Heriot-Watt UCU Rotating Header Image

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/

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-




Free professional development opportunities

Don’t miss out on these fantastic professional development opportunities taking place in Leeds and Hull next month – click on the links for more information and to book your place.

Classroom Management – Hull, 5 July

Leadership in Education – Leeds, 6 July

Assertiveness Skills – Leeds, 6 July

As ever, our professional development courses are free to all UCU members.

Stop compulsory redundancies of Humanities staff at Dundee University

Please consider sparing a minute of your time to support colleagues at the University of Dundee facing compulsory redundancy by putting your name to the following e-petition.




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.



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