We have a new home page
The blog continues here, but our local site has changed to: http://www.leedsucu.org.uk
The UCU, your lecturers’ and academic-related staff union, will be on strike tomorrow, 30 November, alongside 27 other unions nationwide. Your own union, LUU, has expressed support for the UCU and is sending a contingent to the picket line tomorrow. We would ask you to respect the strike, and refuse to cross a picket line.
1. Why are UCU striking?
- The strike on 30 November is in protest at changes to our pensions. Our employers blocked any opportunity to vote on these changes, and when we set up our own ballot for all USS members (whether UCU or not) 97% opposed the changes nationally. The changes themselves are extreme and unnecessary – our pension scheme is one of the most well-funded in the whole of Europe. Recent reports indicate that it still had more money going into its funds than are coming out. It is not a public-sector pension. Our VC has recently, by contrast, seen a 450% increase in his pension fund, paid by the University (and therefore in part by your fees).
- Unlike public sector pensions, which have been hit by a change in calculations to CPI, our pension is linked to CPI AND capped when CPI goes over 5% (It is now 5.2%).
- We are not asking for extra. We are asking to get what we have paid for. Read more…
What am I expected to do during a strike?
Your union will only take strike action once every other avenue of influence has been exhausted and when your branch officers think there is no other way to make members’ views clear. It is very serious sanction and that’s why we ask that every member observes the strike. Every member who does not observe the strike is directly undermining the union’s bargaining power and making it harder for the union to protect all its members. When we call a strike we ask that members do not come into work and do not reschedule their classes. The best possible thing you can do is contact your local rep and volunteer to help out on the picket lines. It isn’t illegal, it isn’t dangerous and it can be fun. Read more…
The VC at the University of Leeds has seen a 453% increase in employer contributions to his pension since 2004, according to information in the public domain. This is on top of, and due to, a 149% salary increase in the same period (by which we mean – to make it clear – he received a 49% increase in his salary, bringing it to 149% of what it was). According to documents published online (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/), the University paid £13,000 of pension contributions for our VC in 2004/05 and £59,000 in 2009/10. Read more…