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UCU Strikes – no agreement. March 14, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Thanks to the person who forwarded this…

University strikes remain on as UCU rejects proposals

13 March 2018

University strikes remain on as UCU rejects proposals

UCU has rejected a proposal drawn up at talks between the union and Universities UK (UUK) to end the university pensions strike. UCU representatives from the universities where staff are on strike over plans to cut their pensions met at the union’s headquarters today (Tuesday).

The union is calling for urgent negotiations with the universities’ representatives Universities UK aimed at resolving the dispute. The union said the strikes and action short of a strike remain on, and it would now make detailed preparations for strikes over the assessment and exam period.

Last week the union said that universities would be hit with a second wave of 14 strike days targeted at exams and assessment if the dispute was not resolved.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: ‘Branches made it clear today that they wanted to reject the proposal. UCU’s greatest strength is that we are run by and for our members and it is right that members always have the final say.

‘The strike action for this week remains on and we will now make detailed preparations for strikes over the assessment and exam period. We want urgent talks with the universities’ representatives to try and find a way to get this dispute resolved.’

Very impressive to see people holding fast.

Comments»

1. Michael Carley - March 14, 2018

I was at the branch officers’ meeting to discuss the offer. Feelings ran high but we’re now thinking like a union with an engaged membership maintaining a dispute. It’s a big change but a healthy one.

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2. Dr. X - March 14, 2018

“The employers are incredibly split, we are not”. That was the line at the meeting after this morning’s picket. We also recruited a new member on the picket line today, apparently.

And recruitment is up around the UK as well. . . a positive omen, now that we’re moving into what’s going to be a long struggle?

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3. Michael Carley - March 14, 2018

Right. How many people on here work in UK universities?

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4. Michael Carley - March 14, 2018

And a bit more now I’m at a keyboard. There was a massive grassroots rejection of the offer, with emails to branch officers (me) and open-air meetings on picket lines yesterday morning, with quite a bit of anger against the national leadership because the offer which came out of ACAS was described as an “agreement” and some people were immediately looking for the sell-out.

There was a branch officers briefing already lined up for yesterday morning which fed into the HEC (the section of the NEC which covers Higher Education) which met yesterday morning and afternoon. Every branch bar one at the briefing said reject the offer, on the basis of the views from members, and that is exactly what the HEC did. There is still some anger about, but a message from the General Secretary explaining what happened and why has helped manage the situation.

What is healthy, and a huge cultural change for the union, is the way that grassroots meetings and emails were quickly fed into a representative national view which was expressed in a national line with the HEC able to be confident that it was rejecting the offer on behalf of a membership with the stomach for a fight. We have never been in this position before. Previous disputes, usually on pay but twice on pensions, have seen us marched to the top of the hill, trading a couple of days strike action for a 0.3% increase on the pay offer, and then marched back down again, in part because the membership chose to accept the slightly improved offer. This time, branch and national officers are not trying to motivate members to take action, but dealing with the consequences of having a membership which has found the strength and the consciousness to take on a serious dispute. I have seen a claim that this dispute alone has seen more strike days than were taken in the whole country in all of 2016. This is a massive dispute in the UK’s second biggest export sector and people want to fight.

We are a proper trade union.

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makedoanmend - March 14, 2018

Thanks for keeping us updated. Encouraging.

From a student at a UK university (albeit a v mature one) this is turning out to be fascinating struggle. I hope there a people documenting the events.

kudos

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