Wor Blog

Chair's blog 1 - 2017

This university is rightly proud of the world class, cutting edge, collaborative research undertaken here. What I am pondering though are the trade-offs necessary to do this. A general trend of ‘Work intensification’ through workload management means increasing division between those who have time allocated to carry out research and publish and those who don’t. I am seeking information from members to try to formulate a branch position.

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Pay matters - support the action

We begin this academic year still in dispute with the employers over the derisory pay offer of 1.1%. The fight is NOT over.

Many of you will still be working to contract (we hope) and certainly not more than 48 hours per week. We have managed to encourage many external examiners to give up or not take on posts across the country, which has been quite effective.

Now it is time to consider next steps in the dispute. The HEC is not giving up – no matter what you read that says this: it is absolutely not true.

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Newcastle - Rally for Europe

Join us on Saturday 15 October from 1pm at the Monument!

If you are anything like me, the past few months have probably felt like a very bad dream, and you are only just coming to terms with the fact that a lot of things you took for granted are no longer part of the unwritten consensus, the mainstream, or what most people consider the norm.

The European Union has been a crucial institution in my life. In my early 20s, the Erasmus programme allowed me to explore other cultures, learn other languages, and make friends for life all over Europe. Those were life changing opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. My circle of friends comes from practically every country of the 28, and especially from the UK. At my age, friends often get married, a constant reminder that tempus fugit. The creation of many cross-national, cross-cultural, wonderfully unconventional and wonderfully conventional families around me is also a reminder of the 'real life' impact of those values I took for granted: freedom of movement, the freedom to study, work, travel, live, love and retire, not necessarily in that order, in some of the most wonderful parts of the old continent of Europe.

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Pay dispute

Leaders: lead

It is easy to forget that our union's campaign for better pay and conditions remains operative. The last strike action took place in July, and the prominence of the campaign is fast dwindling from the memories of many (if not most) members. Last week (w/c 26th September), a series of meetings took place in the various UCU regions. The purpose of these meetings is designed to help the union's Higher Education Committee gauge the degree of support for the campaign amongst ordinary members before the HEC decides what step to take next.

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