Bangor University UCU
- Branch reports that members are observing the work-to-contract.
Bath University UCU
- Branch members held a stall on their campus with blown up cheques and banknotes to denote the Great Pensions Robbery. Having decided not to set fire to them, they have been handing them out to members and students to publicise the dispute.
Birmingham University UCU
- The branch reports that the work-to-contract action is going well and they have completed their escalation plan.
Birkbeck College UCU
- The branch are holding lunchtime stalls in addition to developing their local advice on the work-to-contract. October 27 saw the first of their 'Reclaim your lunchhour' protests, with sandwiches and samosas in nearby Torrington Square. Read more here: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ucu/news/Relax
Bradford University UCU
- Bradford University UCU have posted a message to their students about the dispute, plus a response to the briefing issued by the university. They have also written to their VC, Professor Cleary, asking him to 'put whatever pressure you can on UUK and the Employers’ Pension Forum to enter discussions with UCU and to call publicly for dialogue'.
Bristol University UCU
- Bristol University UCU called time on the working day on Monday with an alarms and sirens protest at 5pm. Their protest was covered by the local press.
Brunel University UCU
- Brunel University UCU report that they’ve circulated the working to contract advice and are considering plans for rolling strike action in the event of escalation.
Cambridge University UCU
Cambridge University UCU members leafletted outside Senate House on 14 and 15 October over both days of voting to decide the university’s new chancellor. UCU members engaged staff and alumni in conversation about the USS pension dispute. The two days of voting had a festival atmosphere, and the reaction to the leaflets and canvassing of support was very positive.
Cardiff University UCU
- Cardiff University UCU have organised a mass petition to the vice chancellor and are leafleting students.
City University UCU
- City University UCU have circulated the working-to-contract advice and are discussing plans to escalate if necessary via rolling strike action
Edinburgh University UCU
- Edinburgh University UCU have put up detailed guidance for members and held a members' meeting on 19 October. The branch are also planning a demonstration at the next meeting of Court on 7 November.
Essex University UCU
- Essex University UCU have followed up the presentation of their USS invoice to their VC with lots of resource and detailed guidance with helpful examples about how to work to contract:
Glasgow University UCU
- Glasgow UCU's advice to members on how they could spend their newly discovered evenings, which included the suggestions that they could listen to The Archers and watch Shameless, got picked up by the student press. The branch have also been leafleting and having regular ‘What’s on’ emails. For example, now that you are working to contract. do you know x is on at the theatre, cinema etc. The branch have also been running surgeries and mass picnics. Here's a report and picture from their latest one:
"On Monday, Glasgow students showed their support for staff action by providing a pot-luck lunch for staff and leafleting fellow students to tell them why defending USS is important. UCUG members thoroughly enjoyed the lunch, chatting to students and to colleagues as well as keeping the action visible on campus. Over delicious soup and cake, members discussed how they're enjoying their free time, sharing events and activities at the weekend as well as the latest Archers' storylines but also more serioulsy, worrying that for our students, who may subsequently enter the profession the impact of the pension changes are huge, with new starts moving onto a CARE scheme that will see them retire with substantially reduced benefits." See the picnic here
- Goldsmiths UCU held a mock funeral for the pension scheme on Monday lunchtime. Members at the college are being offered a day’s TOIL to turn up for their Open Day, after the union advised them that it was a voluntary meeting. The branch have launched a college-wide petition calling on management publicly to call for a return to negotiations. Students at the College have voted to back the dispute so there will be a petition for them and one for all college staff and both will be submitted to the next meeting of College Council. You can also read their latest report here.
Hull University UCU
- Hull University UCU report that the action is going well.
Heriot Watt University UCU
- The branch are planning leafleting and a funeral procession, outside the main admin building on 28 October.
Imperial College UCU
- Imperial College UCU have issued guidance calling on members not to to participate in the Commemoration Day Ceremony on Wednesday (19 October) or in an academic staff time survey.
Institute of Education UCU
- The IoE branch are sending out a regular email updates to members. The two main events to date have been a lobby on Thursday 6 October at the Director’s 'all staff' briefing, where they handed out leaflets to staff as they entered the auditorium. In the meeting, members wore stickers, and tied helium balloons to their chairs, with the message 'Defend our USS pensions'. They also asked the director a question about the impact of the new 2-tier pension scheme on staff morale. Previosuly, on 29 September, they launched their campaign by handing out 500 leaflets, to staff and students, and releasing 100 balloons at the Director’s 'welcome back' breakfast. (view photos).
- Keele UCU have provided excellent advice for members recommending that they withdraw from attending their Open Days.
King’s College London UCU
- King’s College London UCU report meetings and stalls across their campuses discussing the action.
Lancaster University UCU
- Lancaster University UCU are continuing with their weekly protests every Wednesday until further notice and have developed plenty of USS resources on their website.
Leeds University UCU
- Leeds University UCU have followed their launch march, at which they tore up the USS rule boook, with developing their own ‘out of office auto-reply as well as providing extra guidance on the Working Time Regulations.
Leicester University UCU
- Leicester University UCU have produced their own localised guidance.
Loughborough University UCU
- Loughborough University UCU held a well-attended general meeting on Wednesday at which there was lively discussion of the work to contract. They’ve also produced some excellent advice for members based on real life examples of their members taking the action. Read Loughborough’s excellent resources here. They’ve also taken on their management after their HR director wrote to them claiming that they could reasonably make any request of their staff.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine UCU
- LSHTM UCU report that they are launching a ‘reclaim your lunchtime’ campaign in support of the action.
Manchester University UCU
- Manchester University UCU delivered their invoice for £48 million to their VC. They also held a rally on Monday lunchtime.
Newcastle University UCU
- Newcastle University UCU have issued advice to members and conducted early morning leafletting of staff and students, as well as organising members’ meetings at individual school level.
Nottingham University UCU
- Nottingham University UCU leafleted their students on 10 October and also managed to persuade their VC to take a leaflet.
- The OU branch report that their Students' Union has been very supportive and has now written to Vice Chancellor Martin Bean calling on him to do his best to influence the employers to resolve the dispute.
Queen’s University Belfast UCU
- QUB UCU are working well with their Students’ Union and the Union agreed to circulate a letter from local UCU President Renee Prendergast to all students: Queen's UCU letter to students. The branch are also demonstrating outside a meeting of the University Senate on 28 October.
Sheffield University UCU
- Sheffield University UCU held a general meeting last week and discussed the action. They’ve also adapted and localised the FAQs and drawn up some really excellent model letters for members to use to send to their heads of departments. You can see all their resources here
Southampton University UCU
- Southampton University UCU are running a campaign for members to reclaim their lunch hour called “Let’s meet for lunch”. You can see their fantastic flyer here: http://southampton.web.ucu.org.uk/2011/10/20/lets-meet-for-lunch-campaign-flyer/
They also held a Halloween pensions march on 31st October which got great coverage in the local press. You can see their photographs here: http://southampton.web.ucu.org.uk/
St Andrews University UCU
- St Andrews University UCU are holding ‘collective lunch breaks’ at a different location every Wednesday, as well as a series of open meetings at the different schools and units; see more on their action plans here. On Wednesday 19 October, they held one at which a cardboard cake, symbolising pensions, was carved up in a distinctly unfair manner. They are now holding Departmental meetings across the university. The Students' Union has passed a motion of support for the campaign unanimously.
Stirling University UCU
- Stirling University UCU called on members to boycott their Open Day on Saturday, following leafleting last Monday. They have been holding leafleting events with another mass leafleting in the Atrium, Monday 31st October at 12.30pm (the university are having a meeting with staff about USS on this date). The branch also plan a rally with national speakers, Wednesday, 16th November at 12.30pm.
Surrey University UCU
- Surrey University UCU have been holding the first of their ‘Reclaim your lunchbreak’ lunches this Wednesday. As they say, 'It’s not a meeting. It’s about having a healthy working life.' They’ve also circulated their own excellent advice to members, as well as the UCU door poster, to all members. You can read Surrey’s advice to members and download their poster.
Sussex University UCU
- Sussex University UCU have developed localised advice and a campaign poster. They are also circulating a motion for passing at departmental meetings calling on vice chancellor Michael Farthing to make a public call for talks. At the time of writing 11 departments had passed motions calling on their Vice Chancellor Michael Farthing to make a public call for talks! You can read their model motion here
Swansea University UCU
- Swansea University UCU sent us fantastic report, as of Tuesday 1 November: "Prior to ASOS commencing we wrote to our VC urging him to write to the employer representatives urging them to return to the negotiating table and to enter into sensible discussion to remove the need for industrial action. We then called a branch General Meeting on the 12th October at which pensions and ASOS were the main items for discussion. Members were reminded of the UCU’s advice on working to contract and there followed a discussion. Since the GM members have reported to us that they are working to contract, this has included: refusing to take on additional administrative tasks; refusing to take on administrative tasks previously allocated to colleagues; and, refusing to attend voluntary events. We have been working with the Student’s Union to organize an event to take place on the 28th November whilst ASOS is still ongoing but also as a preliminary to the strike which seems likely to take place on the 30th November (the event will go-ahead even if there is no strike action unless the dispute is resolved). There will be abranch GM that day followed by a procession to the building where the VC and Pro-VC’s are housed. We intend to hand-in two cheques (the oversize charitable type) to represent the loss in value of pensions to members brought about by the pension changes: firstly to academics who will retire this year, and, secondly, to academics who are just beginning their academic career - we intend to highlight how the changes affect everyone, young and old. The media will be informed and press releases prepared and circulated to the Welsh media.£
- UCL UCU held a Pension Picnic in the Quad on Monday to mark the start of the action. They have sent out an explanation of working to contract based around their local working hours agreement and are encouraging meetings in depts.
- UEA UCU are asking branch members to get creative and develop some posters for the Defend USS campaign. View their latest contributions here: http://uea.web.ucu.org.uk/2011/10/28/go-photoshopping/
York University UCU
- York University UCU rebuffed their management with this excellent document making it clear that there would be no basis for any deductions of pay: UCU York statement