UCU In the News

Voters back using public money to bail out UK universities

Around three in four voters (74%) think the next government should step in with emergency funding for universities in financial crisis, reported Times Higher.

The poll, by Savanta on behalf of UCU, showed more than eight in 10 (81%) of those who intend to vote Labour and 77% of those who intend to vote Conservative back government intervention for institutions at risk of closure.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady told Times Higher: ‘This polling shows the British public wants the incoming government to step in and provide urgent financial support to any university at risk of going under. If elected into office next week, the Labour Party has rightly said higher education will be a day-one priority, but it also needs to realise that reckless market dogma has pushed universities to the brink and offer realistic solutions to the crisis. To stave off collapse, higher education must be publicly funded, anything less would be a historic failure.’

Unions look to improved employment relations under a Labour government

On the second anniversary of strikes which have seen hundreds of thousands of workers take industrial action union leaders reflected on industrial relations under the Tories and set out what they expect from Labour, reported The Evening Standard. Unions accused the Conservative Government of misjudging the public mood over strikes following an unprecedented wave of industrial action stretching back two years

Jo Grady told The Independent: ‘Two years on from the summer of discontent, workers across the country have made big gains, and our members have helped lead the way. The University and College Union mobilised like never before, winning not one but two national ballots, and forcing universities to agree to restore our retirement benefits in full. This is the biggest pensions win in British trade union history. Meanwhile, in further education, we took strike action for fair pay across England, winning pay awards of up to 12% at over 60 colleges. We now need to keep up the fight and make sure workers everywhere get their fair share.’

Up to 150 jobs at the University of Hull are at risk

Up to 150 jobs at the University of Hull are at risk as part of a £23m cuts plan because of a claimed drop in income, reported the BBC.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley told the BBC: The cuts would massively increase academic workloads for remaining staff, while degrading the student experience and the quality of teaching provision.’

College staff pass no confidence vote in CEO

Staff at five colleges have passed a vote of no confidence in a CEO in a long-running dispute over pay, reported the BBC. Members of UCU working at colleges which are part of Education Training Collective on Teesside, voted to say they had lost confidence in the group’s CEO Grant Glendinning.

UCU regional support official Chris Robinson told the BBC it was “unfortunate” industrial relations “had been degraded to such an extent” that union members felt they had no option but to move to a motion of no confidence.

“UCU now calls on the ETC governors to step in, show leadership and help prevent any further industrial action being taken,” he added.

500 job cut threat at University of Northampton

The University of Northampton has opened a voluntary severance scheme in an attempt to cut 500 jobs over a claimed £19m deficit due to a drop in international student recruitment, reported the BBC.

UCU Northampton branch secretary Sonya Andermahr told the BBC: ‘UCU’s view is that we broadly welcome the scheme as an alternative to compulsory redundancies. However, we feel that the terms of the scheme mean that it probably won’t have the desired effect of inducing enough staff to leave to make an appreciable difference to the university’s finances. We are seeking to improve the terms at a meeting with the university leadership team next week.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *