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Welcome to UCU at CCCU

Welcome to the University and College Union at Canterbury Christ Church University. Please explore the tabs above to find out more about the Union, how to join and how we can help.

Scroll down for the latest UCU news.

Connie

UCU Branch Chair CCCU Connie Nolan

Support a national day of action to celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK on Mon Feb 20

UCU CCCU encourages all members to gather in the pond area on campus at 12pm on Monday February 20.

CCSU international officer Krum Tashev has arranged the event to show solidarity with international students and staff and migrants.

It coincides with the One Day Without Us campaign’s day of action to highlight the contribution migrants make to the UK.

UCU CCCU is not asking staff to suspend or abandon existing lectures.

Want to know more about your right to work in the UK as an EEA or non-EEA nationals? Visit:

Free speech debate to be held on campus with help of CCCU UCU

UCU members have helped organise a free speech debate on the North Holmes Road campus on Thursday January 26.

The event is free and open to the public.

See below for more details:

The Free Speech Debate Panel debate and discussion on the issue of free speech.

Old Sessions House, OG46, Longport, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1NX Thursday 26 January 2017 (18:00-20:00)

For more information email Jim Butcher: jim.butcher@canterbury.ac.uk

Free speech has become an issue of significant controversy. This debate will assess a number of key questions, including:

  • To what extent should freedom of speech be regarded as an absolute value?
  • Is it possible to draw a clear distinction between speech and action?
  • What constitutes hate speech and should it be banned?

Panelists:

  • Melantha Chittenden – National Union of Students LGBT+ officer.
  • Claire Fox – Director of the Institute of Ideas, BBC Radio 4 Moral Maze panellist, author of ‘I Find that Offensive’.
  • Professor Mark Hammond – former CEO of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Professor James Soderholm – Head of Humanities, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys.

Supported by: Christ Church students’ Union / Engaging Sociology / Politics Matters / CCCU UCU.

This event is open to the public.

NUS president Malia Bouttia set to speak at Student Union’s discrimination discussion

National Union of Students president Malia Bouttia is due to appear at a Christ Church Students’ Union (CCSU) panel discussion.

The event – January 23 6pm t0 8pm in the Michael Berry Lecture Theatre (Old Sessions House Og46) – is part of CCSU’s One World Week.

Ms Bouttia will be joined by a range of speakers including Kent Refugee Action Network chief executive Razia Shariff and Christ Church criminology lecturer Fahid Qurashi.

The topic for the discussion “Religious and Racial discrimination in the UK”.

For more information visit the event’s Facebook page

This event is open to all students, staff and members of the public.

Facilitating the panel discussion:

•Krum Tashev – International Officer at Christ Church Students’ Union

Panel members:

•Malia Bouattia – President of NUS

•Hannah Dualeh – Equality, Liberation and Access Officer Bristol SU and NUS NEC Welfare place

•Razia Shariff – CEO Kent Refugee Action Network

•Fahid Qurashi – Lecturer in Criminology at Canterbury Christ Church University

Topics of discussion on “Religious and Racial discrimination in the UK”:

The panel members will look at topics such as:

•The rise of religious discrimination in the UK

•What the student movement is doing to oppose Prevent

•Racial discrimination faced by students

•Problems faced by refugees in Kent

•What is the effect of the Prevent agenda in society and in particular how it affects international students, students of colour and Muslim students

Message from Sally Hunt on the EU referendum

Members will have differing views on the result of last Thursday’s referendum on EU membership.

However what is not in doubt is that the UK now faces a period of considerable economic and political uncertainty. That uncertainty extends into the places where UCU members work in three main ways.

First, in practical concerns about the loss of funding for projects within or related to universities and colleges supported by the European Union.

Second, in the impact of the referendum result upon government policy. For example, there is now speculation that the apprenticeship levy from which many colleges hoped to benefit may be postponed or scrapped.

Third, in a sector with a highly international workforce which itself teaches a diverse student body, the impact upon staff and students themselves.

I have therefore this morning written to the UK secretary of state with responsibility for further and higher education and UCU will be making contact too with the devolved administrations seeking some clarity in these three areas on behalf of members.

The referendum campaign has produced a rising tide of racism and hostility to migrant communities, as well as a worrying trend of anti-intellectualism (‘who needs experts?’ and so on). In the face of this universities and colleges have a vital role to play in fighting racism and intolerance and in continuing to promote the benefits of education to both the individual and society as a whole. In short we must stand up for our staff and students and celebrate education for all rather than hide away until the storm passes.

UCU for its part will continue to pursue these values  in line with a statement agreed by the National Executive Committee last Friday which you can read here.

Best regards

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

Latest message from UCU head of campaigns Justine Stephens: #fairpayinHE and victory at Hull College

Dear colleague,

Members will be shocked at the murder of Jo Cox MP. The full sympathy and solidarity of the union goes to Jo’s family, friends and constituents in this time. Jo had a record of supporting the most vulnerable in our society and across the globe in Sierra Leone and Syria. She was killed while doing her job and we share in the outrage of this violent crime.

In this week’s campaigns update:

Taking action for #fairpayinHE
Members at Bath and Bristol universities are taking strike action for #fairpayinHE today – targeting an open day and an open day plus exam boards respectively as part of UCU’s nationally co-ordinated wave of local strike action. Members at Essex and Coventry follow tomorrow, while University of Stirling UCU will on Monday be the first of 24 branches taking action over the course next week. Please help keep the pressure on institutions and send your solidarity to colleagues taking action by using the #fairpayinHE hashtag and see our marvellous wall of support here.

Victory for UCU members at Hull College
UCU members at Hull College have secured both a pay rise and an end to ‘no-notice’ lesson observations, bringing to an end a dispute which saw members taking strike action over the college’s lesson observation methods last month. The college has also finally agreed to implement a pay rise which was originally promised in September 2015, with payments backdated to last August. Congratulations to all at Hull College UCU on their victory.

Also this week:
1. In the news
2. Newcastle University UCU: a fantastic victory
3. Stand with Orlando – we need to come together
4. Release Professor Homa Hoodfar
5. Free professional development opportunities in Leeds and Hull
6. Equality chartermarks survey

Please click here.

All the best

Justine Stephens
UCU head of campaigns

Read the 5 five key findings from the UCU workload report

Dear colleague,

You will remember that earlier this year we surveyed all members to find out more about your concerns around workload intensification and working hours. The report and an executive summary are now available here.

Thank you to the 18,000 members who took the time to respond.

The results are astonishing. Our report has 5 key findings:

  1. staff in both the higher education and further education sectors are working an average of more than two days unpaid every week
  2. workload is unmanageable and unsustainable for the majority of academic staff and lecturers
  3. staff are taking on more responsibility and administration
  4. student expectations have increased
  5. professional and career development is suffering as a result of increasing workload pressures.

The report suggests that it is our members who are bearing the brunt of national policy reforms and increasing competition. The implications for not managing workloads effectively are huge, affecting not only your health and welfare but also the quality of education for students.

We will be working hard this year to provide branches with bargaining advice and support on how to tackle this insidious problem.

Thank you for your support.

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

UCU strike 2016: A thank you from Connie, student union support and election of branch committee

Dear colleagues,

What an exciting week! We had great support for the two days Strike action.

Huge thanks to members who stood on picket lines especially in the cold and wet on Wednesday.

Some of you will know that the Student Union have shown their support and solidarity for us by making the Golden Apple Awards ‘a platform for their support’ (Krum).

This was a marvellous show of support and I was very pleased to accept the invitation to speak.

We were joined by a national UCU officer, Chris Nicholas and colleagues from Kent university; led by Krum, the Student Union President we walked in solidarity through Canterbury. Photos will be up on the website soon.

On Thursday we were invited to speak about the reasons for the Strike to the Post Graduate Conference, so thanks to the organisers: Nick Furze and Phil Hurst.

All staff will be shortly receiving an email asking if you were on strike. This is quite normal. The national UCU advice is to tell the truth. School Directors and Deans of Faculty will also be asked to report who they missed. This is more contentious but CCCU does do this. If in fact you chose to be at home marking you cannot have pay deducted; we are not obliged to mark on CCCU premises.

Now of course the hard grind of working to contract begins. Members have asked me what this means.  Basically, check your contract – most lecturers have a contract for 37 hours per week Monday to Friday; but yours may vary. There are guidelines on what the national UCU says on the website www.ucu.org.uk

In other news: the EGM passed the new Branch constitution; I was re-elected as Chair, Chris Harvey Branch Secretary, Richard Henson Deputy Branch Secretary, Bryan Hawkins Vice-Chair, Jim Butcher Treasurer, Ana Fernandez Membership Secretary. The full Branch Committee will be posted on the website.

I will be representing you at UCU Congress in Liverpool from 31st May to 3rd June. Full details will be posted on the website.

Kind regards,

Connie

Follow us on twitter @ucucanterbury

UCU strike 2016: Read the letter these resigning external examiners wrote to The Guardian

Lecture hall

Image: Flickr/Anna/licence

This was published online by The Guardian on Thursday May 26 2016. To see the original post go here.

We write as external examiners whose role is to assure the quality of higher education courses at universities and colleges across the UK, but who have decided to resign in order to support the campaign for fair pay in our sector.

We have resigned because, while as senior academics we believe our role in underpinning the quality of education provided to students is vital, we are all too aware of the unfairness of the current pay policies of our universities and their impact on staff and their students.

We have watched with sadness the pay of academic and professional staff fall in real terms by 14.5% since 2009; we have seen the numbers of casual staff proliferate; and seen universities do little or nothing to reduce the shocking gender pay gap despite having a collective surplus of £1.85bn.

Yet the final straw for many of us is the contention by our employers that the latest final pay offer of 1.1% is “at the limits of what can be afforded” when at the same time we discover that university leaders have themselves received an average pay increase of 6.1%. The blatant hypocrisy of this position is breathtaking.

We love our work as external examiners not least because it brings us into contact with academics from around the country. The high-quality work we see confirms to us that staff deserve better from institution heads.

We have therefore resigned from our external examiner posts and will not be taking up new posts in order to demonstrate that there will be no “business as usual” until we have a commitment from our universities to fair pay in higher education.

We recognise that this is a significant step for any professional to take but urge other external examiners to follow our lead.
Professor Richard Taffler Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
Professor Cathy Urquhart Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Tony Evans Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor Florence Myles University of Essex
Professor Heiko Balzter University of Leicester
Professor Daniel Katz University of Warwick
Professor Robert Miller Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Christian De Cock University of Essex
Professor Glen Jeffery UCL, Institute of Ophthalmology
Professor Thomas Munck University of Glasgow
Professor Jeremy Guggenheim Cardiff University
Professor Cam Donaldson Glasgow Caledonian University
Professor Deborah Mabbett Birkbeck College, University of London
Professor Emma Clery University of Southampton
Professor Willy Maley University of Glasgow
Professor Jim Newell University of Salford
Professor Mark Humphries Swansea University
Professor George Kernohan University of Ulster
Professor Martin Conboy University of Sheffield
Professor Ingunn Holen University of Sheffield
Professor Laurie Stras University of Southampton
Professor Laura Lewis University of Southampton
Professor Raymond Bush University of Leeds
Professor David Clarke Newcastle University
Professor Keith Attenborough The Open University
Professor Tess Ridge University of Bath
Professor Melanie Simms University of Leicester
Professor Andrew Samuels University of Essex
Professor Adam Rutland Goldsmiths, University of London
Professor Malcolm Povey University of Leeds
Professor Rolland Munro University of Leicester
Professor Stephen Salter University of Edinburgh
Professor Paul Johnson University of York
Professor Harriet Bradley UWE Bristol
Professor Susan Page University of Leicester
Professor Dominique Laurence University of Manchester
Professor Dominic Wring Loughborough University
Professor Richard Saundry Plymouth University
Professor Eleanor Spaventa Durham University
Professor Victor Van Daal Edge Hill University
Professor Frederic Fol Leymarie Goldsmiths, University of London
Professor Raphael Salkie University of Brighton
Professor Özlem Onaran University of Greenwich
Professor Claire Squires University of Stirling
Professor John Holford University of Nottingham
Professor Patrick Ainley University of Greenwich
Professor Martin Parker University of Leicester
Professor Richard Worden University of Liverpool
Professor Jenny Pickerill University of Sheffield

Strike 2016: A ‘thank you’ from UCU general secretary 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 and contact Matt Waddup mwaddup@ucu.org.uk with any further queries.

UCU strike 2016: Read the latest message from CCCU UCU branch chair Connie Nolan

Dear colleagues,

The National UCU has called for two strike days this week: Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th May.

We are also asked to work to contract from 25th May onwards.

This means that you are asked to withdraw your labour on 25th and 26th May, which means that you will not be paid for those two days. You do not have to inform your manager in advance that you are taking industrial action.

Yes, it is technically a breach of contract but the Trade Union laws protect those who engage in a ‘lawful’ strike which this is.

There will be pickets on the gates to the university main campus in North Holmes Road.

If you can join us for picket duty, please assemble at Gate 1 Blue Car Park from 7.30am (or whenever you can get there).

You are also asked to work to contract which means that you should not volunteer to undertake any duties which are outside your normal work.

UCU have FAQs about industrial action on the website.

It is very important that all our students understand why we are taking this industrial action and I addressed the Council of the Christ Church Students Union last Thursday.

They fully support our action and asked me to speak at the Golden Apple Award ceremony so that a wider audience is aware that we are supported by our students in our national industrial action.

There is a template at the bottom of this email you may like to use for emails out to your students. We would encourage you to customise it with specific details. You may also like to use an email signature such as:

“On 25 and 26 May 2016 I will be participating in the UCU strike in support of a fair and equitable pay settlement for all staff in UK universities. I will deal with emails on my return.

If you would like to know more about the UCU and the reasons for the current action, please go to https://www.ucu.org.uk/he2016.”

Thanks Connie,

Kind regards,

Connie

Connie Nolan MBA, FCIPD, FHEA, MCiM

Chair HE Sector SE Region UCU

Branch Chair UCU CCCU

Follow us on twitter @ucucanterbury

 

Suggested Template:

PLEASE SUPPORT A FAIR DEAL FOR UNIVERSITY STAFF

What action are academic and academic related staff taking?

University and College Union (UCU) members will be taking strike action this week (Weds 25th and Thurs 26th May) and commencing a “work to contract”.

Why are university staff taking action?

Our working conditions are your learning conditions. Poorly paid staff on insecure contracts are not in the best position to educate students in the way we would all desire.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly. Every day we work hard to educate, support, develop and improve the life chances of 2.3 million students. No UCU member wants to harm your education or disrupt your studies.

However, we cannot sit back and watch our pay eroded; gender and sessional staff inequality grow unchallenged and employment become more insecure every year. As tuition fees continue to rise you may rightly wonder where your money is going. The sector has over £1 billion in operating surpluses.

Universities are spending lots of money on buildings and increasing revenues. Vice-Chancellors and other top managers are also doing very comfortably – Vice-Chancellors on average earn more than 6 times what average staff receive. They are not investing in most of their staff and many of those who teach you are on insecure hourly-paid contracts.

Stand with us

We know this action will cause disruption and we are sorry. The truth is that university employers can end this dispute today.

Please help us to get the universities back round the table and end this damaging dispute before it gets any worse.

The Student Union Council here at Christ Church support us and so we ask you to:

  • Email the Vice-chancellor calling on them to press national negotiators to make a better offer.
  • Talk to the Student Union about how you can get involved in supportive activities.
  • Speak to your lecturers and other staff and let them know you support them.

It is the staff and students who make a university.