Category Archives: Announcements

Liverpool Voluntary Severance Scheme, TEF, REF and “Performance Management” Members’ Survey

https://surveyhero.com/c/9654ed00

Also see this flyer/ leaflet explaining the VSS and the UCU UoL position: VSS Flyer

The aim of the survey is to establish the facts and the effects of the Voluntary Severance Scheme announced by the University of Liverpool.
The Branch’s advice in relation to the scheme is that:
No one should go to a meeting in relation to the scheme or discuss the VSS if they do not wish to do so.
No one should be coerced in applying for the scheme
Coercion includes the use of any performance indicators as arguments that may “persuade” members of staff to take voluntary severance
The Branch does not accept that such “indicators” are legitimate
This survey is anonymous but If you wish to request personal advice and information please contact the local UCU Office at: lucu@liverpool.ac.uk or 0151795 3246

#LivUniStrike on Twitter


Launch of the local Stress Code of Practice

Dear colleague,

Today is National Stress Awareness Day and we are pleased to say we can now we have been working with management for some time to develop.

We know how many of our members are affected by stress in the workplace and we’re pleased that the University have engaged with us in taking steps to address this.

We are fully aware that this isn’t a resolution to all of our workplace stressors, but communicating this Code of Practice to all staff, at every level, is a step forward in acknowledging workplace stress is an issue as well as providing useful information on how we can support our colleagues through a difficult time.

There is an article on the University of Liverpool/UCU Stress Code of Practice and a link to the document here.

A lot of work went into this locally and UCU’s National Health & Safety Official presented our Code of Practice to HESH, the National employers forum on H&S who asked if they could share it with all parties in the HE Sector as an example of best practice.

Our intention now is to ensure this very well received document is fully implemented locally and works to support colleagues already suffering from work related stress and to limit more colleagues from having to go through what can be a very debilitating illness.

Please feel free to share this with colleagues and managers. Everyone needs to know this Code of Practice exists in order for it to be fully effective.

Best wishes.

 

Jo.

Stand up for Equalities. Step up for Dawn.

Today we exercise our democratic right to elect a new government. However, the 8 June is also significant in the history of the struggle for the vote for women. On this day in 1913, the suffragette Emily Davison died of her injuries four days after falling under the king’s horse at the Epsom Derby.

At lunch-time today the University of Liverpool UCU branch stepped up for sacked Equalities Officer Dawn Holdman. UCU members gathered to demand Dawn’s reinstatement following her victimisation for trade union activity.

Dawn’s campaign has the full support of the national UCU.

Also see our Dawn Holdman Statement.

STEP UP FOR DAWN

8-june-2017-2-resampled

UCU branch Motion carried for Free Movement Of Labour In Higher Education

The following motion was carried at a mass joint union meeting attended by approximately 200 members on October 20th 2016.

FREE MOVEMENT OF LABOUR IN HIGHER EDUCATION

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches condemn in the strongest possible terms the proposal by home secretary Amber Rudd to restrict the entry of international students to ‘top’ universities and to introduce labour market tests aimed at reducing the numbers of international staff. We note this will impact on all post 16 educational institutions.

UK universities and all post 16 educational institutions depend on international students and staff not just in economic terms but in their very mission: to serve as spaces that are open to all people regardless of nationality and background. As such, the home secretary’s proposals are both nonsensical and racist.

 

The linking of student immigration rules to the government’s determination to further stratify higher education is especially pernicious. It is designed to maximise competition between HE providers and to blame ‘foreigners’ for the underinvestment and cuts for which they are not responsible.

 

These proposals come in the light of the recent vote to leave the EU that has endangered the existing free movement of labour within the European Economic Area (EEA). If this is ended, EEA staff will be drawn under the Points-Based Immigration Scheme, meaning that they will be subject to the same continual visa restrictions, employer-sponsorship arrangements, etc., that our international colleagues face. Similar barriers will likely be placed on UK nationals living in or moving to the EEA.

 

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches believe that ending freedom of movement of labour would represent a significant worsening of the conditions of present and future EEA staff in the UK. Any restrictions on freedom of movement of labour, and our right to work without discrimination based on nationality, will put increasing competitive pressure on EEA staff, and thus affect staff as a whole and weaken our union.

 

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches resolve urgently to campaign for the following:

  • No upper limits on the numbers of international students who wish to come to the UK and to study at universities or post 16 educational institutions of their choice
  • The immediate removal of international students from net migration targets
  • The free movement of labour and opposition to the Points-Based Immigration Scheme
  • An up-front guarantee for existing EU/EEA citizens in the UK to stay here
  • Protection for EU research funding and EU students
  • Full recognition of workers’ rights throughout EU withdrawal negotiations

 

 

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches further resolve

 

  • To publicise the fact that this motion has been passed and encourage other UCU, Unite and Unison branches to do likewise
  • To submit this motion, when passed, to the NEC of UCU, Unite and Unison.
  • To liaise with other branches regarding submitting a version of this motion to their respective National Conferences in 2017

Vote Jo McNeill for UCU General Secretary

Vote Jo McNeill for UCU General Secretary

Dear member,

The voting period for the position of UCU General Secretary begins on 1 February 2017 and lasts until the 1 March 2017. The election of this crucial national role takes place every five years, and the outcome will be important for the future direction of the union.

This year there are just two candidates: Sally Hunt (the sitting General Secretary); and Jo McNeill (President, University of Liverpool UCU).

As the University of Liverpool UCU branch committee, we are giving total and enthusiastic support to our President, Jo McNeill.

Jo has proved her commitment to UCU members on countless occasions at the local, regional and national levels. We know that she believes in fighting to prevent the ongoing slide in pay and the value of our pensions, along with the deterioration of terms and conditions across the HE sector. She has argued consistently for a strategy that is clear, accountable and transparent to members. As Jo has said repeatedly: “We can’t keep repeating the same mistakes. It’s time for change”.

For more information about Jo’s campaign go to: https://jo4ucugensec.wordpress.com/

This election is also a vital part of the democracy of the union and we urge all members to use their vote, whatever their preference. (In the last election for the position of General Secretary, the turnout was just 12%.)

In the coming weeks the campaign material of both candidates will be made available to members. The branch is also organising a hustings for as near to the start of the voting period as possible. Both candidates have been invited. The date will be confirmed shortly.

For more information about the elections of the General Secretary and other National Executive Committee positions go to:

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/7228/UCU-elections-2016-17

Mark O’Brien

Vice-president, University of Liverpool UCU

Motion for Joint Union Meeting (UCU, Unite, Unison) on Restructure of the Academic Secretary’s Office

20 October 2016

This meeting notes:

  • the current review and proposed restructuring of the Academic Secretary’s Office and within this, the Centre for Lifelong Learning;
  • that under the proposal a range of activities for academic support and educational development will be line managed under a new Leadership Academy;
  • specifically, that this change will mean that accredited academic support programmes (CPS, PG. Cert., Dip, MA, ULTRA) will come under the Human Resources line management structure;
  • that the proposed structure means the end of the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

This meeting is concerned that:

  • the academic integrity of the accredited programmes will be compromised by this change;
    • that this move of accredited programmes would have ‘implications for academic activity’ and so must be approved through the academic governance structure (faculty committees and Senate);
    • that the loss of the Centre for Lifelong Learning is harmful to the civic identity of the University.

This meeting recognises the need for branch representatives to engage in consultation in order to protect staff jobs and grades.

This meeting instructs its respective union branch officers to campaign over these issues, beginning with an open letter to the Vice-chancellor calling upon the University to:

  • keep all accredited programmes and general academic and educational development activity within a centre that has a clear educational identity and out of the Human Resources line management structure;
  • maintain an explicit commitment to lifelong learning;
  • retain a Centre for Lifelong Learning as a central component of the University’s contribution to the life of the City of Liverpool.

FREE MOVEMENT OF LABOUR IN HIGHER EDUCATION

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches condemn in the strongest possible terms the proposal by home secretary Amber Rudd to restrict the entry of international students to ‘top’ universities and to introduce labour market tests aimed at reducing the numbers of international staff. We note this will impact on all post 16 educational institutions.

UK universities and all post 16 educational institutions depend on international students and staff not just in economic terms but in their very mission: to serve as spaces that are open to all people regardless of nationality and background. As such, the home secretary’s proposals are both nonsensical and racist.

The linking of student immigration rules to the government’s determination to further stratify higher education is especially pernicious. It is designed to maximise competition between HE providers and to blame ‘foreigners’ for the underinvestment and cuts for which they are not responsible.

These proposals come in the light of the recent vote to leave the EU that has endangered the existing free movement of labour within the European Economic Area (EEA). If this is ended, EEA staff will be drawn under the Points-Based Immigration Scheme, meaning that they will be subject to the same continual visa restrictions, employer-sponsorship arrangements, etc., that our international colleagues face. Similar barriers will likely be placed on UK nationals living in or moving to the EEA.

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches believe that ending freedom of movement of labour would represent a significant worsening of the conditions of present and future EEA staff in the UK. Any restrictions on freedom of movement of labour, and our right to work without discrimination based on nationality, will put increasing competitive pressure on EEA staff, and thus affect staff as a whole and weaken our union.

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches resolve urgently to campaign for the following:

– No upper limits on the numbers of international students who wish to come to the UK and to study at universities or post 16 educational institutions of their choice

– the immediate removal of international students from net migration targets

– the free movement of labour and opposition to the Points-Based Immigration Scheme

– an up-front guarantee for existing EU/EEA citizens in the UK to stay here

– protection for EU research funding and EU students

– full recognition of workers’ rights throughout EU withdrawal negotiations

University of Liverpool UCU, Unite and Unison branches further resolve

– to publicise the fact that this motion has been passed and encourage other UCU, Unite and Unison branches to do likewise

– to submit this motion, when passed, to the NEC of UCU, Unite and Unison.

-to liaise with other branches regarding submitting a version of this motion to their respective National Conferences in 2017

 

 

Walk for the Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Bring the family, bring your friends. Make your own placard to say why you care about the hospital.

What are we marching for?

Full public funding – enough to allow Liverpool Women’s Hospital to thrive, for all our sisters, mothers, daughters and babies.

No privatisation or cuts.

No loss of beds.

Better funding for midwives and an improved maternity tariff.

Keep the focus on women and babies.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital is a 20-year-old world class hospital on a good site. It’s the largest maternity hospital in Europe and cares for more

than 50,000 patients a year. Last year it provided antenatal care to 9,926 women, delivered 8,648 babies, cared for 1,091 babies in the neonatal unit, provided postnatal care to 8,221 women, fertility treatment to 2,247 couples and abortion care for the city and beyond. Its future is under threat because of inadequate maternity funding, lack of investment, funding problems for all the NHS and the rampant privatisation and market focus in the NHS.

Please see the flyer: SLWH leaflet for the march

UCU open letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool regarding the EU Referendum result July 2016

Dear Professor Beer,
I am writing following the EU referendum result. As we know you are aware, the result places University of Liverpool staff who are current EU citizens but who do not currently have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK in a specifically vulnerable position.
Some staff have told us they have begun looking for work elsewhere in the EU. Others may find themselves having to apply for the right to continue working while in University of Liverpool employment. We risk a brain drain institutionally while the city faces a capital flight.

….see the PDF below for the full document –

NEC elections

Dear UoL UCU members,

The University of Liverpool branch committee voted yesterday to support the NEC election campaigns of our Branch President Jo McNeill and our branch Vice President Eleni Michalopoulou. The branch committee also voted to support the election campaigns of Northwest Regional Secretary Pura Ariza and the Northwest Regional Chair Chris Sheehy who are also standing in these elections.

The branch officers and committee recommend that you vote accordingly:

Geographically-elected members of the National Executive Committee – North West HE (2 seats)
– Jo McNeill 1

– Chris Sheehy 2

Representatives of LGBT members
– Pura Ariza 1

UK Elected Members HE
– Eleni Michalopoulou 1

As a branch we work closely with all four UCU reps and we believe they are strong negotiators who have an excellent reputation as dedicated, hard working reps within their branches and in the Northwest Region. We would like to see these candidates elected to our National Executive as we feel they would effectively represent our members views at a national level.

If you are unhappy with the decisions UCU made recently at a national level then please use your vote.

Please remember, this is a branch committee recommendation only and we do advise you to read the election addresses of all delegates before voting.

Best wishes,

UCU branch committee
University of Liverpool

UCU Petition – Defend academic freedom against Counter-terrorism Bill duties

Please see the following national UCU petition against new anti–terror laws that require FE and HE institutions to identify those at risk of radicalization or those who hold extreme views to the authorities (note there no definition of what is meant by extreme).

Part 5 of the bill seeks to place a new duty on specified authorities (including universities, colleges, school and prisons) to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

Behaviours suggested for lecturers to identify include students disagreeing with mainstream political and social values. The bill could arguably profile those studying in Higher Education and represents an affront to personal and academic freedom. Please sign the petition below:

https://campaign.goingtowork.org.uk/petitions/defend-academic-freedom

Library campaign says thanks and invites all to lobby Town Hall 16 December

Liverpool Against the Cuts and Old Swan Against the Cuts would like to thank the UCU and all members who supported our fight to keep open eleven libraries in Liverpool.

On 16 December we will be organising a rally outside the Town Hall in Dale Street at 4pm. At 5pm we will be presenting 5,000 signatures (making more than 20,000 in all!) to the Culture Committee. Everyone is welcome.

On 10 November Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and council leader announced all libraries would stay open. This was a victory for the residents of Liverpool and all library users.

However, the buildings maybe secure but the service, as a public service, is still in danger. With this in mind, we hope that you can spare the time to email Mayor Anderson (http://liverpool.gov.uk/contact-us/contact-the-mayor) and impress upon him the need for a publicly run library service that is staffed with librarians and trained library assistants.

We have the continuing support of many writers, academics, journalists etc. In particular Alan Gibbons and Cathy Cassidy have helped us a great deal.

We are again writing to all schools in Liverpool for their support, as well as calling trade unions, students, community and social organisations, workers and youth to join our campaign.
This is the link to SpeakupforLibraries http://speakupforlibraries.org/ of which Alan is a member and he would welcome your thoughts.

For any further information please contact Martin Ralph, mralph@talktalk.net.

UCU University of Liverpool statement on FBU firefighters strike

The UCU branch of University of Liverpool offers support and solidarity to the striking firefighters in their 24 hour action today. This strike is part of an ongoing industrial dispute following UK Government proposals to force firefighters to retire later, pay more into pensions and retire with a smaller pension. These highly questionable proposals would see firefighters of 60 years of age forced to operate on the frontline of firefighting services, posing serious questions for the safety of firefighters and the public.

 

Petition to UUK over a fair USS

National petition to the Universities UK board at the USS institutions meeting on Thursday 4 December in London.

Petition to UUK over a fair USS

‘We the undersigned believe that the USS pension scheme is an important benefit to university staff as well as a significant factor in the recruitment and retention of high quality staff for member institutions.

‘We note that the employers’ initial proposals would have meant a reduction in annual pension income of up to 27% for staff. We call upon the USS Board to agree a fair method of valuation which reflects the underlying strength of the USS fund. We call upon university managements to support such an approach and to work with UCU to develop a pension scheme which ensures all eligible existing and future staff, including casualised staff, benefit from a decent guaranteed pension income.’

Sign the Petition here

A Discussion with Martyn Lowe on Local and International Green issues

A Discussion with Martyn Lowe on Local and International Green issues  

Discussing the Threat of Nuclear Waste in Merseyside, Impact of Nuclear Industry on local Workers, The Fukushima Disaster

The University of Liverpool
Harold Cohen Library, Ashton Street, Liverpool
(431 on Campus Map http://www.liv.ac.uk/maps)

Wolfson Meeting Room
Tuesday 11th February
12-1pm

Martyn Lowe is a radical Librarian, peace activist, veteran Green issues campaigner, member of Kick Nuclear, former Greenpeace (London) activist, and spent 28 years as a volunteer with the War Resisters International.

Martyn will discuss local nuclear waste processing occurring in the Merseyside area and developments at the Capenhurst uranium enrichment plant. Martyn has undertaken recent research into the movement of nuclear waste materials around the North West and Merseyside areas and will provide an overview of operational, safety and environmental issues arising for the region and local workforce. Martyn will also discuss wider nuclear developments including the continuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster in Japan, representing the most severe nuclear incident in recent decades.  Martyn will offer insights into the ongoing issues surrounding Fukushima, including long term destabilisation of the plant’s infrastructure, the difficulties of the cleanup operation, dissemination of nuclear waste across the coastal region & surrounding ocean environment and impact on marine life as far as Alaska and California.

To confirm your attendance, please email Paul Catherall p.catherall@liv.ac.uk

Suggested Links for further information on the topics covered by this talk:

Lecture – The Uses of the University: Public Higher Education and Democracy

 

The Uses of the University: Public Higher Education and Democracy

John Holmwood

This talk will address the implications of recent reforms to higher education in England (and elsewhere) that align the university with a global knowledge economy. It will suggest that the reforms are a response to the emergence of mass higher education, but involve a shift away from understanding education as a social right and the expression of an inclusive public interest to an understanding of it as an investment in human capital and the expression of a private interest of individuals. This involves giving priority to the marketisation of the functions of a university and the displacement of those functions that cannot be marketised, including its functions for democracy.

John Holmwood is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. He is the current president of the British Sociological Association. He is also the co-founder of the Campaign for the Public University.

 Wednesday, 12 February (4pm.)

Venue: 1st Floor Lecture Theatre, Room 1.13, 126 Mount Pleasant (CLL)

To book for this lecture go to: uculecture1@ulivucu.org.uk

ALL WELCOME

Joint-Union Strike Announced for 31st Oct

It has been announced that national UCU HE officers have agreed to call a day of joint strike action with Unison and Unite on Thursday 31st October.  This will be the first all-union action on HE pay since 1996. UCU members will also be asked to work-to-contract with effect from Friday 1st November.

Further information is available in this branch circular and press release.

Stike 31/10/13 Poster materials

Stike 31/10/13 Poster materials

Please display the posters and distribute all the leaflets you receive – to members, non-members, members of other unions, members of none – as far throughout your building as they will go. We can supply more materials and will be organising door-knocking – please contact Pam at lucu@liv.ac.uk to request more leaflets, to volunteer to cover a building other than your own etc.

UCU Lecture Series October 2013

toplogo

The Place of the University in Society: Directions in Education

The programme

What is ‘The Great University Gamble’?

Wednesday, 2 October (5.30pm.)
Andrew McGettigan (author of The Great University Gamble: Money Markets and the Future of Higher Education, Pluto 2013)

Venue: Rendall LT.6

To book for this lecture go to: uculecture1@ulivucu.org.uk

****************************************************
Universities: the neo-liberal agenda

Thursday, 10 October (5.30pm.)
Professor Bob Brecher (University of Brighton)

To book for this lecture go to: uculecture2@ulivucu.org.uk

Venue: Rendall LT.6

****************************************************
The corporatisation of the university (live broadcast)
Tuesday, 22 October (4.45pm.)
Professor Noam Chomsky (MIT)

To book for this lecture go to: uculecture3@ulivucu.org.uk

Venue: Central Teaching Labs LT.B

****************************************************
Defending education: what are the unions for?
Thursday, 31 October (5.30pm.)
Liz Lawrence (UCU, national vice-president); Professor John Holmwood (University of Nottingham) (founder of the Campaign for the Public University)

Venue: Rendall LT.6

To book for this lecture go to: uculecture4@ulivucu.org.uk

Liverpool Pride

This year the UCU had a contingent in the Liverpool Pride Event which was held on 3rd August. The entry was organised by the UCU Equality Officer at the University of Liverpool Branch and support was shown by the regional office as Janet Newsham also attended. The event was a great success and we hope to advertise more widely next year and look into the possibility of having a stall.

 

 

Petition in support of colleagues at the University of Liverpool

Campaign Update special – Please support your colleagues at the University of Liverpool:

If you haven’t already signed the petition in support of our colleagues at the University of Liverpool, please click here to sign the petition now

UCU members at the University of Liverpool need your help. As you may know, the university’s senior management is threatening to dismiss 2,803 staff and rehire them on inferior contracts.

Over 4000 of you have already signed a petition which calls on the university management to return to normal industrial relations – thank you! But as the branch moves towards balloting for action, we need more!

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment tosign here now

The issue was also covered in a recent edition of the Times Higher magazine, which carried a letter from 600 professors across the higher education sector condemning the University management for their actions. You can read thearticle here

All the best

Justine Stephens,
Head of Campaigns, UCU

National UCU News: Pressure mounts on University of Liverpool as UK professors unite in condemnation of dismissals

Pressure is mounting on the University of Liverpool’s management after hundreds of university professors from across the UK signed an open letter calling for it to step back from its proposal to dismiss 2,803 non-academic staff if they refuse to accept inferior contracts.

Eminent signatories to the letter, coordinated by UCU, include Sir Iain Chalmers of the University of Liverpool, Professor Steven Rose of the Open University, Professor Alan Sokal of University College London, and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch of the University of Oxford, amongst a total of 600.

Please see the full national UCU news article at http://www.ucu.org.uk/6717

University of Liverpool staff to ballot for strike action

Members of UCU at the University of Liverpool today voted in favour of holding a ballot for strike action in response to a threat to dismiss them unless they accept weekend, evening and Bank Holiday working without recompense.

At a meeting today, UCU members voted unanimously in favour of a motion calling for a ballot on industrial action. A ‘yes’ vote in the ballot could see an escalating programme of strike action and action short of a strike, which could involve things like refusing to work unpaid overtime.

For further details see http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=6681