Wor Blog

UCU needs you

Over the past months and years, your UCU branch has been incredibly busy in what has been a challenging environment, both locally and within the sector. Nationally, the Trade Union Bill is seeking to undermine the collective power of unions like ours. Locally, we are representing the interests of our members throughout an unprecedented avalanche of problematic issues: programme closures, workloads, grade reviews, electronic marking and feedback, PG teaching grades, casualisation, gender pay gap, health and safety, stress and mental health to name just a few. We are aware that the tangible results of our work on your behalf often go unnoticed! This is because we have limited resources and often we need to choose between doing our job and boasting about it!

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March for Europe review: Newcastle 4 March 2017


On Saturday 4th March, several UCU officers and members contributed to the North East March for Europe, organised by cross-party grassroots organisation North East for Europe. Amongst the purposes of the march, we aimed to celebrate the fraternal ties between our region and our continent, the contribution of the European Union to the development of the North East, and the human contribution of migrants, many of them from other EU countries, to a diverse, tolerant, progressive and optimistic society.

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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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