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The Future of Higher Education and UCU: UCU General Secretary Election Hustings

HWUCU branch committee would like to draw attention to a very important event in terms of the future of UCU and national campaigning.pp

Elections for UCU General Secretary and NEC begin 1st February and continue until 1st March. We would encourage all members to vote and have their say in the way the union is run. Higher education is undergoing profound change with the passage of the HE Teaching and Research Bill, the introduction of TEF along with other external influences including Brexit and threats to the freedom of movement of labour. Come and hear candidates for the General Secretary position and Vice President positions in UCU. All welcome.

 Edinburgh: Monday 6th Feb 12:00 noon
Room 50 George Square (G.05) University of Edinburgh http://www.ed.ac.uk/maps/maps?building=50-george-square

Candidates for General Secretary are:
Sally Hunt
Jo McNeill

Candidates for Vice President are:
Douglas Chalmers
Carlo Morelli

All candidates are invited. Where they are unable to attend in person we will seek to provide a conference call link and / or their election material.

pp Heriot Watt UCU Committee

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

Recruitment stall this week

The local branch is running a recruitment stall this week, next to the Student Union shop, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (22-24th) from 12-2pm. There will be local committee members on hand to answer any questions or queries you may have. No need to let us know in advance, just come along at any of the times above.Rosie-poster-small

Best wishes

HWUCU Branch Committee

USS Presentation at Heriot Watt University

There will be a visit from USS next week. This is an opportunity to learn more about your pension scheme, and attendance is highly recommended for anyone considering saving more for retirement. Details of sessions can be found below.

pp James Richards
Branch President HWUCU

On 1 April 2016 there was a change to how your future benefits are worked out. Additionally, from 1 October 2016 there will be a new opportunity to save more with the help of your employer:

  • Since 1 April 2016 all members became part of the USS Retirement Income Builder. Benefits continue to be worked out based on a formula that includes your salary up to the salary threshold – initially £55,000 a year;
  •  From 1 October 2016, the USS Investment Builder will launch. This will supplement the existing USS Retirement Income Builder.

 Presentations are being held on the 7th September at 10.00am and 2.00pm in the Post Graduate Centre, Room 2.01.

 To secure a place please register through the link below-




HWUCU Recruitment Stall today

HWUCU are running a recruitment stall today, Tuesday 18th May, 12 – 2pm outside the Student Advice Hub (next to the Student Union shop). Come along and say hello, tell us what matters to you or ask a question. We look forward to seeing you there.Rosie-poster-small


Is there a need for further reform of Scottish Higher Education?

Retired Members Branch –  Open Meeting, Friday 27th May:  Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University

As intimated to Congress at Stirling, RMB Scotland is holding an Open Meeting on the afternoon of Friday 27 May in Edinburgh to look at where things stand for Higher Education in Scotland following the passing of the HE Governance Act and the Scottish Parliamentary elections.

The theme of the Open Meeting is – essentially – “unfinished business” and Ferdinand von Prondzynski has kindly agreed to provide a keynote.

Friday 27th May, 2pm – 4:30pm

Booking is not essential but advisable


General Members Meeting

There will be a General Members meeting for UCU members and anyone interested in learning more about what the Union does.

Wednesday 9th December 2015, 13.00 – 15.00
Chaplaincy Centre

George Bruce
Heriot Watt UCU Branch Secretary
0131 451 3606

Reps 1 Training, Stirling 2 – 4 December

UCU are running this popular course for reps at the University of Stirling, from 2-4 December. This three-day course is aimed at members looking to become a branch rep, and refresher training for existing reps. Reasonable travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed. Please advise the HWUCU branch office if you wish to attend, further details and booking available at:


UCU Continuing Professional Development Courses

Speaking Up: Voice Care Training
Edinburgh 19 November

This one-day workshop looks at ways to help keep your voice healthy and use it to your best advantage in a teaching environment. Booking and further information.

Research Grant Application Writing
Glasgow 18 November

Professor Andrew Derrington, author of The Research Funding Toolkit, presents a one day workshop aimed at helping academics write better research grant applications:

  • understanding how research funding decisions dictate the content and structure of a grant application
  • practical exercises on how to design fundable research projects
  • develop writing skills to present your project effectively to any research funder.

Only a few places remain, book soon to avoid disappointment!

Courses are free to UCU members.

Edinburgh Public Meeting – Trade Union Bill

Edinburgh TUC is organising a public meeting on the Trade Union Bill which is currently going through the UK Parliament. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the content of the Bill and to set up a campaign committee to publicise the threat to human rights represented by the Bill within the wider community, and to lobby local politicians.

The meeting will be held on Monday 9th November at 7.00 pm within the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. The meeting with be chaired by Mary Alexander, Deputy Regional Secretary, UNITE ( and also STUC General Council), Neil Findlay MSP and Mark Lyon UNITE and ex convenor of INEOS.