Following Senate on Monday James Thompson wrote to the Vice Chancellor asking him to make a strong public statement in support of the current negotiations and asked whether he would support the new UCU proposals. You can read his response. Sadly, we are no further forward. Epigram have also just published a longer article from the VC entitled “Between a rock and a hard place/ Collegiality in challenging times” – in this he says he’s had a difficult week.
In both articles he speaks of UUK as if they were a third-party over which he has no influence. I’m sorry Professor Brady but, if you recall, your influence began in your response to the UUK consultation when you (along with 16 Oxbridge colleges) rejected the USS trustees’ original proposals for the valuation, called for an end to defined benefit pensions and asked for no increase in employer contributions.
In the Epigram article he also states … I struggle to understand how two sides, both equally passionate about higher education, can be so far apart in their valuations and interpretations. Vice-Chancellor, I really don’t think it’s that difficult to understand: the valuation methodology is flawed and UUK stacked the deck when collating its responses. UCU’s new proposals are clear: we want a return to the original (September) valuation proposals and both sides sharing the cost.
We demand that you, as our leader, revise Bristol’s position to support that. If, Vice-Chancellor, you are not willing to do so, then you must explain to your staff why and provide the evidence and analysis to prove that these reforms are necessary.
You will probably also be aware that messages are going out to all students and taught postgraduates which talk about action to ameliorate the impact of our action – our action is already having a massive impact.
I promise this will be my last message this week as we all deserve a snow day tomorrow, however, just a few actions if you haven’t done so please write to the Vice-Chancellor calling for him to change his position, but before you do you must read a truly exceptional letter from John McTague to provide inspiration.
Please report all impact – lots coming through already – thank you.
Complete the staff survey. As you’ll be aware, the Senior team decided last week to bury bad news and not promote this – clearly our voice only matters when we have good things to say. We all had an individual link from firstname.lastname@example.org so dig it out of your mail-box and complete it.
Briefly in other news ….
Remember the extension to the teaching day proposal? They snuck in an additional meeting of Senate in for this afternoon to discuss this. Luckily it’s been cancelled due to snow and we (UCU) will be talking to them next week before Senate meets again.
Review of promotion and progression – another cancelled meeting for tomorrow but we, and our Regional Officer, will be meeting with HR to arm-wrestle over the recommendations in the Senate paper – currently there is quite a difference of opinion over what we should be negotiating on and what we will merely be consulted on.
Finally a reminder of events for next week’s action – it is vital to stay strong. As a national negotiator said at today’s national briefing “Foot off the pedal, you get sweet FA”.
Monday 5 March
- 8.00 am – 10.00 am – picketing in all locations
- 10.00 am – rally at Senate House followed by march to Wills Building
Wednesday 7 March – UCAS Post offer day
- 8.30 am – picket outside of the Wills Building. Registration and all central events will take place inside Wills from 9.00 am
- 8.00 am – School of Humanities picket for Head of School interviews
- 12.00 noon onwards – picketing the academic schools which have not cancelled (locations TBA)
Thursday 8 March – International Women’s Day
- 8.00 am – School of Humanities picket for Head of School interviews (all welcome)
- 12.00 noon – International Women’s day event at Woodlands Church, Woodland Road
Confirmed speakers include:
- Joanna de Groot (national president of UCU)
- Prof. Josie McLellan (UoB, History)
- Prof. Havi Carel (UoB, Philosophy & University EDI Champion)
- Dr Susan Newman (UWE)
- Dr Maud Perrier (UoB, Acting Director of the Gender Research Centre)
See our Gender Pay claim motion for information. Other activities on the 8th include an Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Choir and a Gender Research Centre cake and book sale.
Monday 12 March – our final week
8.00 am – 10.30 am – picketing in all locations
10.30 am – rally at Senate House followed by march to Wills Building
Enjoy the snow!
With best wishes