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Trades Unions rights under attack

For obvious reasons, the Conservative government is trying to make it harder for employees to take industrial action. It wants, amongst other things:

* higher thresholds for union ballots than for other organisations or for politicians' elections

* ridiculous periods of notice prior to any action

* restrictions on time off for trade union activity, most of which is done voluntarily and in addition to representatives' existing work in any case.

* obstacles making it harder to collect subscriptions

New threat to jobs at Aston

Aston UCU is outraged that ABS appears to have initiated a `rank and yank' policy. All members of academic staff have been invited to attend a meeting with the Dean or Deputy Dean, and in some of these meetings they are being asked to consider leaving.

ABS has deemed them as under-performing, but none of the cases we have dealt with so far have been staff who have had performance management meetings. This means the evidence that ABS is claiming about their under-performance has not been subjected to scrutiny nor have they had the opportunity to defend themselves against the accusations.

Protest picnic

On Thursday, July 2nd there will be a "Protest Picnic" against the redundancies at the Chancellor's Lake between 1 and 2pm. If it rains, we will debark to G63 but either way, please come along and show how hard we will fight these attacks on jobs and services. Progress has already been made and it is imperative we keep up the momentum.

Lobby the University Council Meeting: 1.00, Tuesday, June 16th

Aston University Council meets tomorrow and it is imperative we let them know why compulsory redundancies should NOT be happening at Aston.

Please join our rally at 1.00 outside the Main Building entrance (the main one by the sky lifts). The more people who attend, the more difficult it will be to ignore our requests, which are simple and reasonable:

(1) tell us the real reasons for the proposed cuts;

(2) at the very least, offer voluntary redundancies instead of forced redundancies and have a phased restructuring;