Cordant workers to be paid before Christmas

 

It was brought to the attention of UCU and UNISON that the December payroll for Cordant workers was scheduled to take place after Christmas. Following pro-active engagement and lobbying by the recognised union’s Cordant have now agreed to run the December payroll before Christmas. Seasons greeting to all Cordant staff working at the University of London.

If you have questions about this please contact UNISON or UCU branch representatives at unison@london.ac.uk or ucu@london.ac.uk.

USS Pension Concerns

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Dear All,

We’ve received a number of questions from members about changes to USS pension scheme and negotiations surrounding these changes.

Universities UK (UUK), which represents the USS institutions in these negotiations, recognises that institutions have the ability to pay extra in order to safeguard existing benefits. However, so far they have said that this is not an option and, unless we can change their minds or persuade both UUK and USS itself to adjust their valuation methodology, detrimental change is inevitable.

Some employers have even signalled that they wish to move wholly to a scheme in which your pension income will be dependent on what returns if any there are from the investment of your contributions in the stock market – in essence, a pension with no guarantees.

UCU urges members to stand up for all staff and help us to protect your interests in the fund rather than look away while benefits are cut.

Be in no doubt that we will endeavour to solve this difficult dispute but if we need to seek your support for action it is good to know that you are with us in such large numbers. (86.6% of members who voted said they would be prepared to take industrial action to defend USS pension benefits on a turnout of 55.8% of those eligible.)

Solidarity with outsourced workers

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A joint statement from UCU and UNISON Senate House branches:

We note with concern the ongoing dispute between Cordant and its security staff.

As always, UNISON’s and UCU’s long held positions is to strongly oppose the outsourcing of workers in all circumstances.

We are formally approaching the University to re-visit the issue of outsourcing with the aim of returning all staff in house.

Furthermore, UCU Senate House will be holding a members’ meeting tomorrow to discuss, amongst other matters, the trend of outsourcing in HE.

Support the Feminist Library

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Hello Colleagues,

The future of the Feminist Library is under threat as they are facing unsustainable increases in rent. The Feminist Library is a volunteer-led, unfunded, feminist organisation and may be forced to close.

The Feminist Library is the UK’s pre-eminent collection of Women’s Liberation Movement and feminist literature with an incomparable collection of over 7,000 books, 1500 periodical titles from around the world, archives of feminist individuals and organisations, pamphlets, papers, posters, and ephemera. Based in London and run by a collective of volunteers, the Feminist Library has been supporting feminist research, activist and community projects since 1975. For over 40 years, the Feminist Library has provided a space for people to learn, educate and organise around feminist issues.

In response the Feminist Library launched a petition and at the time of writing have over 16,000 signatures, demanding that Southwark Council withdraw the threat of eviction. Show your support for Women’s History and the feminist struggle for full gender equality by:

Many thanks!

Equality Today? LGBT+ research conference

There will be one-day LGBT+ research conference, entitled Equality Today? In Manchester on Friday 9th June.

The conference is open to all and we calling for papers from academics, researchers and activists on sexual orientation and gender identity issues and LGBT+ lives. Further information can be found in the following documents:

Call for papers: https://ucuuol.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/call-for-papers.pdf
Event promo: https://ucuuol.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/event-promo.pdf

Registration is open at https://ucu.wufoo.com/forms/ucu-lgbt-research-conference-2017/

To submit a proposal for presentation of no more than 500 words contact Seth Atkin email: satkin@ucu.org.uk.

LGBT Equality Project

On the back of our successful equality and participation films, we are now embarking on a further film project looking at the issues faced by our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) members at work and I am inviting LGBT members’ to participate in this project and to share with other UCU members’ your experiences at work.

This project is in two parts.  The first part is a film, the second part a short publication of member experiences.  The film and publication will be launched to coincide with LGBT History Month (February) and will be made available to all members via the UCU website, for branches to use in raising awareness, training or campaigning events/activities.  This film will also be accessible to the wider public.

Part 1: Film

LGBT Equality: Removing the barriers toward inclusion, visibility and voice, will hear from UCU LGBT members covering themes to include:

  • Working lives of LGBT people, pre and post 2003 when protection against discrimination in employment became enshrined in legislation
  • The lesbian feminist perspective
  • Experience of Trans members at work
  • Round table discussion where LGBT members will speak about the challenges they face at work and the achievements they (and their branch) have made in making workplaces inclusive in terms of the voice and visibility of LGBT members

Filming will commence in late June until December 2016.

Part 2: Publication

If you would like to share your experiences of being LGBT at work, the issues, obstacles and success you have gained at work but do not want to be filmed, there is an opportunity for you to submit a written testimonial.  This will be produced in a short publication to accompany the film.

If you would like to be involved or would like to discuss either part of this project, please contact Seth Atkin (satkin@ucu.org.uk) or Sharon Russell (srussell@ucu.org.uk) for further information.   We want to ensure the project includes a range of voices so the experiences of lesbian members, gay members, bisexual members and Trans members are included as well as other sexual and gender identities.