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Heriot-Watt UCU Solidarity Hardship fund

We are engaged in industrial action – a.k.a. on strike – over  national legal disputes relating to equality and the gender pay gap (27.7% at HWU), excessive workloads, decreasing pay, casualisation of the work force (short and zero hours contracts) and pensions. The outcome of this dispute will affect, (we hope benefit), all staff at Heriot-Watt University and throughout the HE Sector. Making HE a fairer place to work.We have the support of our students Union in taking strike action. Striking is a last resort when your employer will not listen to staff concerns leaving them with no other option than to withdraw their labour. Striking staff are not paid and many of our members will suffer financial hardship as a result of taking action.

We are asking you to donate to the HWUCU Strike Hardship Fund to help our striking branch members who are most in need.

Any donation – big or small – to support striking workers in struggle is greatly appreciated. For any queries please contact ucu@hw.ac.uk

What will the money be used for?
The Hardship Fund will be used to support striking members of Heriot-Watt UCU who require additional financial support (alongside the national UCU Fighting Fund).  Taking part in industrial action and forgoing pay is difficult for everyone, yet can be particularly financially challenging for those on casualised, precarious and fractional contracts (e.g. part-time, temporary contracts, post-graduate students who do teaching, marking and research).
How can you donate?
i) You can donate through our online fundraiser
ii) You can donate directly to our bank account
The Bank: Unity Trust Bank
Account name: UCU – Heriot-Watt University LA 023 Hardship Fund
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Account No. 20391168
iii) You can donate by cheque to our Branch office
Heriot-Watt UCU office
Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS

Thank you for your support!

Local Members’ Meeting – December

Local Members’ Meeting on 11th December, 12.15 to 14.15
Mary Burton, G13

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this meeting. Please feel free to bring any colleague who may be interested.

HWUCU Branch Committee

King’s College London – staff and students protest against redundancies

With up to 120 staff facing redundancy at King’s College London, staff and students are calling on supporters to attend a lobby of College Council on Tuesday 24th June at 4pm at the Strand quad site and to sign the students’ union petition which now has over 3500 signatures. The union’s ballot for strike action closes next week over plans to cut jobs to fund a massive capital investment programme. Further information available here.

Please help the TUC’s campaigning on job insecurity and casualised work.

As part of its campaigning on job insecurity and casualised work, the TUC has launched an on-line survey and is particularly interested in responses from workers on temporary contracts, agency workers and those on zero hours contracts. If you have such a job please fill in this survey. If you know someone who has please tell them about this survey. The survey closes on June 20th. Thank you.

AGM – 28th May 2014

Dear all

HWUCU invites members to attend the 2014 AGM.  The AGM will take place Wednesday 28 May 2014 at 3.15pm in the Chaplaincy and refreshments will be provided.  More information and an agenda will follow.

Members should note that there is currently a vacancy on the committee for the position of President and we are seeking nominations. If you are interested in this role or in becoming involved in the committee please get in touch.

Kind regards


Catherine Ure

Working to contract: What action is the union asking me to take?

UCU is calling on all members in higher education to begin working to contract and working to rule. This means that we’re asking you to abide strictly by the terms of your contract, so the first thing to do is to dig out your contract of employment and refer to that when reading this advice. In brief, we are asking members to:

  • work no more than their contracted hours where those hours are expressly stated, or where they are stipulated in a workload agreement and in any event not to exceed the maximum number of hours per week stipulated in the Working Time Regulations (48 hours a week)
  • perform no additional voluntary duties, such as out of hours cover, or covering for colleagues (unless such cover is contractually required)
  • set and mark no work beyond that work which they are contractually obliged to set and/or mark
  • attend no meetings where such attendance is voluntary on the part of the members
  • undertake no duties that breach health and safety policies or other significant employer’s policies

Some of it sounds simple and basic but we know from experience that Universities run on significant amounts of unpaid labour and goodwill. This is what we are withdrawing in this action.

In support of the above we are also asking you to add the following text to your email signature:

‘PLEASE NOTE: There may be a delay in dealing with your email as I am participating in UCU industrial action by ‘working to contract’ in support of the union’s campaign for fair pay in higher education.’ Further information can be found at http://www.ucu.org.uk.”

Further guidance on working to contract, including a list of FAQs, is available at:


Thank you for your support.

HWUCU Committee




Strike deductions

We have been advised that for UCU members who took strike action on October 31st:

  • Amount of pay deducted will be 1/260th.
  • Pensions contributions will not be deducted.
  • All deductions will be donated to the student hardship fund.

Thanks again for your support.

UCU Committee

Some photos from yesterday- more to follow

strike daystrike day 3 (3)strike day 1

HE Pay Ballot

You should by now have received your ballot paper. If you have not received your ballot paper by Monday 30 September, please complete the form at: http://www.ucu.org.uk/nohepayballot

UCU will be tweeting throughout the ballot at https://twitter.com/ucu

UCU members reception Wednesday 25th September, 16.00 – 17.00 Anderson Room (Library Top Floor)

You are warmly invited to attend a UCU members reception, tea, coffee and cakes will be provided and it will be a chance to take a breath and catch up with colleagues.

The recent consultative ballot on pay indicated a clear majority for rejecting the pay offer of 1% and a majority for both action short of a strike and strike action.  The upshot of this is a statutory ballot where you will be asked to cast your vote again to either accept or reject the pay offer and the industrial action you would be willing to take.  Mary Senior (Scottish Official) will attend the reception and discuss the background to the pay negotiations, what your vote will mean and answer any questions you might have.

The ‘full and final’ offer on pay is for an increase across all pay points of 1%. Set against current RPI of 3.1%, the employers are offering real-terms pay cut for the fourth year in succession and are, once again, refusing to negotiate at a national level on a range of issues in respect of UCU equality policy.

There will also be an update on the proposed changes to academic titles.

Details of the reception are below.  For catering purposes please email  (c.m.ure@hw.ac.uk) if you would like to attend.