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Open Meeting Wednesday 21st December

The next General Meeting of the HWUCU will be on Wednesday 21st of December 2016 in the Post Graduate Centre room 1.02 (Confucius Centre).

Please forward to G.S.Bruce@hw.ac.uk , or your local Rep/ Committee member, any questions/ items that you wish to be considered for the Agenda.

Douglas Chalmers, President of UCU Scotland, will be speaking and there will also be an update from your Branch Officers on what the Branch has done in the past year and what is on the horizon for the year ahead.

At this meeting we will also be announcing the winner of the Branch Banner design competition, in which the Students at the Scottish Borders Textiles and Design department have been competing.

It would be appreciated for the purposes of  catering if you could indicate if you are going to attend. Please also feel free to bring along any colleague who may be interested in becoming a member.

Heriot Watt UCU Committee

Security Matters

Security Matters is UCU’s campaign magazine featuring discussion of issues facing precarious workers in post-secondary education and reports on the union’s work to win better, more secure jobs for education professionals.


CPD courses for UCU members

Two half day  CPD courses  are  being held on Wednesday, 9th of November in the Millennium Hotel in Glasgow.

This first course is from 9.30am to 12.30pm and is focused on developing effective communication and assertiveness skills to help you in your career. Register here : http://cpd.web.ucu.org.uk/course-information/assertiveness-skills/

The second course runs from 1.30pm – 4.30pm and aims to develop mentoring skills.  Full details and registration available here: http://cpd.web.ucu.org.uk/course-information/mentoring/

UCU comments on opinion poll showing public support for international students

Commenting on a new opinion poll on international students, UCU said today that common sense has prevailed amongst the British public who can see the huge benefits international students bring to UK higher education and to our university towns and cities. Read the full article.

Training opportunity – Leadership in education

Leadership in education

A half day course aimed at those hoping to progress to a leadership role, or who would like to consolidate their leadership or team management skills, is being held in Aberdeen on the 25th of November.

Full details and registration available at: http://cpd.web.ucu.org.uk/course-information/leadership-in-education/

UCU Congress 2016

Live reporting from Congress 2016 at https://www.ucu.org.uk/ucu16

Address by Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary at https://www.ucu.org.uk/sallyhunt16


Thank you from Sally Hunt

Dear colleague,

This is a quick note to say thank you so much for your fantastic support for the union over the past two days.

I hope you have seen this morning’s fantastic letter in the Guardian from a group of senior academics explaining why they are supporting UCU’s call to resign as external examiners and not take up new posts in order to support fair pay in higher education.

You can read the letter here.

I hope you will feel able to join them and the many others who are saying ‘no more business as usual’ until the employers agree to listen to our concerns.

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

PS. You can read UCU’s guidance on how to resign here.

Staff must be at heart of education policy, Sally Hunt will say in annual address

If the government is serious about providing high quality education across the board it needs to put educators at the heart of the system rather than ignoring their views.

Speaking at the UCU’s annual congress, general secretary Sally Hunt will attack the high levels of insecure contracts in colleges and universities, and tell universities that every penny they pocketed last week from lecturers taking two days of strike action must be donated to their student hardship funds.

Her wide-ranging address will also reveal plans for an autumn demonstration in defence of education with the National Union of Students (NUS).

Speaking in Liverpool on the opening day of UCU’s event, Sally Hunt will say: ‘Governments who really want to improve quality in the lecture theatre, or who really want to strengthen our research base, should place staff at the centre of policy, not at its periphery.

‘That is why I have argued loudly in recent months that the issue of quality in our universities is primarily a matter of the conditions under which our teaching staff are employed. Why? Because a teacher’s working conditions are the same conditions that a student learns in.

‘When you don’t have an office, or proper time to mark papers, and when you spend every waking hour looking for your next research job, that really matters. I have met many incredible teachers who happen to be on casual contracts.

‘The tragedy is that their achievements are all in spite of rather than because of the system. Only if the voices of practitioners are heard, will we win the argument for a better education system.’

Speaking about UCU’s relationship with students, and calling on university vice-chancellors and principals to donate the money they docked from striking university staff last week to student hardship funds, Sally Hunt will say:

‘Vice-chancellors and principals are so busy defending their own exorbitant pay that they have forgotten that universities and colleges are nothing without students and staff. Not so long ago, most institutions would give money docked from striking staff to their student hardship funds, these days it is far less likely.

‘I would like to take a moment to thank students up and down the country for their support last week.  And to let them know that this fight is their fight. And that we will support them when they defend education.

‘Therefore, today I am calling on all vice-chancellors and principals to do the right thing and commit every penny they took from our members for striking last week to their student hardship funds. And as our students have given us terrific backing over the past year, it is time for us to return the compliment.

‘That is why I am pleased to announce that arising from discussions with the National Union of Students, UCU and NUS are to begin planning together for a national demonstration to defend education in the autumn.’

Copies of the speech are available from the UCU press office.



2016 AGM

HWUCU invites members to attend the 2016 AGM.  The AGM will take place on Wednesday 11th May 2016 at 12.00hrs in the Chaplaincy and refreshments will be provided.

Please forward anything you would like considered for the agenda to your local rep, or directly to George Bruce, Branch Secretary.

If you are interested in becoming a rep, or becoming involved in the committee, please contact the branch office to request a nomination form.  Completed forms should be returned to George Bruce by Monday 9thth May 2016.


pp George S Bruce
Branch Secretary HWUCU



Dear colleague,

We need your vote

Between now and 4 May, we face a critical ballot and together we can make a real change to pay and working conditions right across the higher education (HE) sector.

Salaries are worth 14.5% less today than in 2009 when measured against inflation. Yet the sector has a £1.85bn surplus, and with more students than ever staff are working harder. Set against that and the substantial increases senior management have awarded themselves, the latest offer of 1% is wholly inadequate.

If you believe in fair pay you have to do more than agree – we need you to make your voice heard and VOTE in this ballot. Please make sure you return your ballot and let fellow members know why their ballot is so important.

The current government is trying to change the law so that they and not union members decide when a ballot provides enough support for a strike. That means it has never been more important to participate in your union – and that your vote has never been more important than it is today.

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

PS. To see your individual loss in pay since 2009 visit