Climate Change Action: UCU report from the Education International Conference

As education trade unionists gather together for the 8th EI World Congress, it is clear that working people and students are on the front lines of climate change. Already 83 million climate-related refugees have fled from disaster. 72 million jobs are threatened. Climate change affects our brothers and sisters – especially our sisters – across the world. UN figures show that 80 per cent of those displaced by climate change are women.

Despite a growing body of evidence showing the current and future impacts of climate change, governments are not responding fast enough: education unions can play a pivotal role in the global climate movement, if we build alliances with other trade unions, students and environmental organisations.

Read the full article by Adam Lincoln, UCU’s Bargaining and Negotiations Official here

UCU NW at the Durham Miners’ Gala

UCU North West Region delegation amongst the many who attended this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala.

The 135th Durham Miners’ Gala was held on Saturday 13th July 2019. It was a fantastic occasion that brought together comrades and friends from across the trade union and labour movement. The UCU activists and banners were proudly accompanied by the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band on the march through the streets of Durham, which housed approximately 200,000 visitors. Our new General Secretary elect, Jo Grady, and UCU President Douglas Chalmers proudly brandished the UCU banner as we marched. The outstanding speaker of the day was surely Laura Pidcock MP, who spoke passionately to the racecourse thousands about her family’s mining roots and her pride in being part of our movement. Jeremy Corbyn also delivered a memorable speech to the adoring crowd and the General Secretaries of UNISON, Unite the Union, the CWU and the NEU did not disappoint. Roll on Durham 2020!

Janet Farrar, Secretary to the UCU NW Regional Committee


UCU NW support memorial for Suffragist Selina Cooper

Regional Committee motion pledges financial support for Labour History Project education campaign and memorial in the Selina Cooper room at the Unity Hall, in Nelson, Lancashire.

In Nelson, Lancashire, a team of volunteers have put together an ambitious project to commemorate the life of suffragist, Selina Cooper. A former child worker, and the first woman to represent the Independent Labour Party (ILO) in 1901 on the Board of Guardians, Cooper became a national figure in the suffragist movement and a lifelong campaigner for the rights of women and the working class.

The UCU NW Regional Committee motion noted the importance of promoting the victories of the Trade Union movement and the particular importance of building public awareness of the women who fought for equality. The donation from UCU will assist the Labour History Project’s mobile display boards which will contain pictures and documents about Selina Cooper and the relevant period of Labour History. These boards will be used in Unity Hall and also taken out for community, school and college projects on this era.

For more information on Selina Cooper, click here.


13% Pay Increase Success at Trafford College for starting lecturers

Trafford College Group 2018/19 Pay Deal Success

Following negotiations and a hard fought campaign against the backdrop of a merger with Stockport College, UCU have made gains for members in the Trafford College Group.
These include:

  • 1% consolidated pay increase for lecturers & business support
  • Improvements to T&Cs for members at Stockport College including:
    • Harmonisation upwards to Trafford College salary scale
    • Additional 2 days annual leave
    • Working week reduced by 2 hours per week
    • Improvements to sick pay entitlement
  • Access to 2 additional pay points from 2020, an effective increase of 7% or £2,219 over 2 years
  • Minimum lecturer starting salary to increase by 13% or £2,397 per year.

Campaign Success at Nelson and Colne College

Nelson and Colne College – Post-TUPE Contract Negotiation Outcome

UCU have successfully negotiated improvements for Accrington & Rossendale members following the merger with Nelson and Colne College. These include:

  • Harmonised upwards to Nelson and Colne salary scale
  • Working week reduced by 2 hours
  • Maximum annual teaching reduced by 30 hours
  • Maximum weekly teaching hours reduced by 1 hour
  • Annual leave entitlement improved by 1 day
  • Probation period reduced by 4 months.

This is testimony to the organisation and hard work of the Branch.

Where UCU branches have reps and organisation we can secure better pay and conditions for members. Paid time off, UCU rep training and support from UCU officials is available. To discuss becoming a UCU rep in your workplace or if you would like to help find reps, please contact or tel: 0161 772 7020

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The national launch of The Harmful Gambling Workplace Charter, facilitated by Unite the Union, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation and the Beacon Counselling Trust. Supported by the TUC.


This event brings together employers, trade unions and support organisations to launch, on a national basis, a workplace charter committing employers to support workers affected or at risk of developing the issue of harmful gambling. It provides a framework for action to help establish good practice around harmful gambling and work in their organisation, never been done before. The charter supports all types of employers and will be used as a resource and template on how to support staff affected or at risk of developing harmful gambling.


Free with Eventbrite: click here

Date and Time

Fri, 19 July 2019
12:00 – 15:30 BST


Marriott Hotel
Garstang Road
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71% of university staff say insecure contracts have damaged their mental health

A UCU report says staff are working unpaid, holding down multiple jobs and struggling to pay the bills.

Some hourly paid and part-time academics may be effectively earning less than the minimum wage and this is taking a toll on mental and physical health. Over two-thirds of respondents (71%) said they believed their mental health had been damaged by working on insecure contracts and more than two-fifths (43%) said it had impacted on their physical health. The report warns that the widespread use of casual contracts is damaging the quality of research and the education students receive.

Read UCU’s Counting the Cost of Casualisation in HE here.

Research Excellence Framework Success at LJMU

UCU have been successful in severing ties between performance management and the local Research Excellence Framework (REF) Code of Practice.

In negotiations surrounding the REF Code 2021 the University accepted the purpose of REF as an assessment on the quality of the academic discipline and not individual staff performance.  This follows the UCU’s recent success in halting detrimental changes to their workload model which included proposals to reduce Research and Scholarly activity time.

Follow the branch on twitter here: @LJMUCU