We have a new home page
The blog continues here, but our local site has changed to: http://www.leedsucu.org.uk
The incoming UCL Provost has expensive tastes. In the last six years, Professor Michael Arthur, who will replace Professor Malcolm Grant in September, has charged the University of Leeds, where he is currently Vice Chancellor, over £70,000 in accommodation, entertainment and other expenses.
Professor Arthur has been staying in some of the world’s most expensive hotels on the university’s budget, including the Ritz-Carlton in New York and the Chesterfield in Mayfair, London. The average price of his hotel room has amounted to £228 per night over the past six years. Professor Arthur claimed £618 for a one-night stay in the Russell Hotel London in 2007. His hotel bills have cost Leeds on average £7,000 annually since 2006, more than double what the current UCL Provost claimed for his accommodation in the last financial year.
The University of Leeds has also picked up a large tab for Professor Arthur’s ‘institutional entertaining’. On one occasion, the Vice Chancellor and one guest enjoyed themselves at the Cinnamon Club London, the university picking up the £350 bill. At other times, Professor Arthur and corporate guests have dined at Le Cirque, New York, on the University’s account.
The Vice-Chancellor has apparently also charged the university for his private meals during business trips, claiming hundreds of pounds for restaurant bills in New York. These expenses were referred to as ‘restaurants’ in the University of Leeds’ document obtained by this magazine; there was no indication that these expenses were for corporate entertainment. At various other times the Vice-Chancellor has claimed money for ‘subsistence’, on one occasion claiming £52 for a restaurant meal in Sydney.
Professor Arthur’s salary has increased by more than 60 per cent in the last eight years, from £170,000 in 2004 to over £280,000 in 2012 – these figures are before pension contributions and expenses. Like the UCL Provost, the Leeds Vice Chancellor’s university residence is paid for by the university free of charge.
I am very pleased to let you know about the University’s ‘Making a World of Difference’ fundraising campaign, which aims to raise £60m by the end of 2015. The Campaign is already creating inspirational new opportunities for our students and enabling key areas of research. The Campaign website (http://campaign.leeds.ac.uk/) showcases the whole range of projects that are being supported by fundraising activity and are part of achieving our vision of a place among the world’s leading universities.
I also wanted to share the news that Irvine Laidlaw, who studied at Leeds in the 1960s, has agreed to make a £9m gift to our Campaign. This will support the development of the new undergraduate library which is already under construction on campus. This is the biggest gift ever received by the University and takes our Campaign total to more than £40m. Full details about this gift will be on the Campaign website tomorrow.
I look forward to sharing news about the Campaign with you in the months ahead, as we continue to experience the benefits of philanthropy in many areas of the University’s work.
Tax dodging donor gives cash to Uni
Scots peer is accused of avoiding payment of £50m in tax
Tory lord rebuked for tax status
The Tory offshore peer
Lord Laidlaw seeks help for sex addiction after lurid revelations
DONOR OF THE WEEK: IRVINE LAIDLAW
All pickets should report to the main university entrance (Woodhouse Lane) where you will be directed to one of the picket lines at the many University entrances. Picketing will be from 7am.
The picket will end at 11.30 a.m. when we will assemble on the Parkinson Steps for short speeches prior to making our way to Victoria Gardens (the area outside Leeds Art Gallery on the Headrow) for a rally
The point of the picket is to peacefully persuade people not to cross our picket lines i.e. to not go into work.
Picketing is a legal activity and pickets should wear an armband indicating they are on duty (we will provide you with these). Placards and posters should be displayed stating OFFICIAL PICKET.
All UCU/UNISON/UNITE members should be on strike.
You should talk to anyone, a union member, work colleague, or member of the public who approaches the picket line. Give them a leaflet and explain the reason for the strike. You can ask them not to cross the picket line.
Anyone who decides to cross a picket line must be allowed to do so. But always take the opportunity to talk to them and explain the reasons for the industrial action – give them a leaflet explaining the dispute.
Those workers who wish to cross the picket line should be asked not to undertake any duties or responsibilities other than their own i.e. not to cover for us.
Speaking to non-union members
There’s no reason for not asking non-union members not to cross the picket line. However, if someone who’s not a member of any union, wants to support us by staying away from work, you do need to make it clear that if their employers decided to discipline them the unions wouldn’t be able to support them. (It’s probably unlikely the University would discipline them, but it’s a possibility.) The individual must then make up their own mind.
Their best course of action is to join there and then – they will then have the full protection afforded to any union member. Keep membership forms with you for this purpose.
If they do decide they have to go in to work, but would like to support us, then encourage them to join the two rally mentioned above.
Speaking to students
Students are not vulnerable to disciplinary action like staff, so any student who wishes to support us and not cross the picket line should be made welcome. Likewise, any student who wishes to stand on or near the picket lines should be made welcome, although they would not be legally recognised official pickets (so shouldn’t, for example, be allowed to wear an armband).
Speaking to people who are not University staff or students
You can seek to persuade other workers, not employed at the University, not to deliver goods or to enter the work premises, e.g. post, milk, stationary supplies, etc. (This is the only form of permitted ‘secondary’ action).
The Chaplaincy is always available to any member of the University community. Their facilities are normally open from 8.30am. There are various places that sell refreshments on Woodhouse Lane, Miro’s café near the banks on Woodhouse Lane opens around 7.30 am for take-away drinks. They know we are on strike that day – you could try your luck and ask for a striker’s discount – and Froth and Fodder were kind enough to bring over flasks of tea the last time we were on strike
Have fun, keep warm! If there are any problems contact any union officer/committee member.
Didn’t the price of food at university cafes go up recently? Or was it our imagination? But here’s the latest news from university management. You’ll all be getting a 10p “discount” on your cup of coffee. But only if you buy one of their cups!
Put another away, Catering Services coffee now costs 10p more than it would otherwise do for those that refuse to buy a university cup.
This is being spun as being sustainable and helping the environment – because these cups are re-usable – but we’ve looked into the small print and discovered that – you can’t bring your own re-usable mug. You must purchase one of their special cups.
Put this another way, all the thousands of other cups on the campus are therefore redundant for these purposes and now, erm, items to be disposed of …!
The sustainability argument is further questioned because these “KeepCups” are apparently made by the Australian KeepCup company.
So what’s it going to cost you for 10p off your favourite hot drink?
How much are these incredible cups?
They are a snip at, err, an eye-watering £6.50!
The cups look like they do the job. But if management are so concerned, they should be providing us with cups for free. So we suggest you avoid the coffee tax, put your money towards buying a thermos and bring your own hot drinks onto campus.
Tell management “no thanks”, you can keep your KeepCups.
The School of Healthcare at Leeds University is under a twin threat, externally through Government Health Service reconfigurations and cuts, and internally through a desire by the university to push the School through a one size fits all model of research excellence that has more to do with league tables than with the quality of education, professional training and vocational practice.
Current plans in the University seem set to lead to:
1) the closure of: Pharmacy, Audiology, Cardiac Physiology, Counselling and Psychotherapy
2) the possible closure of Diagnostic Radiography and Social Work
3) the retention of Nursing and Midwifery, subject to “transformation of the staff base.”
The Review that the University has initiated seems likely to have unintended consequences and to impact on:
1) National skills shortages
2) The national importance and reputation of some of the disciplines within the school
3) The quality of education available to students
4) The need of local people (many of them women returners) to be able to study in Leeds
5) The quality of clinical care available in West Yorkshire and surrounding areas.