(Probably) the final UCU Branch update of 2020


In 2020, branch membership increased by 11%, staff on levels 6 and below enjoyed their first year of 30 days annual leave (negotiated + fought for by unions), cleaners and security staff became university staff (negotiated + fought for by unions) and we worked very hard to resist redundancies through change management and secured some minor wins (e.g. improved VR terms) in relation to this. 

It’s been a gruelling year for UoL staff, not least as COVID has forced us to adapt the way we work in ways we could never have imagined. Our new VC has established a new and very ambitious strategy.

At least four major change management programmes were instigated, and the way they were handled by university management leaves a lot to be desired.

We’ve had a number of very well-attended branch meetings. On Wednesday we passed a motion that resolves:

  • to call for an immediate commitment from the University of London Senior Management that there will be no compulsory redundancies resulting from restructuring.
  • to review the situation, and report back to members in the new year after the results of the new VR scheme have been made available.
  • to lodge a dispute and prepare for industrial action if the employer does not rule out compulsory redundancies.
  • to demand the University of London extends the VR deadline beyond the 5th of January so that colleagues have more time and information to consider their futures.

At our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on 28th January, members can shape the composition of the branch committee for the new year. This is an important milestone in what will be a trying 2021. A union branch is only as strong as the members who step forward and help us do the work that brings about change.

If you want to get more involved in UCU Senate House, there’s no better time than 2021.

We are going to go into 2021 fighting the same fights we were fighting in 2020. So rest up and enjoy your time off. But we’d ask you to consider a question before we return: “What one thing can I do next year to make my union stronger?”.

We look forward to hearing your answers!

UCU Senate House Branch Committee