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February, 2018:

USS meeting for ALL STAFF (non-union members) please notify your colleagues – Monday 19th February

Just a quick reminder about our meeting for ALL STAFF, including non-union members on Monday 19th February.
We are aware that non-members are currently getting a one-sided account from management and we would like to provide more balanced information.  If you know colleagues who aren’t UCU members, but would be interested in getting a more complete picture, please encourage them to come along.
Please feel free to copy and paste the following invitation and pass it on to your non-union colleagues, either individually or if you can, via staff lists.
Best wishes
UMUCU Executive Committee
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Colleague
 
As you will no doubt be aware, University and College Union will be taking strike action as a result of the detrimental changes to our USS pension scheme.  The local branch has arranged a meeting on Monday 19th February, 1-2pm in lecture theatre 2, Crawford House to outline the issues and the concerns that UCU have in relation to the position taken by the employers.  
 
UCU are encouraging ALL STAFF (especially non-union members) to attend in order to gain a more balanced view of the changes to our pension scheme.
 
Further information can be also be found at https://www.ucu.org.uk/strikeforuss

USS Strikes – latest update

We had a very well attended EGM last week, with members clearly angry at the attack on their pensions and willing to take serious action to defend our scheme and bring the management back to meaningful negotiations.  Details of planned action and events before and during the strikes was given at the meeting, but further ideas are welcome (ucu@manchester.ac.uk).  If you want to get more involved, there is a Local Contacts meeting on Thursday 15th February at 12.30-1.30pm in Academy 3, in the Students Union.
 
Our industrial action needs to make a significant impact, but we realise this will have bigger effects on some than others.  At the EGM members supported a motion to set up a local strike fund, to complement the national fund.  This will, for example, allow us to support members in the early days of the strike before the national scheme kicks in, especially those such as GTAs for whom the loss in pay may be a significant proportion of their income.  We’ve already had contact from some retired members, now receiving a good pension, who want to donate to the fund.  Details on how to donate coming soon.
 
Following suggestions from some of our members we’re running an Information Meeting on USS aimed at non-members.  We’re aware that non-members are currently getting a one-sided account from management and want to provide more balanced information.  If you know people who aren’t UCU members but would be interested in getting a more complete picture, please encourage them to come along: Monday 19th February, 1-2pm, lecture theatre 2, Crawford House.
 
Further support from local politicians: Lucy Powell (MP for Manchester Central) has pulled out of a lecture she was due to give on one of the strike days further details can be found HERE
 
In contrast to the prompt responses we’ve had from local politicians to our communications, the Vice Chancellor has yet to respond to a LETTER we wrote two weeks ago.
 
Finally, Senate elections.  Academic and research staff in all Faculties currently have a chance to vote for elected representatives on Senate. Please use your vote. Senate is the supreme academic authority within the University, and two-thirds of its members are elected. It is vital that your representatives on Senate are independent-minded people who are prepared to challenge the senior leadership team when necessary, and speak up for principles of collegiality and good governance. Note that all candidates for Senate have to opportunity to submit a “biography” – please support those candidates who have a declared interest in promoting the role of Senate as the leading academic body of the University.

USS strikes update

Dear Colleague
UCU representatives from the Manchester area had a constructive meeting with Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, on Tuesday.  He is concerned about the impact 14 days of strikes at Salford and Manchester (both major employers with over 50,000 students between them) on the city region. He offered to write to the Universities Minister about the USS dispute and assured UCU that he would not undertake any engagements at Manchester and Salford Universities whilst UCU members are on strike.
There will be a UMUCU branch Emergency Meeting on Wednesday 7 February, 1.15 – 2.15pm lecture theatre C, Simon Building  to give you further information about the progress of the dispute and information about the industrial action.
No-one wants to take strike action, especially on the scale we will be embarking on in this dispute, but the attack on our lifetime income is unprecedented: a loss of over £200k for a lecturer near the start of their career.  It is this we need to set against any short-term losses from taking strike action, and it is why we need to take substantial action, beyond our more usual one or two days of action, to have a significant impact on our employers and make them think again.
UMUCU Executive