Tag Archives: News Roundup 15 March 2019

A weekly roundup of Cardiff UCU news and announcements

Cardiff UCU Finance Working Group: We’re hiring an accountant!

As we’ve mentioned before, the local volunteers on our finance working group have been doing amazing work critically examining the University’s financial information, with a view to critiquing the case for cuts to staff and re-organisation of the University. It has been a central plank of our campaign against “Transforming Cardiff”, and has given us a lot of information in our on-going discussions with management (see these videos, for example).

On the advice of the finance group, the Cardiff UCU AGM this week agreed to take this research to the next step, and to use some of our limited resources to commission a qualified accountant to do more of this work on our behalf (there’s only so much our volunteer members can do without more expert guidance and input). Given our failure to meet the 50% threshold for action to defend against compulsory redundancies, this vital work becomes even more important.

Watch this space, but in the meantime you can read about what was found when our colleagues at Bangor UCU did the same thing.

Update on our discussions with management about “Transforming Cardiff”

The work of our finance group has generated lots of questions and data which undermines Cardiff’s rationale for its planned swingeing cuts. We’ve repeatedly asked for the University Executive Board and others to engage with us on these figures, and give us answers to our many questions.

Along with the other trade unions and the Students’ Union we will be meeting with UEB and members of council and pushing for information, clarity, and action around the following points:

  • The real causes of the financial situation at Cardiff University
  • Likely impact of VSS, and other potential job losses, on workload, health and safety, income generation capability and student experience
  • Current and future impact of the massive public bond the University took out in 2016 to finance building projects, and its capital investment strategy in general
  • Alternative approaches to “Transforming Cardiff”
  • The role of UEB and governing bodies in getting us in this mess in the first place (we’ve argued for a while now, based on the evidence we’ve generated, that mis-management got us here, not just external factors.

What can you do to resist, and get clued-up about, “Transforming Cardiff?

Please join us for regular informal lunch-time gatherings (bring your lunch) every Monday in the Foyer/Viriamu Jones Gallery of the University’s main building. We think this is an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues from other schools, to discuss the situation of the University and to generate ideas for a more sustainable future. More info here.

School Climate Strikes: Add your name in solidarity with other UCU members

School students around the world will be taking part in strikes today to demand urgent action on climate change. There’s a list and map of hundreds of planned actions and a global Facebook event.

A group of UCU members have so far collected over 200 signatories from UCU activists for the solidarity statement and we will publishing the full list of names in the next few days. Please encourage your colleagues to sign.

Cardiff UCU in the news

The Western Mail and Wales Online have covered the continuing financial decline of Welsh Universities in an in-depth piece looking at latest HEFCW stats. Cardiff UCU were quoted, and we highlighted our consistent and evidence-based concerns over levels of financialised debt, and the prioritisation of shiny buildings over staff and human resources. If the Uni hadn’t been so keen to get us into huge debt for these mega-building projects, it’d be much more able to deal with (often predictable) current and future deficits. Read it online.

Cardiff UCU New Executive Committee 2019/20

We’ve now elected our new executive committee for the year 2019-20, and we’re again pleased to see such a big group of committed, skilled, and knowledgeable members stepping up to steer our branch. The new committee will take up office at the beginning of the next academic year.There’s still one vacancy for Vice-President, which we’d love to fill, ideally with a female member to help us counter the current gender imbalance on the committee.

If you’d like to put yourself forward, or find out more, then drop into the office, or email ucu@cardiff.ac.uk.

We’re only ever effective because of the commitment of local activists willing to put in the hours to act on everyone’s behalf.

President
Ryan Prout

Vice-president
Paul Brennan

Vice-president
VACANT

Chair
Chris Graves

Secretary
Simon Wood

Treasurer
Phil Parkes

Membership and recruitment secretary
Luzia Dominguez

Equality and diversity officer
Abyd Quinn-Aziz

Anti-casualisation officer
Renata Medeiros Mirra & Rowan Campbell (job share)

Health & safety officer
Andy Skyrme

Learning representative
Josh Robinson

Pensions officer
Dave Atkins

Environmental officer
Paul Rock

Media and communications officer
Andy Williams

Staff wellbeing officer
Nick Russell

Disability representative
Irina Erchova

LGBT Officer
Clea Rees

Ordinary members
Colin Berry
Marc Bühner
Adam Errington
Michelle Huws-Thomas
Esther Muddiman
Clea Rees
Lucy Riglin
Steven Stanley
Martin Weinel