Friday, 18 March 2016

UCU campaigns update:

Guidance on further education (FE) area reviews is available here providing information explaining the process and timescales and setting out our position on the proposals and you can catch up with all the latest developments in FE here.

3. In the news
UCU responds to budget
Sally Hunt talks casualisation in Times Higher
Schools white paper
UCU Scotland welcomes Commission on Widening Access report
Guardian HE gender equality debate roundup
College principal pay hikes
Read all about it here.

4. Stand up to racism tomorrow, Saturday 19 March
Please join UCU in supporting the ‘Stand up to racism’ demonstrations tomorrow Saturday 19 March in London, Cardiff and Glasgow. UCU general secretary Sally Hunt will be speaking at the London event and meeting points for all three demos are as follows:
London demo assembles 12 noon, BBC Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA
Cardiff demo assembles 11:30am, Clare Gardens, Cardiff, CF11 6EN
Glasgow demo assembles 10:30am, George Square, Glasgow
5. Campaigning on casual contracts: ‘our working environment is your learning environment’
A busy week in our campaign for secure employment for ALL staff:
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt called on universities to come clean on insecure employment practices in an article in this week’s Times Higher Education.
Kelvin Hopkins MP tabled an early day motion (EDM 1265) highlighting the issue of job insecurity in HE - please take a few minutes to contact your MP and ask for their support for the motion.
We launched an excellent new function on our Rate for the job webtool allowing hourly paid lecturers to check their pay.
6. Undergraduate teaching quality survey – have your say
If you teach on an undergraduate HE course at any UK university, FE college or private provider please add your voice to the debate about teaching quality by filling in this short survey which you can find here.

7. Reduction in your take home pay from April
Please note that due to the introduction of the new single state pension you may notice a reduction in your take home pay from 6 April 2016. The reasons why, and more detailed information on this, can be found here.

8. Free Miguel Beltrán – video message to UCU members
Jailed academic, Dr Miguel Beltrán, has recorded a moving message from inside the notorious La Picota prison thanking UCU for campaigning for his release and for an end to the persecution he has suffered for criticising the Colombian government. Please watch and share the film and sign the Labour Start petition.

9. People’s Assembly march for health, homes, jobs and education
UCU members will join the anti-austerity march for health, homes, jobs and education assembling at 1pm, Gower Street, London, NW1 on 16 April 2016. Invite your friends on Facebook.

10. Develop your career with UCU
There are still some places available on the following courses, which are free to all members. More details and registration:
Classroom management – Luton, 19 April
Voice care for educators – Sheffield, 21 April

11. Initial teacher training in the education white paper
UCU has highlighted concerns about proposed new quality measures and ‘centres of excellence’ for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) announced in the white paper from the Department of Education this week, and the general secretary is writing to the Secretary of State on the issue today.

12. Hands off our schools - say no to forced academies
Following the announcement that all schools are to be forced to become academies, often against the will of local communities, parents and teachers; our sister union the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is organising a march to the Department for Education on Wednesday 23 March, assembling 5pm at Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Street, London, SW1P 1QW.

All the best

Justine Stephens
UCU head of campaigns

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