Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor supports UCU’s safety-first approach

Thanks to Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram who has confirmed this statement to UCU today:

I’ve been clear throughout that government should take a safety-first approach before further easing lockdown measures and this must apply to the further education sector. 

Before expecting staff or students to return, government and colleges should look at the five tests set out by the trade union movement and ensure that all necessary measures have been taken to keep everyone safe.”

Steve Rotherham, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor. 

Covid-19: UCU North West Regional Office Contingency Plans

In line with the latest advice from the UK government, UCU has now instituted a working from home policy for the vast majority of our national and regional staff. The UCU North West Regional office is now closed.

We are still operational and will continue to respond to enquires and issues as quickly as we can. Enquires should be sent via email to: or

We are currently dealing with a significant level of enquires as a result of current circumstances so please bear with us. In the first instance wherever possible members should contact their local branch many of whom are also working from home.

For the latest UCU guidance on Covid-19 click here.

Take care.

14 days of walkouts at Liverpool universities as part of biggest ever UK strikes

  • Staff at 74 universities will walk out for 14 days in UK’s biggest ever higher education strikes

  • Disputes are over pay and working conditions, and rising pension costs

The University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University, the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) and Edgehill University will be hit with 14 days of strike action in February and March.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are walking out in two disputes – one over pensions, and another over pay and working conditions – in the largest wave of strikes ever seen on UK campuses.

UCU members at Liverpool and Liverpool Hope will be taking action on:

Week one – Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February

Week two – Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February

Week three – Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March

Week four – Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March

Their colleagues at LIPA will not be taking action on Thursday 20 February or Friday 21 February. They will still be taking the full 14 days and will walk out on Monday 16 and Monday 17 March instead. This is due to a reading week at the start of the action.

Striking staff will be on picket lines each day and are planning to organise teach outs for students and rallies in the city over the weeks of action. There will be a rally from 11.45am on Friday at University Square. Speakers will include Liverpool Wavertree MP, Paula Barker, as well as staff and students.

The disputes centre on changes to USS pensions and universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: ‘It is incredibly frustrating that UCU members are being forced to walk out again to secure fair pay, conditions and pensions. This unprecedented level of action shows just how angry staff are at their universities’ refusal to negotiate properly with us.

‘If universities want to avoid continued disruption then they need to get their representatives back to the negotiating table with serious options to resolve these disputes.’

UCU members at the three institutions were among staff at 60 universities who walked out for eight days of strikes before Christmas. They will be joined this week by staff at another 14 institutions, as more UCU branches crossed a 50% turnout threshold required by law for them to take industrial action.

The number of universities being hit by the action is the largest since a nationwide two-day strike in 2016, while the number of strike days is unprecedented. Following the eight-day walkout before Christmas, this latest round of 14 strike days means the total number of walkouts will be 22 by March; higher than the previous record of 14 days in 2018.

UCU LGBT+ Members’ Annual Conference 2019 Report

The annual meeting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of UCU, took place during the annual UCU equality conference on Saturday 23 November.

The LGBT+ members’ conference was opened by the chair of the MSC, Ryan Prout.

Elections for the forthcoming committee and motions were voted upon before the guest speakers addressed members on Saturday 23rd November. Key themes and guest speakers were: Marc Svensson on ‘Emerging Non-Binary & Queer Identities’, Dr Matson Lawrence on ‘TransEDU’ and Eden Ladley, NUS Action on ‘Trans in Education.’

Dr Matson Lawrence

Eden Ladley

Members were invited to ask questions or make contributions to the speakers and panel.


Report by Louise Gooddy, UCU NW Regional Committee LGBT+ Rep.

Tackling Casualisation at Lancaster University

On the back of UCU campaigning on casualisation at Lancaster University the employer has finally recognises that insecurity caused by the use of fixed-term contracts and casual arrangements is bad for business.

UCU North West Regional Office and Lancaster University UCU Branch have negotiated an entirely new policy to combat casual and fixed-term employment. The new policy delivers for UCU members:

  • transferring current fixed-term contracts to indefinite
  • treating research staff with parity, and removing time-limited funding as justification for the use of fixed-term contracts
  • limiting the future use of fixed-term contracts to specific and exceptional situations
  • making clear commitments to pay GTAs and demonstrators for all the work they undertake
  • ensuring casual workers are provided with a contract, are paid on time, and that payment for ad-hoc work is made when the work is cancelled at short notice

This policy represents a significant improvement at Lancaster University, and would be a helpful exemple for other branches tackling casualisation in higher education. UCU branches can obtain a copy from North West Regional Office:

University of Liverpool withdraws redundancy proposals following UCU pressure

University of Liverpool has shelved plans to restructure the English Language Centre, safeguarding 23 lecturing jobs.

Following representations made by branch and regional officers, UCU is pleased to confirm that ill-conceived plans that threatened jobs and student provision have been entirely withdrawn.

The English Language Centre provides short-course language tuition and support for adults and international students studying at a UK university and needing a certain level of language. UCU members working in this important function of the University of Liverpool know how the centre can be more effective and provide better support; it’s now time they are listened to.