UCU Profile picture
UCU
University and College Union, UK trade union for academics, lecturers, trainers, researchers & academic-related staff in further and higher education.
Oct 21, 2021 14 tweets 4 min read
UCU members across higher education are balloting for strike action in defence of pay, pensions and working conditions✉️

We represent a wide variety of professions and we need all your voices to be heard 📢

#OneOfUsAllOfUs Image We are technicians

#OneOfUsAllOfUs
Oct 20, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
🚨BREAKING: UCEA, the group representing uni bosses, has confirmed it is doubling down on real-terms pay cuts, refusing to even acknowledge casualisation & offering vague gestures on inequality & workload.

They are refusing to seriously negotiate.

(THREAD)

#OneOfUsAllOfUs UCEA's chief exec has written to our general secretary @DrJoGrady. In it, he lays out the employers' 'offer'

📉 Yet another real-terms pay cut, insultingly packaged as a "pay uplift"

❌Lip-service to pay gaps and spiralling workload

❗️Not a single mention of casualisation
Aug 31, 2021 10 tweets 3 min read
URGENT USS PENSIONS NEWS:

Today @UniversitiesUK voted to push ahead with its plans to cut thousands of pounds from the retirement benefits of university staff in the USS pension scheme

1/
The employer body voted for their package of cuts ahead of agreeing to fully consider UCU's alternative proposals and calls for a month's extension so that staff and universities could be properly consulted

2/
Jul 20, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
🧵Today, government cuts to arts and humanities courses were confirmed by @officestudents

These courses face a 50% cut to their subsidies, which will make many unviable, forcing them to close

Here are the courses that are effected:

Performing arts
Music
Drama
Dance
Art

1/
Design studies
Cinematics and photography
Information services
Publishing
Journalism
Media studies
Clothing production
Footwear production

2/
Jul 20, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
UPDATE ON HE PAY NEGOTIATIONS: 🧵

Higher Education negotiators from UCU,
@unitetheunion, and @unisontheunion met @UCEA1 in the first of two dispute resolution meetings over the current pay bargaining round.

1/
We were disappointed that @UCEA1 did not bring an improved offer, despite our consistent communications on areas which are lacking.

2/
May 13, 2021 11 tweets 7 min read
Whilst the government pretends to care about views being supressed on campus, @uniofleicester is trying to sack staff whose research threatens management

THREAD 👇 .@ronald_hartz is at risk because his research "displays profound questioning" of "mainstream management thinking".

#BoycottLeicester Image
Sep 28, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
UCU has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson* to urge him to make online learning universities' default position, protect students' education and stop any further damage to community health. ucu.org.uk/article/11029/… 1/ UCU general secretary @DrJoGrady: ‘Given the rapidly changing situation & increasing outbreaks, it is time for swift action and to move the majority of universities’ work online. We are not prepared to take chances with health & safety of students, staff or local communities 2/
Sep 28, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Asked about students potentially being locked down over Christmas, @DrJoGrady said that the immediate concern has to be October, not Christmas. She says students locked down at @ManMetUni are not being tested and second and third years there will still have in-person teaching. Difficult to see how that can help bring the virus under control.
Sep 27, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Speaking to @SkyNews, UCU general secretary @DrJoGrady says the chaos is a result of encouraging students back to university without sufficient measures in place. She says that without basic things like track and trace or proper testing, it is no surprise we are seeing what is happening now and students have been let down.
Sep 25, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
BREAKING NEWS Manchester Metropolitan University has told around 1,700 students to self-isolate for a fortnight with immediate effect after Covid outbreaks in halls of residence. manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-m… UCU general secretary @DrJoGrady said: ‘This is the latest catastrophe in a week where wholly predictable – and predicted – Covid outbreaks have caused havoc on campuses across the UK. 2/
Sep 25, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
UCU president Vicky Blake @zenscara said: “It’s a horrible thing to be told, people are terrified. We are operating in the context of redundancy announcements. It makes it feel very difficult to put your head above the parapet."
theguardian.com/education/2020… 1/ One academic at a Russell Group university, who asked not to be named, said her university had dismissed her concerns about infecting her partner, who has type 1 diabetes and is therefore at an increased risk from #coronavirus. 2/
Sep 25, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
UCU's @DrJoGrady writes in @theipaper that students must not be the scapegoats of a government-created crisis.

The outbreaks of Covid seen on campuses were caused by the government and universities insisting campuses were 'Covid-secure'.

@ipaperviews

inews.co.uk/opinion/commen… Last month UCU called on politicians & universities to abandon any wider reopening of campuses until a UK-wide test and trace system was in place. But students were sold the lie that they could return to open campuses.
Sep 21, 2020 8 tweets 3 min read
Today we were warned that if the current rate of infection is not halted, the UK could be facing around 50,000 new #Covid cases a day by mid-October, leading to 200 deaths a day a month later.
news.sky.com/video/coronavi… 1/ Last month, UCU called upon government politicians and university leaders to abandon plans to precipitously re-open university campuses and resume in person teaching.
theguardian.com/world/2020/aug… 2/
Sep 20, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
This week @DrJoGrady emailed members with new health & safety advice. Branches were also emailed with template letters which members can use to challenge line managers & employer's about plans/instructions regarding in-person work. Pls check your inbox & contact your branch. If you are worried about the work you are being asked to do & unsure how to act, contact your branch ASAP - they can help. The template legal letters will need to be adapted for your institution and your specific circumstances, but your branch will be able to help you do this.
Sep 20, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
A majority of people (57%) believe students moving to university across England will result in a lockdown or restrictions in their area, according to a poll for UCU by Survation.
ucu.org.uk/article/11009/… Around half (48%) would blame government for any local lockdown. Only 35% think universities should continue with face-to-face teaching. 57% do not have confidence that local track and trace systems can control a Covid outbreak.
Sep 18, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
St Andrews University has asked students to go into voluntary lockdown for the weekend
news.st-andrews.ac.uk/archive/messag… 1/ The message asks all students to observe a voluntary lockdown this weekend, effective from 7pm this evening. 2/
Sep 17, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
Front pages today show a complete breakdown in track & trace, with schools badly affected.

"Up to 25k teachers in England may already have been forced out of the classroom"

theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/s… ImageImageImage When the situation at school is already this bad, how are staff & students at universities & colleges expected to cope?

Experts agree that cutting face-to-face teaching to a minimum is the best way to stop Covid spreading.

timeshighereducation.com/news/cutting-f…
Sep 17, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
UCU general secretary @DrJoGrady said the survey revealed “well-founded worries” about safety and argued that all learning should stay online.
timeshighereducation.com/news/covid-19-… Less than one in four staff feel safe returning to work on campus
Nearly nine in 10 said that they were concerned reopening campuses could lead to a spike in cases
By a two-to-one margin, respondents identified financial concerns as key factor in institutions’ reopening plans 2/
Sep 16, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
UCU says colleges and universities must have plans in place to deal with #Covid_19 threat as it launches system to allow members to directly relay their concerns ucu.org.uk/article/10995/… UCU general secretary @DrJoGrady said: 'The evidence suggests that colleges and universities will be hit with further Covid outbreaks and any institution not preparing for how it deals with one is in denial and failing staff, students and the wider community. 2/
Sep 14, 2020 9 tweets 3 min read
UCU's @DrJoGrady now speaking at #TUC2020. She starts by paying tribute to UCU members who have considered to work so hard throughout lockdown. She tells delegates that education never stopped, despite what ministers may have you believe. She says we are the ones calling for caution and planning. The government and sector leaders are ploughing ahead because they've constructed a market for education that needs its ultimate consumers - students - to pay fees and rent. tuc.org.uk/watch-congress…
Sep 8, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
UCU general secretary @DrJoGrady will be on @TimesRadio shortly discussing students returning to university. And comments from @MattHancock suggesting students could be blamed for a #Covid second wave. You can listen live here thetimes.co.uk/radio/live Jo says she understands students' concerns about starting university this year. And highlights recent reports that have expressed concerns about the dangers of widespread opening of campuses.