Events (14th May 2021):

1.  Health & Safety Research Seminar – TODAY Friday May 14, 9.15am – 12.30 pm

During the pandemic many different groups of workers have been at the front line, maintaining services, keeping others safe and the economy going while confronting risks. Employee health and safety representatives have been performing risk assessments, calling for adequate PPE, communicating with workers and managements and much more. In short, they have been fulfilling a vital purpose. Training and support from individual unions has underpinned the work of health and safety reps, and helps explain their impact.

What lessons can be learned from working through Covid? What more could employers, unions and government do to improve the effectiveness of employee health and safety consultation?

This Health & Safety Research Seminar is open to anyone and will include talks from trade union and management health and safety specialists, OSH specialists and others with a practical knowledge of supporting employee health and wellbeing during the pandemic.

The program is available here and to register please use this link.

2. Building UCU Event – June 10, 4.40 pm

Join Jo Grady on 10 June at 4.40pm for the launch of new resources aimed at building our ability to bargain better to improve our members working lives. There are short introductory guides for members and activists that outline the kind of trade union we need to build and a longer handbook/code of good practice as a reference point for branch officers. Find out more by registering here.

Events (7th May 2021):

1.   Organizing for Power – Strike School Course

Organising for Power series of international online training courses run by the trade unionist and author Jane McAlevey and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. These courses are a great way of connecting and learning from activists all over the world.

Members can register for the next Organising for Power course, which is entitled ‘Workers Rising Everywhere’. There are six sessions taking place from 5-7pm each Tuesday from 18 May to 22 June.

UCU members can register individually and be assigned a working group by the organizers or can register as a group of 10 people who will remain as a working group throughout the course.

Our Anti-casualisation officer, Renata Medeiros, is organizing a group that includes members from different UCU branches in Wales, People’s Assembly and the Wales Better-than-Zero campaign. There are still two places available to join this group. If you are interested, please contact Renata at The deadline to register is the 10th May.

2.  LGBT+ liberation in contexts of hostility: Wednesday 12 May, 4.00pm

UCU LGBT+ will host an online event about action for LGBT+ liberation ahead of the international day against LGBT+ phobias (IDAHOBIT). There are experiences of anti-LGBT+ feelings at every level, this event looks at actions for support, empowerment, and solidarity. The event is on Wednesday 12 May from 4-5.30 pm and you can register here.

3. Standards for Managing Psychological Health in the Workplace – Webinar May 19, 1pm

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is introducing the new ISO Standard for Managing Psychological Health ISO45003. For those interested, there is a webinar on Wednesday, 19 May at 1pm and you can register here.

Events (April 22nd 2021):


1.   Cardiff UCU Thursday Lunchtime Talks

We are happy to announce the latest in our series ‘Understanding Cardiff: perspectives from members’ – casual conversations in which members with particular expertise explain and take questions on some of the most pressing issues facing our branch.

In a timely intervention for Stephen Lawrence Day, today Thursday April 22nd we will host Understanding Inequality: Conversation and Q&A with Abyd Quinn-Aziz

Previous lunchtime talks will be available on YouTube soon.

2.  International Workers’ Memorial Day – 28 April
To mark Workers’ Memorial Day TUC has produced some resources to remind everyone why safety at work is so important. Here are 5 ways to get involved with Workers’ Memorial Day:

  1. Register for the TUC national zoom call with special guest speakers
  2. Check out the timeline of workplace tragedies and the fight for safer work
  3. Pay tribute to someone who lost their life to work in the online memorial
  4. Search for your local Memorial Day event or add your own
  5. Download posters and graphics to print off or share online

And you can find all the IWMD resources at

To share this with colleagues click to tweet or share to Facebook.

Branch News and Updates (April 22nd 2021):

1. Update on dispute – latest meeting with ACAS

ACAS mediated conversations with University management over giving staff a choice about working face-to-face are ongoing but we are approaching the final stages of negotiation. If no resolution is reached by next week, we will need to commence formal balloting procedures and we will keep members updated on expected timing of the ballot.

Yesterday, members of the Cardiff UCU Executive Committee met with the Student’s Union President, Tomos Evans, to update them on the dispute from UCU’s perspective. Tomos is naturally concerned with the impact that more industrial action might have on students but welcomed the opportunity to discuss it. We are open to further and regular engagement with the Student’s Union and will be keeping them informed of any developments.

We are still hopeful for a resolution to the dispute. Some staff members have now been facing extreme anxiety about their working conditions for over a year and this is likely to impact severely on their mental wellbeing. Furthermore, with the University currently not making a commitment to all staff, different line managers are using different judgments causing unfairness across the institution.

2.  Report from Wales Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC)

The Wales HESC was held on Saturday 17th April. Our branch submitted two motions, both of which were carried with amendments. The final wording of the motions can be found here.

Our delegates requested for a late motion on UCU’s position on the Camm report to be proposed from the ground, but this was rejected by the Chair and could therefore not be heard.

The Camm Report is a document that the Welsh government is using to inform changes to governance of universities in Wales. UCU Wales announced its endorsement of the report but our Executive Committee has concerns that this position might not be beneficial to our members and was not sufficiently debated with branches. We believe it should be paused until that process is carried out.

We will submit the motion to the next UCU Wales meeting in June and we encourage our members to read the Camm Report and the UCU Wales Review of the report so that we can discuss with the branch what members feel is the best approach to take.

3. Workload campaign

After many years of engagement with University management over workload, we are still faced with a widespread problem for which management fails to propose and implement any meaningful solutions. We are looking for alternative campaign methods to take this issue forward. You can access here a presentation by our Workload lead, Martin Weinel, on the issues and the attempts to resolve them with management.

4.  Update from members in SHARE

UCU is supporting members in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, who are facing a series of top-down decisions (including the abolition of degrees and cutting modules) made with little or no consultation with staff or the unions. You can read here a report by one of our members who is a senior member of staff in SHARE on the issues the School and its staff are facing.

It is a real possibility that SHARE has been made a guinea pig for the imposition of a template which will then be imposed more widely by management. It is important that members are aware of these issues in solidarity with our colleagues in SHARE and for us to respond quickly if similar approaches are used in other Schools.

5.  Update on USS pensions

Universities UK (UUK) has launched a consultation of employers proposing very significant cuts to the defined benefit element of USS. Here is an overview of the situation. Woon Wong will represent the branch at the HE USS pension reps briefing on 26th April and we will feed back to members.

A USS organising conference, open to all members, is also booked for Friday 23 April and we encourage our members to join, if possible. The meeting is called by the UCU solidarity movement. Confirmed speakers include Sam Marsh, Neil Davies, Sarah Joss, Tim Wilson, Deepa Driver, Vicky Blake and others.

Please register here for the conference – Friday 23 April, 11.30-1:30pm

6.  Professional Services: Blended working

Cardiff University management are introducing their ‘Better Ways of working’ programme within Professional Services. This is intended to allow staff the opportunity to commence blended working patterns on and off campus except where business need suggests otherwise.

The aim of this initiative is for the university to reduce estate costs, reduce staff carbon emissions and support flexible working. This will involve ‘working across different physical locations, digital platforms and IT infrastructure’. A needs assessment will soon be conducted by line managers in schools and colleges that will consider the requirements of students, staff, and the university.

Cardiff UCU cautiously supports this move to blended working with certain caveats i.e., no staff member will be pressured into working off campus, the BWoW programme will be regularly reviewed, meaningful consultation will take place with unions, and staff will be fully supported with the necessary training and equipment to work effectively both on campus and at home.

Concerns have already been flagged by UCU members around equity and fairness, the student experience, incurred expenses due to homeworking as well as other day-to-day considerations such as ‘hot desking’ and office equipment.

Therefore, following the webinar delivered by management on Wednesday 21st April, the branch are holding a meeting for UCU members in Professional Services to discuss these matters further together with mechanisms for giving your feedback to the UCU branch. Academic staff are welcome to join and contribute too.

Wednesday 28th April at 1:00 – 2:00 pm : Zoom link here:

If you would like any further information please contact Graham Getheridge:

Events (March 26th 2021):

1. Anti-Stress and Bullying Working Group – Monday 29th March 5-6pm
As part of the work developed by the NEC Anti-Stress and Bullying Working Group, UCU are holding a webinar on tackling stress in the workplace. This will launch the updated stress toolkit and focus primarily on stress risk assessment, good practice examples and training opportunities. We hope this will be the first of many sessions on this issue.

For more information and to register please follow this link.

2.  UCU Wales Climate Generations Event
Following on from the success of UCU introducing sustainability and embedding climate in the curriculum events in January, we are now inviting branch activists, members and non-members to our latest online climate generations Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event:
·       Date: Wednesday 21 April
·       Time: 14:00 to 15:00
·       Venue: online (Zoom)

If you teach or support teaching this event is for you and as it will give you the opportunity to discuss things that you can do to help move the climate generations agenda forward in your workplace. The CPD event will be led by Graham Petersen who is a member of the Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) steering group which is a coalition of NGOs, trades unions and student organisations. The GJA has worked on a range of initiatives to promote education for sustainable development and jobs. Graham has written a range of climate change publications for the British and Wales TUC. He is a member of UCU and was previously our environment co-ordinator. He has also represented Education International, the global union federation of over 30 million workers in the education sector, at UN climate conference events. We very much hope that you will be able to find the time to attend this event. Register here.

3.  Workers Rising Everywhere – Follow up Strike School Course
Last autumn 400 UCU members and over 20 staff took part in ‘Strike School’ – part of the Organising for Power series of international online training courses run by the trade unionist and author Jane McAlevey and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Members can now register for the next instalment of the Organising for Power series, which is entitled ‘Workers Rising Everywhere’. There are six sessions taking place from 5-7pm each Tuesday from 18 May to 22 June.

Members of our branch participated in the previous course and will be happy to share ideas with others who might be interested in joining now (you do not have to have attended the first one to participate).

Please email the UCU office ( if you want more information. You can also hear this podcast on how Northumbria University UCU was inspired by the Strike School and other training courses to become the first union branch in the UK to run a successful industrial action ballot over health and safety relating to Covid-19.

You can find full details of the course and register for it using this form. The deadline for registration is 5pm on Monday 3 May.

Events (March 18th 2021):

1.   LUNCHTIME TALKS AND DISCUSSIONSEvery Thursday 1:10pm-2pm
Join us TODAY for another lunchtime talk, this time on Understanding Casualisation.

Dr Renata Medeiros will coordinate a conversation on ‘Myths and Mis-understandings about Casualisation’

2. Public Meeting: Ending the Plague of Casualisation in Higher Education
Monday 29 March 6:00pm

UCU North West Anti-Casualisation Campaign is organizing a public meeting to discuss casualisation in HE:

  • Introduction: Anti-Cas 101 – your basic rights
  • Building in your Branch and Region
  • National & Cross-Union: mitigating the impact of covid / what do we need from our union?

Please register in advance for this meeting here.

3. Reimagine Research Culture Festival – March 22-26
Panels, workshops and articles include how to build a positive and inclusive research culture, new approaches and what’s already working, blog highlighting the need to tackle casual employment (including open ended contracts with ‘at risk’ dates). This festival is organized by Wellcome, an organization that supports discovery research into life, health and wellbeing.
Details here and on Twitter:

Events (March 4th 2021):

1. LUNCHTIME TALKS AND DISCUSSIONS: Every Thursday 1:10pm-2pm

Today we had another lunchtime talk of the series Resist! The future of collective action and unionisation with Dr Jonathan Preminger talking about ‘Ideational Power: The Strategic Use of Ideas in Union Struggle’. Please let us know if you would like a link to the recording.

Join us next week for ‘Understanding Workload: Conversation and Q&A’ with Dr Martin Weinel, our Workload Officer – Thursday March 11th 1:10-2pm

2. UCU #BLM Stop Deaths in Custody/Justice for Refugees public meeting – TODAY 5pm

Solidarity runs both ways. Racism and fear blights our lives and keeps us divided.

You can still register here for this important event supported by our branch. Speakers include Shavanah Taj from the Wales TUC and Hilary Brown, Mohamud Hussein’s family’s lawyer. Please do encourage friends and colleagues to join us.

3. Food Poverty Is A Feminist Issue – Monday 8 March 6-7pm

People’s Assembly Wales has been campaigning for the new Welsh Budget to include giving free school meals to all children in poverty, as a step towards free school meals for all children. Join this rally broadcasting live on their Facebook page with Welsh and international speakers including author and activist Selma James and Rebecca Boden from the University of Tampere, Finland. Our branch is supporting this campaign and our anti-casualisation officer Renata Medeiros will share a message of solidarity from UCU at the event. You can find more details of the event here.

4. UCU Annual Meetings

Casualised Staff – Saturday 13 March 11am-4pm
This meeting is open to any member on a casual contract, including postgraduates. Members can join as branch delegates or self-register to attend. The registration deadline is tomorrow – 5th March.
The meeting elects an anti-casualisation committee to advise the national executive committee. It also sends motions to the union’s annual congress meeting to inform its work for the year, and it’s an opportunity to discuss how to step up the fight in all our branches.
For more information and to self-register, please use this link.

Academic related, professional staff – Thursday 18 March 11am-3.30pm
This meeting is open to those on professional roles in grades represented by UCU in Higher Education. Members can join as branch delegates or self-register to attend. The registration deadline is 11th March. Please get in touch with the office ( if you would like to attend as a delegate.

The meeting will hear reports on the work of UCU in relation to academic-related staff and discuss motions submitted by branches and local associations. The meeting will provide an opportunity to debate the challenges facing the union in general, and academic-related members in particular. Workshops will address particular issues for academic-related members.
For more information or to self-register, please use this link.

4. LGBT+ mental health webinar – Wednesday 17 March 4pm

UCU LGBT+ will host an online event about LGBT+ mental health on Wednesday 17 March 2021, 4.00- 5.30pm. You can register to the event here.

Events (25th February 2021):

1. LUNCHTIME TALKS AND DISCUSSIONS: Every Thursday 1:10pm-2pm

Today we had another lunchtime talk of the series Resist! The future of collective action and unionisation with Professor Jean Jenkins talking about: ‘The Struggle for Freedom of Association: Organising Against the Odds at the Grass Roots’. Please let us know if you would like a link to the recording.

Next week we have Dr Jonathan Preminger talking about ‘Ideational Power: the Strategic Use of Ideas in Union Struggle’ – Thursday 4th March 1:10pm-2pm

2. UCU General Secretary Jo Grady on Question Time **TONIGHT**

Jo Grady will be appearing on Question Time tonight (Thursday) at 10:45pm on BBC One. If you are on Twitter, you can use the #bbcqt hashtag to take part in the discussion and tag the @UCU account.

3.  TUC RALLY FOR A WORKERS’ BUDGET Monday 2 March, 7:30pm-9pm

As the pandemic rages, unemployment rises, and thousands are forced to work in unsafe conditions, join the call for a new deal for working people. Sign up here to join UCU general secretary Jo Grady and others at the online rally to demand a workers’ budget.

4. UCU Annual Meeting for Casualised Staff Saturday 13th March 11am-4pm

This meeting is open to any member on a casual contract, including postgraduates. Members can join as branch delegates or self-register to attend. The registration deadline is 5th March. Please get in touch with the office ( if you would like to attend as a delegate.

The meeting elects an anti-casualisation committee to advise the National Executive Committee (NEC). It also sends motions to the union’s annual Congress meeting to inform its work for the year, and it’s an opportunity to discuss how to step up the fight in all our branches.

For more information or to self-register, please use this link.

Events (February 18th 2021):

.  Cardiff Lunchtime Talk Series – TODAY 13:10-14:00  


Dr Woon Wong, Reader in Financial Economics in the Cardiff Business School, and Dr Dave Atkins, our UCU pensions officer, will be talking about “Understanding Pensions: Conversation and Q&A”. To join please use this link.

Next week, we will have another talk of our series Resist! The future of collective action and unionisation with Professor Jean Jenkins talking about: ‘The Struggle for Freedom of Association: Organising Against the Odds at the Grass Roots’

Thursday 25th February 13:10-14:00

Join using this link

We hope to see you there!


2.   Stop deaths in custody Solidarity and Justice for Refugees Public Meeting  

Thursday March 4 at 5.00pm


UCU Black Lives Matter is organizing a public meeting, supported by our branch, in protest of institutional racism in the police and in solidarity to the victims of police brutality, including Mohamud Hassan who died recently in Cardiff following his detention by the South Wales Police. To join this event, please register here. 


3. UCU week of action against workplace racism – 22-26 February 2021 

Community accountability: an antiracism for abolitionist times

The sixth week of action against workplace racism will be held from the week beginning Monday 22 February 2021. This annual campaign event has grown from strength to strength as it involves a whole union approach in tackling the issues of workplace racism and its impact on careers, mental health and well-being and relationships with peers/students. For more information and events, click here.


4. Risk assessment: No return until safe 

24 February & 1 March 2021, 1:30pm – 3.30pm, Online, (National course)

This online course has been designed for Reps and activists who are looking to better understand the risk assessment process. The course will take account of the pandemic, look at how current Health and Safety legislation can help, and discuss strategies for involving members. Click here for more information and to register. 


5.  Wales green transitions network event – Friday 26th February at 14:00 online.   


During the next decade, we foresee the climate emergency impacting upon our professional lives. To ensure that this transition is fair, UCU is working closely with TUC Wales to drive a green recovery and a just transition, building strength in our workplaces and liberating the expertise that sits in our institutions.

Timed to closely follow the 10 February launch of Wales TUC’s ‘greener workplaces for a just transition’ toolkit, this event will give you the opportunity to explore how you can root a just transitions agenda in the workplace.

• Learn – from UCU reps who are already taking this work forward

• Share – your own experiences, successes and challenges

• Network – be inspired and supported to make the change happen

• Access – training, advice and continuing professional development

Please join by clicking the link on this page.