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Your local UCU – update on the crisis

November 4, 2009

An update on what your local UCU officers and committee have been doing over recent days and what’s happening over the coming week.

We have gained the support of national UCU to give us assistance in campaigning against the compulsory redundancies that are embedded in the recent Economies Exercise statement.

Upwards of 20 departmental representatives met on Monday for an excellent discussion on our response to the ‘Economies Exercise’. Departmental meetings are being held this week and next week across campus. Officers will attempt to attend every one. After this, a series of public meetings are to be arranged by the UCU to offer an alternative to the Economies Exercise.

Committee met on Tuesday to survey recent events and to consider future strategy in fighting the University’s assault on its staff. The UCU will be writing to the VC shortly to point out to the unlawful aspects of the Economies Exercise and the manner in which it was announced.

Tomorrow, your local UCU president and vice president, together with officers of the other campus trade unions, Unite and Unison, will meet with the VC to demand a commitment of no compulsory redundancies.

On Monday 9 November there will be an Emergency General Meeting, which all members are strongly recommended to attend. This takes place at 1pm in Chemistry Lecture Room D. (Follow the corridor from the north end of the Parkinson court, by the café). The following motion is to be discussed and voted upon:

Motion for submission to the HEC & NEC

University of Leeds LA:

  • Declares its full support for the joint union campaign to defend Higher Education;
  • Condemns redundancies, cuts in HE provision and denial of educational opportunities to students;
  • Resolves to support all UCU branches resisting redundancies;
  • Resolves to engage in or support local negotiations to improve institutional agreements on job security, redundancy consultation and redeployment, and appropriate workload models to ensure that the burden of any job losses do not add pressure to remaining staff;
  • Resolves to ballot for local industrial action, or urges branches to so ballot, in response to any threat of compulsory redundancies;
  • Calls upon HEC to wage a vigorous and resolute struggle to defend Higher Education, jobs, conditions of service and pay levels;
  • Urges the NEC to support all joint union, and/or cross-sectoral initiatives to protest at cuts and redundancies, including a national demonstration in the autumn, and a lobby of Parliament to celebrate post-16 education, and to urge proper funding for Universities and Colleges in the spring.
  • The LA, noting the wave of cuts and redundancies being announced at local level, and the growing number of branches balloting for local industrial action in response, believes that a national strategy is needed to unite these local struggles, and to prevent them from being isolated, or weakened by local factors.
  • In order to determine an appropriate national strategy, this branch believes that a Special HE Sector Conference should meet this term, after branches have considered the situation confronting the sector.

On Tuesday 10 November the Action committee will be reconvened where members can meet to hear how they can support local action, and discuss strategy. Anyone wishing to join action committee should contact Steven Lax at s.e.lax@leeds.ac.uk

On Thursday 19th November at 4:45 members from all three campus trade unions are meeting to lobby the University council. All members should try to attend and please bring colleagues with you.

Your union is expending all its energy to protect academic freedom and the jobs of all staff.

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