Birkbeck UCU | News | Dispute Bulletin No. 8, March 23, 2018

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Dispute Bulletin No. 8, March 23, 2018

Large branch meeting debates dispute demands and further industrial action

A branch meeting on Thurs 22 March, attended by almost 70 people, conducted a lively, positive and constructive debate on the next phase of the pensions dispute. The original motion was amended and the final version passed unanimously reads as follows:

Birkbeck UCU branch notes the tremendous mobilization of members, and the recruitment of many new members, during the first phase of industrial action in the pensions dispute.

The branch resolves to build on this momentum at local level by strengthening the workplace union and expanding the range of issues on which we negotiate, including the governance of the college.

At national level, it demands the UCU negotiators defend our existing defined benefit pensions. Any proposed agreement must give sufficient time to reasonably consult branches.

Dates for next phase of industrial action
The same meeting discussed the provisional schedule of strike dates supplied by UCU HQ. They were modified to start earlier in May and they have also been adjusted in response to concerns about an uneven spread over the different days of the week. The dates below have therefore been submitted to UCU HQ and in due course they will get back to us with their final decision.
Mon 23 - Fri 27 April Thurs 10 – Fri 11 May Mon 14-Wed 16 May Mon 21 – Thurs 24 May Tues 29 May – Fri 1 June Mon 4 – Tues 5 June We have also reported to UCU HQ the widespread concerns of members about further disruption of teaching in summer term, both revision classes and new modules. We have also reported the equally widespread concerns of members about the value and impact of strikes during the marking period. This action does not constitute a marking boycott – that would require a separate ballot – and so the marking will presumably be conducted once strike action has been completed.


Satirical response to USS statement to members

Need some light relief after weeks of industrial action? Read the very funny blog/letter by Dennis Leech in response to the USS statement to members about so-called misinformation.
Successful Teaching and Scholarship meeting
One of the biggest meetings of T&S staff in many years was held Wed 21 March, with around 50 people in attendance. Issues of low pay, heavy workloads, insecurity and status dominated discussion and these will, in due course, be collated into bargaining demands. In the meantime we are now beginning to compile lists of T&S reps in different Departments and further meetings will be held after Easter to take forward this work.
Queries to Eleni Liarou,, Mike Berlin, or Lynne McCarthy
Pay deductions
The local UCU is still in negotiations with the college over pay deductions and we hope that an agreed, joint statement can be issued early in the w/c Mon 26 March.
Local hardship fund
Donations to the Birkbeck UCU Hardship Fund can be made as follows:
Unity Trust Bank, Sort code: 60-83-01, Acc No. 20391922
If you want to apply to the fund, please contact Mike Berlin,
Join the UCU!
If you have received this bulletin as a non-member, and you are employed at Birkbeck, join the hundreds of colleagues who are already union members and sign up NOW! Just follow this link to the online form and it will take only a few minutes:
General queries - John Kelly
T&S staff queries - Mike Berlin
USS pension queries – Nick Pronger
Friday 23 March 2018