Lancaster University & College Union

UCU represents academic and academic-related staff employed by Lancaster University to negotiate in many areas of everyday working life.

Higher Education and Research Bill

The Higher Education and Research Bill is at the Committee Stage in the House of Commons and we, in universities, are at a structural crossroads. A few key highlights of the intended legislation:

  • The Bill will allow private, for-profit companies, with little or no track record to call themselves universities, charge £9,000 plus fees, backed by tax-funded loans, and award degrees
  • Companies are likely to cherry-pick profitable courses, reducing student choice
  • As in the USA and Australia, students risk graduating with worthless degrees as well as a lifetime of debt
  • Staff will also suffer: Public and private universities will tend to replace research-active professors with low paid teaching-only staff
  • The Bill will remove the QAA, HEFCE and Privy Council oversight, deleting state protection for academic freedom

The Bill embodies the end of the University as we know it. What do we do? Here are four events for your diary.

Saturday 15 October 2016

A national conference, the Third Convention for Higher Education, has been organised to bring as wide a range of university staff together to continue to discuss and to plan an effective opposition to the Bill. It will be held at University College London (UCL) from 10am-5pm, registration £5. Provisional timetable and details here

Thursday 20 October 2016

Lancaster UCU are supporting a public meeting on the Bill at 1-2pm in the Management School LT11. Speakers include Cat Smith (MP), Liz Lawrence (UCU past president), Rhiannon Llyston Jones (Lancaster University Students’ Union president). Please tell colleagues and students and bring them with you, all welcome!

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Lancaster UCU are supporting a joint public meeting with Lancaster, Morecambe and District National Union of Teachers (NUT) on the Bill, within the wider context of the marketisation of education from nursery to university, at 7.30pm at the Storey’s Speakers include Mark Campbell (sacked UCU branch chairperson at London Metropolitan University), a local NUT head-teacher, and a student on the NUS boycott of TEF.

We hope that you will not only come but also invite friends, family and neighbours to find out more how the privatisation of education affects us.

Saturday 19 November 2016

National NUS and UCU ‘United for Education’ demonstration, ‘to demand an end to the marketisation of university and college education’, supported by the NUT, in London. This is as critical as the joint NUS-UCU demonstration in autumn 2010 was, when over 50,000 students and staff marched through Whitehall to show their opposition to a £9,000 tuition fee regime. Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU), with support from Lancaster UCU, had three full coaches then (we know, we were on them!) and will organise transport again this year. Please email Julie Hearn ( if you need transport so that we can get a sense of numbers. This is for all of us! and

Higher Education Pay Campaign

UCU members at all UK universities across the country took part in two day strike action on 25 and 26 May 2016, which was followed up by a rolling programme of one day local strike action across the country.The Lancaster UCU branch took local strike action on Saturday 9th July, which coincided with the University Open Day.

As employees of Lancaster University who believe strongly in the University, its students and its culture, we do not rush to take strike action. However it is clear that our action needs to have an impact on the operations of the University in order to make our employers take note and encourage UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association) to negotiate fairly. As things stand, UCEA’s position is that a 1.1% offer indicates “a significant investment in the people that deliver the success in the institution”. This is not UCU’s definition of significant! The joint trade union claim is for 5% which would go some way to halting the long-term decline in the value of our pay. The claim also highlights the need for a nationally-agreed action for institutions to close the gender pay gap by 2020 and nationally-agreed action for institutions to reduce the proportion of their staff on casual and zero-hour contracts and to ensure that their pay reflects the rate-for-the-job of permanent staff.

If you have colleagues, who are not members, now is the time to join, please ask them to join at

Members of the UCU are continuing to 'work to contract' which started on 25 May 2016.

Follow this link for more information and answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Keep up to date with the HE Pay Campaign see: UCU HE Pay Campaign pages.

You can join the UCU online using this link or
Call: 0333 207 0719 to join.

National UCU Newsletters - Keeping you informed

Follow the link below to access the national UCU newsletters.

The model rules for your local University & College Union can be read downloaded and read in two formats.