UMUCU is a democratic association committed to improving the working life of all our members and to maintaining academic freedom. We work and campaign for improved quality of education and research, salaries, working conditions and pensions – giving high priority to equality and diversity issues. If, as an individual, you have an employment-related problem, we can help protect your interests.
Below are a few of the victories we have recently achieved:
- We have had extensive input into Health and Safety and Return to Campus planning throughout the pandemic, ensuring that conditions are generally safe for those staff who have needed to work on campus.
- In May 2021, we successfully added a clause to the new flexible working policy instructing managers to consider employee welfare.
- We have represented and supported over 100 individual members through personal cases, including fixed term contract issues, performance management, bullying, sickness and disability issues, disciplinaries and grievances. We have also represented members collectively and individually through several restructurings.
- In an ongoing struggle, we have won major gains for language tutors in SALC, who for years have been organising against discriminatory treatment. In March 2020, language tutors who had been on temporary contracts for 4 years or more were made permanent. In March 2021, Language Tutors partially won their grievance, being granted access to the promotion process from which they had previously been blocked.
- In autumn 2020, we called attention to the Covid-19 outbreak in Fallowfield which official systems were not picking up. Our information-gathering and health and safety advocacy ensured that non-essential teaching remained online for the 2020-21 academic year.
- In summer and autumn 2020, we called attention to mismanagement within IT services and its 3rd-party partners, and successfully pushed for an independent audit in Autumn 2020 that investigated outsourcing, performance management and other practices in ITS.
- In intense negotiations throughout summer 2020, we blocked attempts by the SLT to cut staff pay and pause pay increments in anticipation of financial losses which ultimately did not materialise. We also forced the university to reinstate pay rises due to promoted staff.
- In summer 2020, we were able to win furlough pay for many exam invigilators.
- We pushed back against management proposals to significantly worsen our security of employment policies, retaining a commitment to offer voluntary severance to staff in restructurings with potential job reductions.
- We successfully forced the university to pay Sickness pay to Graduate Teaching Assistants.
- After prolonged negotiations lasting several years, we have agreed with management a new Capability Procedure incorporating strong protections for staff, which means underperformance issues will no longer be addressed through the disciplinary process.
- We have continued to successfully resist proposals by management to make significant detrimental changes to the Statute covering dismissal and other employment matters, such as the removal of the right of appeal to an Panel.