UCU: Stop the staff cull - Extraordinary General Meeting Thursday
Dear UCLUCU Member,
This is a reminder that there will be an Extraordinary General
Meeting (EGM) of members which will be held this Thursday, 11
March 2010, between 1-2pm in the AV Hill Lecture Theatre
to discuss the current dispute with UCL.
There is a poster with
a map to print off to display on your departmental noticeboard.
We are asking members to debate and support a motion (attached
at APPENDIX 1) which includes *balloting for
industrial action* in a wider campaign against the rising number
of redundancies announced across College. The motion summarises
the current position, calls on all members to vote YES in the industrial
action ballot, and to encourage colleagues to do likewise.
The meeting will additionally provide an opportunity for members
to debate and vote for three motions to the UCU Annual Congress.
This is an important process that involves union members in the
formulation of policy to guide the UCU's work over the next year.
Three motions received by UCL UCU Executive Committee are itemised
below at APPENDIX 2. We are entitled to 1 motion
to Congress and 2 motions to the HE sector conference.
Please print off the motions to bring to the EGM.
You are asked to make every effort to attend and vote at this
UCL UCU Executive Committee
APPENDIX 1 - STOPPING THE CUTS @ UCL
UCL UCU notes
- UCL's current cuts proposals.
- an unprecedented proposal to make 20 academic redundancies
and 10 support staff redundancies in the Faculty of Life Sciences,
which management assert is due to a need to save £1.5M
in 2009-10 and £0.9M next academic year in FLS alone;
- the proposal to restructure administrative posts in 6 language
departments of Arts and Humanities, which currently mean 6
out of 9 staff are at risk of redundancy or downgrading, with
the stated intention to create a centrally-run Division of
"Modern Languages" where Heads of Department will
have no effective power over budgets;
- proposals for cuts in the Registry placing 16 staff at risk
of redundancy and cutting services to students and outreach
- further cuts in the History of Medicine (6 staff) and in
Museums and Collections (1) and others likely to be forthcoming;
- cuts in numbers of undergraduates (by 1,272 from 2009-10
to 2012-13), and postgraduate taught students (by 1,057 over
the same period).
- That UCL's financial position is sound and that these cuts
are not necessary.
- That UCU's campaign has been successful in a number of cases,
including preventing ten compulsory redundancies in Information
- In addition to a wider demand to stop the cuts, UCU's specific
call on UCL to rule out compulsory redundancies and consult to
avoid redundancy on a college-wide basis, and that UCL has refused
to accede to this demand.
- The active support of our sister trade unions Unite and Unison,
and the students union, UCLU for our joint demand to stop the
- The success of a similar campaign by the University of Leeds
UCU which has enabled the union to bring management back to the
table for meaningful negotiations, and the ballots at the Universities
of Sussex, Westminster and King's.
UCL UCU believes
- That these are highly political, structural cuts, which have
clear objectives -
- to put UCL academic staff on notice that their post is
dependent on research income generation or contribution to
teaching and management,
- to centralise power within UCL around Vice Provosts, Deans
and other senior managers, and to take power away from departments
and academics, and
- to reduce the support offered to students particularly undergraduates.
- That the cuts are triggered by a national government threat
and therefore require a national political response to explode
the myth that their cuts are not damaging to UK science and academia.
UCL UCU resolves
- To immediately begin a process of balloting members for industrial
action including strike action and action short of a strike to
stop the cuts and force UCL to negotiate to avoid redundancies;
- To call on all members to vote Yes in the ballot;
- To organise a campaign, jointly with national UCU officers,
to win the ballot and to encourage all members to participate
in that campaign.
APPENDIX 2: PROPOSED MOTIONS FOR DEBATE AT
A. Defending Public Services, Education and Jobs
UCU utterly condemns cuts in public services, education funding
and job losses.
- To continue the work of building a public sector alliance to
defend public services and jobs. Anti-cuts campaigns should unite
staff, service users, students, parents and local communities.
- To unite with other public sector trade unions to defend jobs
and oppose cuts in provision.
- To affiliate to the Right to Work Campaign, and encourages
branches to do likewise.
- To develop a national campaign for investment in education
as part of a defence of public services in the recession, and
to call national demonstration(s) to further this aim.
B. Opposing LGBT oppression
- Increasing homophobic attacks, including the murder of Ian
Baynham in Trafalgar Square;
- Jan Moir's homophobic attack after Stephen Gately's death and
the failure of the Press Complaints Commission to judge the article
homophobic despite 25,000 complaints;
- Fascist Nick Griffin able to state he found the idea of men
kissing "creepy" on BBC's Question Time;
- That a minority of homophobic bigots draw comfort from people
like Griffin and Moir;
UCU welcomes the large determined vigils and demonstrations supported
by LGBT and straight people in response to these attacks.
UCU resolves to:
- Encourage all members, LGBT and straight, to support such vigils
and demonstrations and promote LGBT History Month;
- Encourage all members to support London and local Prides, and
demand that Pride should aim to recapture the Gay Liberation Front
spirit rather than the apolitical, commercial notion of last year's
C. HE Funding and Tuition Fees
UCU notes the increasing debts that graduates in England and Wales
face due to rapidly rising tuition fees. We note that many tens
of thousands of applicants were without places in 2009/10 and this
figure will be much higher in 2010/11;
UCU calls for the reversal of short-sighted cuts and for increased
funding in HE in the current financial crisis and recession;
UCU demands equal opportunities for part-time students, the removal
of ELQ regulations and the cap on student numbers, all of which
deny opportunities for many who most need them and make a mockery
of the claim to provide lifelong education;
UCU demands (in the short term) that the stunningly inefficient
Student Loans Company be taken out of private hands and renationalised
and subsequently replaced by the provision of a progressive maintenance
grant and bursary system.