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Contact from students about our ballot

January 18, 2010

Some members have been emailing UCU in response to the emails they (and non-members) have been receiving from students, emails which have been generated by the Students’ Union.

As you may already know, over a thousand students have joined the UCU and committed to support us and support any strike action. See the following blogs and web pages:

Recently, students have been adding messages of support to our post about the ballot (see the comments on

Students support UCUIn addition to these many, many students who have put their name to support our campaign – the largest body of students ever to support a local UCU dispute –  as a result of this direct contact from students we now have the opportunity to talk directly to those who have not yet heard our arguments. If a student uses this email to contact you, or contact you any other way, you have the right to enter into polite dialogue with them on the matter. We have found that by doing so, we have changed the minds of some of the people using the SU web form.

UCU alongside the other campus unions has had a series of meetings with LUU. Resulting from these meetings, the following statement was agreed between UCU, UNISON, UNITE and LUU ( Whilst we are obviously disappointed therefore that LUU have taken this most recent course of action and sought to influence the outcome of an independent organisation’s internal ballot, we remain committed to open dialogue with LUU.

Some members who have felt unsure as to how to respond to the individual students have requested a form of words from us. A link will be sent to members shortly.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ben Plumpton permalink
    January 18, 2010 1:20 PM

    I think it is completely unacceptable that the university should have given LUU permission to use all-school-staff email lists in this way. I gather that students can’t even edit the email that’s sent, the LUU form just generates a standard email with their name on. It would have been less awful if the each student could choose their own wording so they could send supportive emails if they wanted.

    I would suggest that staff complain, although I’m not sure who to. Any suggestions?

  2. Colour Sciences permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:50 AM

    I have never voted for strike action. I have always believed that educators should not take strike action. In previous disputes I have kept my head down, and not got involved.

    This time, I cannot. The detail of the University’s behaviour is impossible to ignore, and it is slowly, stubbornly and without care it seems bringing the reputation of this institution into disrepute. It is clear that the UCU have done all they can to insist the University abides by its own regulations, procedures and the letter of the law, but to no avail. I have no choice now but to vote ‘yes’.

    There have been two or three last straws for me. Firstly it was the deliberate and disingenuous way the University sought to misrepresent the purpose of the union’s ballot in their public news item on the ACAS talks. This revealed for me that their talk of being open and honest was clearly nothing but hot air. Then this. Either they have given permission for the students’ union to behave this way, and that would surely be in total opposition to what they say in their policy on mass emailing, or they have not but are happily turning a blind eye. Is this in keeping with the University’s obligations under data protection?

    You have my yes/yes vote UCU. For the first time, you have convinced this rather errant member (or rather the University has convinced me)

  3. Disappointed Lecturer permalink
    January 22, 2010 5:26 PM

    apologies in advance if it’s already been sent out and I’ve missed it, but could the UCU please organise some sort of co-ordinated response to the standard email that is coming from the Student Union that seeks to interfere with our internal ballot?

    If memory serves me correctly, the UCU/AUT has consistently been supportive of NUS actions and it is deeply disappointing that this support is not being reciprocated by some student union figures …

  4. Succesful campaigner permalink
    January 22, 2010 10:39 PM

    The LUU campaign to email tutors closed down today. Students have successfully protested about our student union’s behaviour. The ‘Education First’ campaign had a Twitter feed. Only 10 students ‘followed’ it! They had a facebook page – we flooded it with protests. Now they’ve bowed to student protest pressure and finally closed their campaign to undermine the staff who always put education first. UCU, the students are behind you.

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