Lancaster University & College Union

The University and College Union (UCU) represents academics, lecturers, trainers, instructors, researchers, managers, administrators, computer staff, librarians and postgraduates in universities, colleges, prisons, adult education and training organisations across the UK.

Follow this link to join Lancaster UCU.

USS Industrial Dispute - Marking and Assessment Boycott

The Threat of Legal Liability: Taff Vale Railway Company

The Taff Vale Railway Co. were the last employers in the UK to sue successfully their workers for strike action, back in 1901. Their victory was short lived: overturned by the 1906 Trade Disputes Act. Legal experts agree that a Taff Vale law suit would nowadays be inconsistent with current UK and EU employment law, and with Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Lancaster University's management has brought "Taff Vale" back to life with its threat to make staff personally liable for damages incurred during industrial action. Whilst a small minority of institutions initially offered this threat in the recent action, Lancaster is now the ONLY institution in the UK not to have withdrawn it.

A Lancaster UCU spokesperson said: "However hollow this threat may be, it constitutes an attack on trade unions and on the right to participate in industrial action. We wish our members many happy returns for the festive period, and hope that they will return in 2015 with renewed determination to resist management bullying tactics."

Click here for more information on the violation of workers' human rights.

Update - Action Suspended

The Higher Education Committee of UCU met on Wednesday 19 November and agreed to suspend the industrial action of a marking boycott until 15 January. Members should resume their normal duties and return to marking. Universities UK has agreed to engage in meaningful negotiations and that no pay will be docked. Be in no doubt that the employers' change of heart has been brought about by the determination of UCU members to support the assessment boycott.

UCU has submitted a package of proposals as the basis for discussion with the employers. The key points in this package are:

  • USS will continue to be a defined benefit scheme with no added risk to the the individual member
  • Future benefits for all members, including post-2011 entrants, will be based on an improved Career Revalued Benefit (CRB)
  • scheme to be calculated using a multiplier of 1/70th rather than the current 1/80th. The link to final salary will end
  • Scheme members and employers will pay increased contributions of 9% and 18% respectively

However, if no progress is made in the negotiations by 15 January 2015, or if punitive pay sanctions are imposed, then the industrial action will resume. As a branch we will do everything we can to be a position to take up the fight again if this becomes necessary. Please get involved in your branch and contact us if you have any questions.

Locally, there remains the threat from university management to take legal action against individuals who engage in industrial action. No trade union can tolerate this threat and your branch officers have demanded that it be withdrawn.

UCU Petition Over a Fair USS

UCU will be handing over the 17,000 signature strong petition to Universites UK at the USS board meeting on 4 December. UCU branches across the country will be reinforcing the message by handing copies over to their own university management (University managements getting the message).

Director of HR, Paul Boustead, receiving the petition from UCU Exec member, Dr Neil Manson.

National UCU Newsletters - Keeping you informed of national news

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.