A UCU Wales official and your local branch lead negotiator, Josh Robinson, met with the VC and senior members of his team to discuss the future change agenda at Cardiff university. It was a very constructive meeting, where the VC assured the campus unions that they were trying very hard to develop a strategy which would allow them to make the necessary changes and at the same time avoid compulsory redundancies. We have agreed to meet again as a group to discuss the paper which is going to university Council on the 11 February.
Hopefully after Council the university will share with the campus unions the content of the paper as it affects all university staff. The UCU official also requested that the VC consider discussing ideas about change processes with the campus unions before a decision is made by council. The campus unions assured him of their ability to maintain confidentiality whilst the ‘ideas phase’ was being developed and agreed by council. He agreed to give this serious consideration for the future and indicated that our commitment to maintaining confidentiality would certainly help him in securing agreement.
If you aren’t aware of our evidence-based case against Transforming Cardiff, then please take the time to watch our video primer.
If so, we need your help. During the USS Strike we were very lucky to have a small team of committed members willing and able to shoot and edit videos about our campaign.
We do pretty well these days at attracting mainstream news media interest in what we’re doing, but making your own media can be a really powerful tool for all sorts of reasons and we’d like to do more of it.
Number one on our current wish list would be someone interested in shooting and editing a short video piece about the issues faced by casual staff at Cardiff University (we already have people who can help with scripting, presenting, and interviewing if needed).
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and/or express and interest.
In a very real sense the Union is powered by its members, and is only as effective if an active, informed, and engaged membership steps up to fill the voluntary posts which keep our Union going.
The Cardiff branch Executive Committee co-ordinates the work of the branch between general meetings, negotiating with management, planning strategy, and generally keeping the show on the road. And we could use your help!
Nominations for next year’s Branch executive committee are now open. There are a range of officer positions and 10 ordinary member roles which allow you to ease in gently and make a valuable contribution to the Branch however big or small.
Nominees would be taking up the role in October, and time is allowed for the work through our facilities agreement with the University.
Have a word with any current member of the exec if you’d like to know more about what’s involved, and then download your nomination paper.
Nominations close on Weds 13 Feb at 4pm.
This semester’s series of the utterly marvellous Common Room sessions – designed to be interactive, challenging and critical spaces for debate and resistance – has been released. All staff and students are welcome, whatever your background, seniority, specialism or contract. Sessions will take place at 1-2pm on Wednesdays to maximise participation outside of teaching hours.
Please see the flyer for details of each event.
As discussed in previous posts, members face TWO strike ballots this month:
- Pay & Equality (UK ballot, 15th Jan-22nd Feb): Negotiations made no progress on the issues of wages, tackling the gender pay gap, reducing casualization, and impossible workloads. UCU nationally, and the Cardiff UCU Executive Committee recommend that you vote ‘YES’ in favour of strike action and ASOS.
- Protect jobs (local ballot, 1st-22nd Feb): There is a threat of compulsory redundancies at Cardiff University. Our VC has refused to provide assurance there will be no compulsory redundancies as part of the Transforming Cardiff campus redevelopment scheme. Cardiff UCU Executive Committee recommend that you vote ‘YES’ in this local ballot favour of strike action and ASOS to protect our jobs.
You can read more about each ballot, along with the reasons we think you should vote “Yes” to both industrial action and ASOS in both in the FAQ.
You can also download our bilingual flyer/poster about these ballots (please print them out, or pick up some copies from the UCU office, to stick up around your departments).
What can you do to help? Let us count the ways…
- Vote in both ballots, vote early, and vote for action (even if you don’t support industrial action, please vote – if you don’t, we are less likely to make the punitive, anti-union 50% threshold for industrial action);
- Join our join our “Standing Together”: Meditation Demonstration at 12:30-1pm in the VJ Gallery (Foyer) of the Main Building on Tuesday 12th February. This is a powerful act of silent protest and solidarity;
- Help us “Get Out The Vote”, by volunteering to ring members to remind them to make their voice heard in both disputes – evidence from other branches shows that personal communication with members is essential to meeting the 50% threshold for action) – we’ll support you with guidance and a phone-banking script. It’s dead easy, and would make a great difference (email email@example.com or ring the branch office to find out more/volunteer)
- Drop in on the regular, Monday lunchtime, informal gatherings in the Main Building Foyer (12.30-1.30pm) to learn more about the local and national disputes, offer each other support and solidarity; and/or
- Discuss, share, and publicly complain about the ballots and the issues we’re campaigning on. These emails aren’t read by all members, so we need to be vocal in getting the message out face-to-face and digitally. If you’re on social media share our Facebook and Twitter posts, and write about the issues (use the hashtags #WeAreTheUniversity and #VoteYesYes or post photos of you posting your ballot paper under the Twitter hashtag #HowDidYouPostYours).