1. Dispute Update
Following the latest negotiations between Cardiff UCU and University management mediated by ACAS, management has yet to offer solutions to the dispute and has proposed delaying the next meeting with our negotiators to the 16th April.
This demonstrates a disregard for the seriousness and urgency of our dispute. On the 18th March, the UCU Wales Regional Office sent the Vice-Chancellor a formal notification of the dispute (you can read it here) giving the University 10 working days to respond, after which we will initiate the balloting procedures that could result in members being balloted at the end of April.
We have also reached out to Cardiff Students’ Union president to discuss the dispute and ways we can support each other in our campaigns.
2. Media exposes Cardiff University’s ‘shocking use of Casual Labour’
Following the article in January on voice.wales featuring one of our officers, another piece came out this week containing lengthy interviews with Cardiff University workers exposing long-term issues related to casualisation that have been aggravated by the pandemic. You can read the article here. Please share widely to give voice to our colleagues who feel most vulnerable and to expose some of the shameful practices adopted by Cardiff University regarding employment conditions.
Our anti-casualisation working group is currently campaigning for contracts for postgraduates and the end of 2h-contracts and we are preparing a claim to submit to the University on the use of “relevant factors” contracts. If you would like to know more or would like to join the group, please contact our Anti-casualisation Officer, Renata Medeiros, at email@example.com.
3. University Wellbeing Survey
Cardiff University launched a wellbeing survey asking for staff’s view on the support services provided by the University to support our wellbeing.
The options offered in the survey to tackle wellbeing do not go beyond wellbeing training, conversations and webinars. Nevertheless we strongly encourage our members to participate and use the comment section to suggest real alternatives such as offering security to staff, tackle the workload crisis and resolve our dispute by committing not to compel staff to work face-to-face.
The survey was launched on the 16th March, you can find it on your inbox or you can click here.
4. Final Motions to HESC and Wales Congress
Below are links to the motions submitted to Wales Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC) and Congress from UCU branches in Wales. The motions will be discussed and voted on during the annual Congress on Saturday 29 May, Monday 31 May & Wednesday 2 June.
The annual congress is UCU’s supreme policy-making body. We encourage members to read the motions and suggest any amendments for our branch to submit. The branch is entitled to 2 amendments for the HESC and 2 for the Congress motions and these need to be submitted by Friday 2nd April. If you have any comments or amendment suggestions, please let us know by next Wednesday (31st March).
You can use this link to leave your comments and suggestions.
5. Environmental Sustainability group
If you are interested in joining a working group around the branch’s work on environmental sustainability, please contact our Environmental Officer, Paul Rock, by email here.
Please also see ‘Events’ below for details on the UCU Wales Climate Generations CPD event.
6. End Gender-based Violence & Defend the Right to Protest
UCU National Executive Committee (NEC) members developed a statement in response to the shocking events that have taken place surrounding the murder of Sarah Everard, and the attempts by the government to curb our right to protest.
The full statement ‘End Gender-based Violence & Defend the Right to Protest: UCU NEC members statement’ can be read and signed here. Please note the list of signatories does not update automatically, but it will be updated daily.
7. Funding for UKRI projects under threat
The UCU national office has responded to cuts to the Official Development Assistance funding for UKRI projects, which will initially lead to a £120m shortfall for research programmes in 2021-22.
In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, Jo Grady said the scale of the cuts is unprecedented and the enforced cancellation of existing international research projects represents a massive breach of trust on the part of the UK government.
We also remind staff who are eligible for a vaccine (i.e. priority groups) that you can self-book if you have not received an appointment yet. You can use this link to check if you are eligible and to book.