Jo Grady elected as new UCU General Secretary:

Jo Grady from the University of Sheffield has been (convincingly) elected as the new leader of the UCU on the highest turnout ever in a UCU leadership vote. This is the first time that a rank and file member has been elected, and this represents an exciting new direction for our union.

Read her inspiring address to UCU Congress last week.

You can read more about Jo’s priorities on her manifesto page, as well as checking out short videos about her plans & a whole bunch of other resources.

The Times Higher Education covered the win (paywalled, but all Cardiff Uni staff & students get access).

Novara Media also covered the results

Cardiff UCU anti-casualisation meeting: all welcome!

The Cardiff UCU Anti-Casualisation Committee invites you to an open meeting about the long-term strategy of the group. This meeting is open to everyone who is interested in improving working conditions at Cardiff University (whether you’re a UCU member of not). The outcome of the meeting will be to create a manifesto which will guide the Cardiff UCU Anti-Casualisation Committee’s future activities and strategy. It will also be an opportunity to learn about our work so far and our plans for the future.
We will discuss the following topics

  • Professional services staff on fixed-term contracts
  • Academic staff on fixed term contracts
  • Hourly paid teaching staff
  • Postgraduate tutors and demonstrators
  • International staff on casual contracts
  • Impacts of casualization on staff on open-ended contracts

Date & venue: Tuesday 4th June 2019, 3pm-5pm, Glamorgan Building, Committee Room 1

Please feel free to just come to parts of the meeting if you can’t make the whole meeting!

UCU Boycott of Senate House (University of London):

The UCU congress voted last week to boycott Senate House, the administrative centre of the University of London (UoL), because of its treatment of cleaning, catering and security staff and others not directly employed.

It is hoped the move will pressure the university into bringing the predominantly BAME and female staff in-house into direct employment, strengthening their workplace rights and providing the benefits enjoyed by other employees at the institution, such as equal terms on sick pay.

There have been 17 days of strike action since September 2017, when UoL cleaners and security began a campaign to end outsourcing, with calls for a boycott of Senate House beginning in December 2018. More than 180 Senate House events and 35 seminars were relocated, and more than 400 academics and 23 UCU branches have expressed support for the workers.

Read more in the Guardian

Find out how to observe our participation in this boycott

UCU Response to the Augur Review of education funding in England:

Although focused on England, this review has the potential to seriously affect Universities in Wales because our systems are so entwined.

Responding to the funding review from Philip Augar, the University and College Union (UCU) said that the review had missed an opportunity to explore radical alternatives to the status quo and risked delivering an even worse version of the politically toxic system it was supposed to improve.

UCU head of policy and campaigns, Matt Waddup, said: “The prime minister called the Augar review because the current funding system was so politically toxic. Unfortunately, this review looks like a wasted opportunity to develop radical changes that would make a real difference for students and institutions.”

Read the full response.