Demand a Green New Deal at the University of Liverpool

Demand a Green New Deal at the University of Liverpool

Campus unions and the students Guild are calling on the University of Liverpool to adopt a ‘Green New Deal Bargaining’ approach to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergency and ensure a Just Transition to a sustainable future.
What does this mean?
Green New Deal bargaining is a grassroots approach to climate and environmental action. Governments, corporations, and civic organizations have failed to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Promises have not been kept and the pace of change has been slow. Whilst the University of Liverpool has made some initial progress, the sustainability strategy lacks ambition, transparency, democratic accountability, and clear commitments on resourcing.
The university is signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals but is failing to implement them within its own institutional practices. To create institutional accountability, shift the pace of change, and combat greenwashing we need strong mechanisms for collective staff and student voice. We need a Green New Deal to drive democratic change across all areas of the University’s practices and environmental impacts.
As a matter of URGENCY we are calling on the university to:

  • Declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency. Expand the 2035 Net Zero commitment to all scope 3 emissions including outsourced emissions generated from home working.
  • Recognise that measures to mitigate climate and environmental impacts are matters for joint consultation and negotiation with the campus unions and the Guild of students. Establish a new standing committee on Net Zero and environmental impacts with student, union and Senior Leadership Team participation.
  • Decarbonise and Decolonise the curriculum to support climate justice. Develop negotiated policies to achieve this with the trades unions and the Guild, addressing workload, training, and resourcing issues
  • Commit to bringing its research agenda into line with principles of sustainable development. Support a worker led transition away from funding streams tied to environmentally harmful activities.
  • Bring the university’s employment practices in line with the Sustainable Development Goals: decasualise employment practices, end race and gender pay gaps, and reduce inequality through the adoption of pay ratios.
  • Reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of its investment portfolio to net zero. Review the exclusions in the Ethical Investment Policy in consultation with unions and students and develop stronger oversight mechanisms for governing investment decisions

What can I do?
Staff: Join a union! Get involved with the building support for the Green New Deal claim. For more information contact UCU Green rep Ben Crawford:
Students: Contact the Guild to say you support the Green New Deal:

Strike Rallies 6th and 9th August

UoL UCU says NO compulsory redundancies

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

Save ‘Graduate to Merseyside’

This service, part of the Careers and Employability Service, every year finds employment placements in local organisations and companies. These lead to high quality jobs for hundreds of graduates of the University of Liverpool.
Now, the University has decided to scrap it!

But Graduate to Merseyside is crucial to:

 The civic role of the University
 Connections to the City of Liverpool
 Local retention of graduates
 The economic relevance of the University
 Relationships with local business
 Local partnerships
 Student recruitment

UCU general meeting

(open to non-members)

1pm., Wednesday, 18 June 2015

Rendall Building, Seminar Room 11 (Room 121)

UCU calls upon the University of Liverpool to core fund this vital service!

Graduate to Merseyside (PDF)

Strike 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 to request more leaflets, to volunteer to cover a building other than your own etc.

UCU Lecture Series October 2013


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:

Universities: the neo-liberal agenda

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

To book for this lecture go to:

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:

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:

UCU Rebuttal to Recent Management Statements on Forced Change of Contract via Threat of Section 188 Dismissal

Issued 4th July 2013

The employer says:

Despite months of constructive negotiations with the Trades Unions, an agreement has not yet been reached, and a Section 188 Notice – a legal document that signifies the start of a 45-day formal consultation – was issued on 7 June, to enable discussions to progress

UCU says:

The employer has issued a S188 notice because they intend to make significant changes to your contracts. If the changes to your contract were not expected to be significant, they would not have had to enter this process. The S188 is NOT an administrative process. It is a legal notice to the recognised trade unions of an intention to dismiss. In the current context, the S188 is being invoked to terminate 2803 contracts. The employer has stated that they will offer all staff who receive a dismissal notice the opportunity for re-engagement but they will have to accept the inferior terms and conditions currently under consultation with the recognised Trade Unions. The employer is enforcing these inferior changes.

The employer says:

Carol Costello, Director of Human Resources said: “We are keen to ensure that colleagues understand what the measures actually mean, following incorrect and misleading claims made by the UCU in the media”.

UCU says:

UCU have been very clear and transparent and have ensured that all press releases have been accurate and reflective of discussions with the employer.

The employer says:

“There has been considerable misinformation, with claims that the University is expecting staff to work additional hours on evenings, weekends and bank holidays without appropriate compensation. This is not the case.

UCU says:

We are in the process of a 45 day collective consultation on the proposed standardisation of the contracts for five job groups:

  • Senior Library Staff
  • Programmer Analysts/Senior Programmer Analysts/Principal Programmer/Analysts and Senior Principal Programmer Analysts
  • Computing Services Department Management Staff
  • Senior Administrative Staff
  • Other-Related Staff

Currently, three out of the five contracts we are negotiating detail a contractual entitlement to TOIL. In two out of the five contracts, the contractual clause specifically states staff will receive hour for hour TOIL. The only contracts which don’t hold a specific TOIL clause are the Senior Administrative Staff and Other-Related contracts. Many of these staff receive their contractual TOIL entitlement through local procedures and practices that have evolved over time.

All references to TOIL have been removed from the proposed standardised contract.

The employer has stated repeatedly throughout the negotiations that they don’t want to offer hour for hour TOIL as part of the proposed standardised contract.

The employer has clearly stated that they believe there is ‘an expectation’ that PMSA staff of grade 6 and above should work longer than 35 hours.

The employer has said that they believe that if a manager wants staff who usually start at 9am to come into work for an 8am meeting, the employer would expect staff not to want to claim that hour back. The same goes if your manager asks you to stay after your usual finish time. The proposed standardised contract would allow local managers to require you to work additional hours around your usual work hours and the employer believes there is an ‘expectation’ that you should work these additional hours for no compensation.

UCU offered a compromise position to the employer. We said if a manager requests an employee to work additional hours, the employee can have hour for hour TOIL as compensation. However, if an employee chooses to work additional hours ie, if you decide to sit at your desk after your normal hours to finish a report or if you decide to come in early to prep for a meeting, then you would not be eligible for TOIL. The employer has refused to accept this compromise position.

There are ongoing discussions about working weekends and evenings but UCU are very concerned that although the employer claims that they do not expect staff to work additional hours without compensation, the proposed standardised contract allows them to do this and their negotiating position tells us that they do ‘expect’ PMSA staff to work additional hours for no compensation.

The employer says:

“We will not be making any staff redundant as a result of these changes – staff will remain in the same jobs but on revised terms.”

UCU says:

The S188 process is notice to dismiss. We are currently over half way through the 45 day collective consultation period. At the end of the 45 day collective consultation period, all 2803 staff will receive a written dismissal notice (unless the consultation period is extended). The dismissal notice period is 90 days. If at the end of that 90 day period, you decide not to accept the new, inferior terms and conditions, you will be legally dismissed. The University is not offering any PMSA staff access to the Voluntary Severance Scheme. The employer is using the S188 notice to enforce inferior changes to your contract. If these changes were not significant, they would not use this approach. No other Russell Group University has ever used this approach to industrial relations.

UCU members will be given specific legal advice about their options once the dismissal notices are issued by the University.

The employer says:

“We respect the right of staff to demonstrate but encourage people to ensure that they have accurate information about the changes and how they will impact them.”

UCU says:

UCU believes the main changes arising from the proposed contract changes are:

  • Hours of work – as well as the issues with TOIL as outlined above, the proposed contract and management guidance give local managers the authority to change work schedules/patterns without following the usual procedure which includes negotiation with the recognised Trade Unions. Would you be happy that your line manager can change your agreed working hours to suit their business needs without negotiation?


  • Bank Holidays/Closure Days: Currently the majority of staff have bank holidays and closure days detailed as paid holiday entitlements. The proposed standardised contract states, ‘Some posts may require occasional work on a bank holiday or closure day. The details of which will be contained in the appointment letter, job description or separate work schedule document.’ The employer has stated that they will only offer single time TOIL for Bank Holiday work. UCU asked for double time TOIL as Christmas Day/Boxing Day working has not been ruled out in future. The employer refused. UCU believe that if the employer seeks to increase your obligation to work during these periods, you should be appropriately compensated. Our compromise position was that if the employer only sought to give single time compensation then the word ‘require’ should be removed from the contract so Bank Holiday working is voluntary and not a contractual requirement. The employer has said no to our compromise position. Would you be happy to have a contractual requirement to work on a Bank Holiday, including possibly Christmas Day in the future, for one single day off?

The employer says:

Human Resources managers have been meeting with staff across the University who will be impacted by the changes.

UCU says:

UCU advise our members not to engage in individual consultation whilst the collective consultation process is ongoing as this undermines the negotiations and you will not be provided with an accurate final position on the proposed new contract. If you are asked to attend a meeting with your manager or HR about the current situation, ask if you are being formally consulted under S188. If they say you are, you can ask for the meeting to be re-scheduled when a UCU Rep can accompany you. Do not sign any paperwork related to this dispute. If you are approached by management or HR and asked to sign documentation, contact the UCU office immediately.

The employer says:

Other staff will have enhanced terms such as additional holidays to bring their conditions in line with those of colleagues.

UCU says:

15 PMSA staff out of 769 are being offered five days additional holidays which they are entitled to anyway after five years service (some of the staff are coming up to that five year threshold). UCU do not feel slightly enhanced terms for fifteen staff compensate in any way for the detrimental terms and conditions being enforced on the other 754 staff.


In summary, the employer is posing the changes in hours of work under the term ‘flexibility’. UCU believes that flexibility within the hours we are paid for is fine, we do not agree that flexibility means members should work additional hours for no compensation. UCU are not asking for money, we are asking for our time. The university currently operates out of hours work based on the fact that staff are flexible and do give up their time with their families and friends to facilitate ‘business needs’ because we get that time back when it is suitable for us.

The employer has stated repeatedly that UCU ‘agreed’ to the S188 process in the past.

This is inaccurate. We have previously asked the employer to adhere to their legal obligations when proposing to undertake a restructuring where staff are at risk of redundancy . This not the same as using the same legislation to enforce changes to terms and conditions and UCU strongly object to this. It is admittance by the University that your union and staff will never agree to the new proposed contract without a gun to their head.

Rebuttal to UoL Comms 4 July (DOC version)

Why is University of Liverpool UCU in dispute? A UCU briefing document

THE UNIVERSITY SAYS: The University and the Joint Trades Unions have been discussing the potential to standardise the terms and conditions for non-academic and academic-related staff since Autumn 2012. UCU SAYS: The campus unions have been in negotiations with the employer represented by the Director of Human Resources, but only in February did the employer present concrete proposals to implement inferior terms and conditions for our members on Academic-Related (PMSA) contracts.

Please see full flyer: Liverpool briefing