.

UCU report 'transparency at the top? Senior pay and perks in UK universities, UCU March 2015': http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/0/0/ucu_transparencyatthetop_mar15.pdf

In January 2014, UCU wrote to business secretary Vince Cable and universities minister David Willetts to highlight the escalation of vice-chancellors' salaries for the academic year of 2012/13 and reminded them of the government's strong words on excessive pay at the top of UK universities.

In response to the letter, David Willetts said universities should be free to set the operation of their remuneration committee as they see fit, and that there were already lists of vice-chancellors' pay in the public domain. However, he did suggest universities may be required to provide a remuneration report as is now the norm in many public and private sector companies.

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You are paid less - part 3

1% and future inflation

I've previously outlined how you have experienced a 15% loss in the real-term value of your pay over five years against inflation, during which time universities' reserves have risen by 58% and their income by 15%. We want to address the issue of inflation again, but instead look ahead to the future. We've seen our pay eroded by inflation, but will that continue?

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Everyone agrees it is vital, valid and desirable that we look in detail at the kinds of teaching and learning we offer on our programmes, especially given the imminent challenges posed by the Teaching Excellence Framework. Current and future students benefit when we do, and so do we, as we get together to have meaningful discussions about how refresh, revise and rethink what it is that makes what we offer so special and valuable. In every discussion UCU have had with university management and HR about this, we have made this very plain. Yet what UCU have also made plain is that unless processes to help us refresh, revise and rethink are workloaded properly, scheduled sensibly, and designed inclusively, there will be problems, for individual staff and for the university as a whole. In fact, without proper workloading, sensible schedules, and inclusive design, PFNA will be counterproductive. Is this the situation we are in now?

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