Newsletter - December 2021

Festive Greetings and…Get the Vote Out! 

The ballot on workloads opened last week, and ends on 14 January.  Please remember to vote, vote yes, and tell your rep when (not how!) you’ve voted to limit the communications you receive on this – and plenty will be coming.  If you need a new ballot paper, please click on this link: https://yoursay.ucu.org.uk/s3/USS-HE-replacement-form.  In case you missed it, our branch has been doing lots to get the vote out, including sharing a festive quiz, and a bid for Christmas Number One: 

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Newsletter - November 2021

UCU exert a certain power over members’ (Professor Tom Lawson, DVC, 24/11/21)

  • Justice for Emma-Jane Phillips: An Attack On One Is an Attack on All

Northumbria UCU is appalled at the treatment of Emma-Jane Phillips, one of its branch officers, who is also a disabled member and colleague, as a consequence of raising long-standing and legitimate concerns about fair, equal and reasonable treatment at work.  So many of you will know, admire, and appreciate Emma-Jane, for all the work she has done for individual members, and for the branch as a whole – there are fewer more expert and more valued colleagues or union officials in the region, let alone in our branch.  Emma-Jane is being investigated by HR and Senior Management – not her line manager, as should be the case – with a view to potential disciplinary action.  Given Emma-Jane’s status, this is an attack on her, on anyone with a disability, on the branch, and on trade unions.  At the most recent branch meeting, Northumbria UCU voted unanimously for all members to express solidarity with Emma-Jane, and committed to supporting her by organising events, publicising her case and the issues as widely as possible, and moving to declare a dispute with a view to undertaking industrial action if this matter is not resolved.  Many other UCU branches in the region and beyond have passed motions or taken action in support of Emma-Jane and the branch.  Share messages of support with Adam Hansen, Branch Chair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), look out for events about this, and get involved in the media coverage this will inevitably generate.

 

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Vote on Workloads - It Only Takes Two Ticks!

Starting this week you will have the chance to vote in UCU’s national ballot on workload.  You have said again and again that getting workloads right matters most to youSo your branch is advising you to vote early and vote yes

When you tell UCU you have voted – we will try not to bother you about it again! You should receive your ballot paper soon – please check your membership details with UCU so that you get it (https://my.ucu.org.uk/app/utils/login_form).

You may think: I’ve already voted, why do I have to vote again? Your branch came very close to getting over the required 50% turnout in the previous ballot, and with your continued support and involvement could get ‘over the line’ this time – it only takes two ticks on a form!  More importantly, your participation in the national ballot sends a strong signal to your local senior management at Northumbria, showing just how serious your concerns are about your workloads.

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Northumbria UCU Newsletter – September 2021: Covid Update

In his introduction to the university’s Health and Safety policy, your Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Wathey, states: “Nothing that we do is so important that it cannot be done safely.” Northumbria UCU agree. Northumbria UCU also recognise that everyone wants to get back to some kind of ‘normal’ as soon as possible. The prospect of teaching face-to-face, and seeing students and colleagues in person again, is exciting. But things are nowhere near ‘normal’ yet, and it is disingenuous and dangerous to pretend otherwise. Such a position risks threatening staff, students, and the community. This means the prospect of face-to-face teaching is, for some, deeply concerning, as it was last year. Just as concerning is the way such concerns have been ignored, again. Indeed, colleagues with concerns have already been told ‘Do F2F or resign’, by managers who admit they do not know the policies in place.

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