There appears to be no movement from the employers on the USS pensions changes despite the support of the NUS for UCU staff and also the unhappiness of many VCs with the intransigence of the employers. So it looks like we are heading for the strikes and we need to make them as effective as we possibly can. There is no point doing it half heartedly because it just hurts us: we have to go all out for maximum disruption.
Aston Branch news
Universities across the UK are going on strike in defence of pensions on the following dates:
Thursday 22 February
Friday 23 February
Monday 26 February
Tuesday 27 February
Wednesday 28 February
Some graduates will be hit with a "mid-life tax crisis" because of massive student loan debts, warns a report from London Economics. Graduates that avoid the higher overall tax rate will be hit by a longer repayment plan that takes away a higher proportion of their wages over their working lives.
UCU, who commissioned the report, said its findings highlighted that there were no winners under the current system, just different ways to lose.
Members of the UCU at the University of Brighton have successfully fought off an attempt by their management to achieve the de facto derecognition of the union. The University had unilaterally cancelled part of the promotions procedure, breaching an agreement with the UCU, demoted a group of part-time lecturers to the grade of demonstrator, again without approaching the union, and issued redundancy notices to three lecturers despite having failed to implement a recently signed workload allocation agreement. When the UCU tried to address these issues through the University's disputes proce
The last timetabled negotiating meeting took place through JNCHES on 27 April and the national employers' representatives UCEA made a final offer, which included a base pay uplift of 1.7%, with higher increases for the lower paid.The full offer is in a file attached to this article.
We need to know what you think. The Branch has to report back to the national UCU with its view on the pay offer by May 12th so there is no time to organise a meeting where everyone has a chance to attend. Therefore we are asking you to give us your view by email.
It is worth scanning this document because there are some important issues for all branches in higher education.
See the attached leaflet about activities in the West Midlands. The headline is about workloads, which is a major issue at Aston as well.
The Aston UCU Branch Secretary's report for the upcoming AGM is attached. Please have a look at it before the AGM if you can.
We have to adopt new rules (in line with Congress decision last Summer at the AGM). These are attached for you to review. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggested changes.
As many of you will be aware our ally the National Union of Students (NUS) has called a boycott of the National Student Survey (NSS). The boycott covers all institutions where NSS is distributed and includes higher education (HE) courses that take place within
further education (FE) institutions. The NUS boycott will begin in some institutions from 6 January 2017.
The NUS boycott is in furtherance of their policy that the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which itself uses NSS data, should be decoupled by the government from any increases in tuition fees.