Resisting Transforming Cardiff

On Wednesday February 13th, representatives of Cardiff UCU Branch Committee and the other campus unions met with the Vice-Chancellor and representatives from UEB and HR to discuss the paper that was recently approved by Council and published.

The Vice-Chancellor conveyed that all the pillars of the “Transforming Cardiff”/”Trawsffurfio Caerdydd” programme remain at the ideas stage, and offered to consult further before more detailed proposals are put to Council.

UCU representatives are holding meetings in various Schools and Departments in order to register members’ questions and concerns and we encourage members to get in touch with your concerns.

We also encourage members to attend the events being held with our Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor on Monday and Tuesday of next week. It is particularly important that professional services colleagues and postgraduate student members attend these events and pose questions for our leaders, and express their concerns. Information about the meetings can be found here on the intranet.

Prior to attending these events, and to inform any questions you might ask, we recommend you read the Vice-Chancellor’s email and the Transforming Cardiff Proposal to Council alongside the FAQ we have prepared relating to our two ballots.

Do you want to help make the university a better place to work and study?

This is your last chance to vote in our two ballots – the local ballot defending against the threat of compulsory redundancies arising from the Transforming Cardiff scheme, and the national ballot demanding a 7.5% pay rise (or £1,500 per year, whichever is greater), that the gender pay gap is closed by 2020, and that the problems of excessive workloads and casual contracts are urgently addressed nationally. Your ballot papers will need to arrive in the post with UCU before 12 noon on Friday 22nd February. Return your ballot papers NOW!

  • If you have lost or not received your national ballot, there is still time to request a new one now, which you will need to post as soon as you receive it.
  • If you have lost or not received your local ballot, please request one immediately from the UCU Wales Office, providing your membership number and date of birth.
  • If you are a postgraduate student member and you work for the University in any capacity, teaching or doing research, you are eligible to vote and should have received your ballots. If you have not received your ballots, you may need to change your membership from ‘postgraduate’ (student) member to ‘standard free’ (or ‘full free’) via My UCU … please do this urgently!

Withdrawal from the Gold Award assessment

The Cardiff UCU Branch Executive Committee has made a decision to withdraw from any further participation in the University’s re-application for the Corporate Health Standard Gold award because it does not believe that there has been sufficient progress on the substantive issues of workload stress and bullying. On the contrary, UCU believes that these very serious threats to the health and safety of University staff will worsen as a consequence of the intended reduction in staff numbers from the current Voluntary Severance Scheme and the recent threat of compulsory redundancies.

From UCU’s conversation with Ava Fine, who leads the assessment process, we understand that Cardiff University is likely still to be awarded the Gold Standard due to the prescriptive nature of the process but that recommendations based on our feedback will be included in their report.

Elections for UCU Vice-President (HE)

On Monday, Feb 18, we are hosting a hustings for candidates running for Vice-President (HE) of UK UCU: the successful candidate will serve as vice-president for a year, and then a further year as president, the highest lay office within our union.

We have invited all three candidates: Vicky Blake, Jo McNeill and Adam Ozanne, and Vicky and Jo will be joining us to set out their visions for UCU, and also to offer support for our local campaigns. Come and meet and question them!

Monday Feb 18, 4pm, Beverton Lecture Theatre, Main Building. All UCU members are welcome.

You can find the candidates’ election addresses on the UCU website.