Emergency Members’ meeting to discuss pay negotiations July 2024

Pay negotiators from UCU and the other unions in the higher education sector have been meeting with Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) over the past few weeks to try and reach agreement on the 2024-25 claim on pay and conditions.

The heads of the claim can be viewed at HE Negotiations 2024-25 and negotiators need to know what members think about the latest proposals ahead of a branch delegate meeting (BDM) at extreme short notice on Tuesday 2 July.

Confirmation of UCEA’s pay ‘offer’ and the questions to be considered by branches have been circulated to members by email.

A link to the branch Zoom meeting on Tuesday 2 July at 12.45 at which they will be discussed has been also been circulated.

Please review the negotiators’ report and the questions and join the meeting to vote on the questions so that our branch delegates can bring your views to the BDM later in the day. Proxy voting is not allowed but if you would like your views to be considered please contact the branch by email with a short note which can be read out at the meeting, or contact a committee member or your school or service rep and let them know your views.

 

Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders May Day Celebration 2024

We will be assembling at the top end of Johnston Terrace from 11.30AM for march off at 12:00. Our route is down the Royal Mile and St Mary’s Street then up to the Pleasance Theatre for a rally. Please make your way upstairs into the theatre on arrival.

Speakers

  • Tasneem Ali, Muslim Women’s Society
  • Amanda Fyfe,  Living Rent
  • Mike Cowley, EIS FELA
  • Mick Hogg, Ex-Miner

The event will be compered by Susan Morrison and there will be music from Penny Stone, Elsie MacDonald and the Stockbridge Pipe Band. Stalls in the Cabaret Bar.

Solidarity with Palestine

The Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders May Day Committee extends its unwavering solidarity with the people of Palestine. We share the deep concerns of many people around the world over the ongoing conflict and the worsening impact it is having on civilians in Gaza.

In order for peace and justice to prevail, we urgently call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further suffering and create a path towards a just and lasting resolution to this decades long conflict. Together, we hope for a future where all people in the region can live in peace, security, and dignity.

Posted on behalf of Edinburgh TUC and the Edinburgh and Lothians May Day organising committee.

The Great Edinburgh May Day Cabaret 2024

The Great Edinburgh May Day Cabaret is a celebration of International Worker’s Day. It is being held in The Stand comedy Club on Thursday 2 may 2024. Doors open at 7.30PM and the show starts at 8.30PM. Ticket £12.50 online.

Performers include:

Hosted by the second best poet out of Ayrshire, Jim Monaghan. Supported by Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders May Day Committee, ASLEF, The STUC, Scottish Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament and Fair Pley.

 

International Workers’ Memorial Day 2024

Safe work is a right not a privilege but more people are killed at work than in wars every year.

Every year on 28 April we come together to remember everyone who has been killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) is officially recognised by UK government and in 19 other countries.

In Edinburgh we will be meeting at the Memorial Tree in West Princes Street Gardens at 12.30 on Sunday 28 April 2024. Nearest entrance is west side of the Mound and down the lowest path.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Scott MacRory, FBU.
  • Joanna Cherry MP

After there will be the Laying of Wreaths and Songs from Protest in Harmony.

This commemorative event is organised by Edinburgh Trade Union Council and Scottish Hazards. City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government buildings will lower their flags

Working in a bad climate

The theme for 2024 is the impact of climate change on occupational health and safety. Stand with us to remember the early victims of climate change-caused heat stress, UV radiation, air pollution, industrial accidents, extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases, and chemical exposure. Commit to fight for a world that’s more, not less, safe to live and work in.

USS Pension Justice: We earned it.

After 69 days total of industrial action following the needless pension cuts which were forced through by our employers two years ago members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) will see their benefits restored as of Monday 1 April 2024.

The key points of the settlement are that

  • the USS accrual rate be restored from 1/85 back to 1/75
  • the defined benefit threshold will lift from £41k back to over £70k
  • the hard inflation cap of 2.5% has been removed
  • £900m has been set aside for a one-off payment to make good losses which members have already suffered

Heriot-Watt JISC Digital Experience Surveys

Heriot-Watt University have asked that we share this with our networks to improve staff and student engagement with the JISC Digital Experience Survey.

Why participate?

The survey is an opportunity for staff and students at Heriot-Watt to provide feedback that will help shape our digital future. By participating you will help with:

  • Transforming and enhancing the digital experience for both students and staff
  • Establishing baseline data and monitoring year-on-year improvements
  • Identifying gaps in provision and providing targeted support
  • Benchmarking our progress against national standards
  • Demonstrating enhanced levels of engagement and responsiveness to the student voice
  • Informing future investment decisions

All you need to complete the survey is 15 minutes of time. Click on the relevant link to start. Please note that there isn’t a survey specific to researchers so we would ask you to complete the one of the two more relevant to your role. For most but not all academics this will probably be teaching.

Professional services staff: digital experience insights survey 2023/24 – Heriot-Watt University

Higher education teaching staff: digital experience insights survey 2023/24 – Heriot-Watt University

The survey is designed so that no identifiable characteristics are asked for or gathered. The data is collected at University level only. The data will not be attributed to specific Schools, Institutes or Departments. Questions are optional. It is recommended people answer questions as honestly and openly as possible, however there is no obligation to answer all questions in the survey – you can still submit your response.

Keffiyeh on campus

The UCU Palestine solidarity group will be running a stall on the bridge link between main reception and the Hugh Nisbet Building on Wednesday 27 March 2024 from 10:00 to 15:00.

Join us to learn more about Palestinian history and culture, sample Palestinian dates, and much more.

There will be a group photo at 15:00 outside the main reception. Wear your your Keffiyeh, or the colours of the Palestinian flag in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

 

Ceasefire NOW!

UCU joins with many others in Palestine, the UK, and beyond to reiterate the demands for an immediate ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, and the lifting of the siege of Gaza.

We call on all UCU members to sign the parliamentary petition calling for a ceasefire and to end Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Academic freedom and free speech

UCU is aware that some of our members have been targeted for speaking out about the events in Israel and Palestine, and that this targeting has unfortunately often been racialised. UCU has clear policy in defence of academic freedom; if you have been targeted in this way please contact your local rep or regional office for support.