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February, 2012:

Local UCU meetings

  UCU Members on ALC contracts

There will be a meeting on Thursday 8 March between 12.30 and 1.30 at the ITCS meeting room* for staff on ALC contracts. This will be an informal meeting to listen to any concerns or views you wish to raise.  Committee member Wadud Miah is attending the national UCU ALC meeting on 21st March and is keen to gather your views on issues facing ALC staff.


 UCU Members on Casual/Hourly Paid/fixed term contracts

The UCU branch at UEA wishes to help members on fixed term/hourly paid types of contract to share their views with colleagues on similar contracts, and to identify matters of mutual interest, progress or concern.

We have arranged a  Casual/fixed term staff meeting: ARTS 2.08 on Thursday 1st March, 12.30 to 13.30.

We hope you can drop in for some of this time.  You are welcome to bring colleagues, including PGR students and non-UCU members, and to submit ideas for discussion.



National defend public education conference 10th March

Defend Public Education Conference

Saturday 10 March 2012 – University of London Union, Malet Street

The union will be holding a major conference on the defence of public education in London on Saturday 10 March 2012.

Its aim is to bring together unions, students and organisations with an interest in defending our education system from cuts, privatisation and the institutionalisation of social inequality.

UCU general meeting coming up – 29th Feb

Date for your diary – See below for the next UCU@UEA  general meeting – members’ opportunity to share your views and ideas with the committee & hear what we’ve been doing.

Wednesday 29th February

Arts 3.07, 13.00-14.00


1. REF – What’s happening at UEA?

2. Update on the USS Pensions campaign – gains so far and what we hope to achieve.

3. UEA Corporate Plan

USS pension action suspended

At an HE Sector Conference on 31 January 2012,  UCU delegates backed the recommendation of their national negotiators to suspend the current work-to-contract in return for the employers’ agreement to negotiations about USS.  Further details can be found in circular UCUHE134


The industrial action is suspended from 15 February to 18 June.


This will allow time for negotiations to take place and be reported to the UCU Conference which takes place early June.  I would like to say a big thank you to all members who have participated in the Work to Contract.  Our negotiators are hopeful that there may now be progress on the issues which most concern us about the changes to USS.

REF – training to support members

UCU are planning to run training sessions on Monday 6th February from 12.00-13.00, repeated 13.00-14.00 in Committee Room 2 in the Registry Council House, led by Lydia Richards, Eastern Region regional official.  This training is designed to help UCU reps and members help other members.  It will provide you with basic advice about what is happening in relation to the REF at UEA and is intended to provide a way in which we can support each other through this process.


We are hoping to persuade as many as possible of you who do attend to pass on the information to colleagues who are members of UCU and perhaps to accompany them to early stage meetings with their Heads of School / HR.  You will not be expected to provide detailed advice to members.  Any such advice will be available from our trained caseworkers who will take on any cases which are problematic.  However, we anticipate that over the next few months many members will be approaching UCU having been told that they need to see their HoS about their prospects in relation to the REF.  During the Integration Project we did something very similar and many members came forward agreeing to accompany members who had been informed that their post was at risk of redundancy.  Those who did, some of whom were themselves at risk of redundancy, found this very worthwhile both in terms of helping fellow members and in terms of understanding their own position.  Needless to say, the many members who were helped by our volunteers were very grateful.

Please try to come along and, although we are hoping that as many of you as possible will then take an active part in supporting fellow members, we do not require you to commit to this.  You can decide after you receive the training.

For more information about REF @ UEA see Local news