Solidarity and Wider Campaigns:

1. UCU disputes across the UK

Our branch is not alone in its dispute with University management. UCU branches across the UK are fighting to defend jobs and conditions as the Covid-19 crisis continues to hit education sectors hard.

Please check this page for a round-up of the on-going campaigns and requests of support. Our branch will continue to send solidarity messages to our colleagues.

2. Research by Durham University on wellbeing during Covid-19

A team of researchers based in the Department of Psychology at Durham University is developing a research project that explores the impact of social class on the wellbeing of UK university staff during the Covid-19 pandemic and they are asking for participants to the survey they recently launched. With the aim of impacting on policy, they are requesting support from staff at a range of universities and employed in a wide variety of roles. Please use this link to access the survey or visit the project on Twitter: @SESWellbeing_HE.

3.  Black Lives Matter

In the last month or so, two Black men have been killed after contact with the police in South Wales. Following the death of Mohamud Hassan, who was tasered more than once and came into contact with 52 officers during his short stay at the South Wales Police station in Cardiff, another young black man, Moyied Bashir, died recently after being aggressively restrained by the police at his home in Gwent, whilst in a mental health crisis. You can read more about Moyied’s case here and support his family’s campaign to bring justice for him here.

Tribute to Catherine Belsey:

We were saddened by the news of the passing of our colleague Catherine Belsey last Sunday at the age of 80. Catherine taught English literature at Cardiff University from 1975 until 2006 and was always a fearless and important voice against the privileges of the establishment. She was active in local politics throughout her whole life.

You can read the official Cardiff University obituary here and the Guardian one here, with more detail on her trade union work and feminism advocacy.

Thank you Kate for the works, the legacy, and the inspiration you leave with us.

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.

Branch News and Updates (February 25th 2021):

1. Dispute Update

As you can probably guess from the text above, our negotiators reported a ‘failure to agree’ at the last Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) meeting with the University Executive Board (UEB) on 18th February. The University management claims that under no circumstances could they make such a statement that says no member of staff should be compelled into face-to-face work on campus since making such a statement would imply that this is currently happening and they believe appropriate procedures are already in place.

We have now referred the dispute to ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service in an attempt to resolve it through facilitated discussions with management . In the meantime, we ask again all our members to ensure their postal addresses are up to date on their UCU account (here) so that you don’t miss the ballot for industrial action if we cannot resolve the dispute through ACAS.

Please continue to engage with us so that we are aware of a range of views across the branch regarding our dispute. You can get in touch with the office ( or share your views or ideas via this link.

2.  Meeting for Staff with Caring Responsibilities

Several members have contacted us to raise issues related to their caring responsibilities, especially relating to home-schooling children while working.

We remind you that you can always request a caseworker to support you if you would like to raise concerns with your manager.

We have contacted management to address this collectively, and we will be calling a meeting where members facing similar issues can come together to share experiences, let us know of their concerns and discuss what further action by the branch would be the most useful to them.

Please fill in a poll to indicate your availability for the meeting. Please tick all dates and times you can attend but feel no obligation to join if, when the time comes, you just don’t feel like attending yet another meeting. Our Membership/Recruitment Secretary, Luzia Dominguez, is coordinating this work; if you cannot attend the meeting or if you prefer, you can contact her directly on ( or our office (