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October, 2017:

6 testimonies of the crucial casework your CCCU officers carry out

We asked members who have come forward with case work to tell us what it meant to have UCU support.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their testimonies.

Human decency

Without our UCU Rep, it is unlikely that I would have recovered my good health, such is the nature of support, generosity of spirit, and collegiality. Having a ‘critical friend’ with which to discuss matters in confidence, strong in the knowledge of a professional, listening ear; aware of due boundaries; and willing to speak honestly rather than just tell you what you want to hear, however difficult, restores one’s faith both in oneself and in a common human decency at large.

Join now

I know for sure that I would have felt very vulnerable without having UCU representation. By having that in place, I feel it has aided negotiations to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution. Which I very much doubt would have been possible without the UCU support I have received. I would urge anyone who isn’t in the UCU union to join now, it’s like having an insurance policy, you hope you won’t need to use it, but when you do, it is really nice to know you’ve already got it.

Protect colleagues

Without our UCU Rep, many more of us would have left, or been forced to leave. Our UCU Rep provides a necessary bulwark and defence against the harshness of our times at work, and the required political defence to protect colleagues from the wider challenges and abuses so many of us face. His hard work and level of commitment help to balance prejudice and injustice, in speaking ‘truth unto power’, the prime directive of any university. While fighting the worst of what we are as an institution, ….. continues to represent the best.

Vital role

I needed the support of my UCU representative who played a vital role in representing and supporting me in the workplace and the difficulties I was facing from……….. The support from ……… was not only essential but greatly appreciated by me and I do not know what would have happened to me as a member of staff without UCU interventions and valued support.

Nowhere to go

I had nowhere to go but thank goodness I am a member of the UCU so I contacted ……..who very quickly met with me to discuss the issues ……. went ahead and planned a meeting with ……….. The meeting which went very well because of …..’s experience, tactfulness and expertise in knowing how to deal with people. ………. conducted the meeting in a professional way to move forward positively and put an end to unproductive processes.

Support and encourage

Successive chairs, secretaries and officers of UCU at CCCU have become bogged down by excessive casework loads. These loads reflect broader issues and problems which need to be urgently addressed. Casework involves working with HR and SMT to support and encourage the kinds of good and best practice that is often not achieved by HR and SMT at CCCU and elsewhere.

You can help

UCU CCCU needs more caseworkers. Volunteering time will help UCU CCU be more efficient and represent members better. It can help us to move from reaction to positive action and to influence real change, hours can be negotiated against teaching time, if you would like to know more contact:

chris.harvey@canterbury.ac.uk

or

bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk

We’re working to get a Facilities Agreement in place – it shouldn’t be this hard

Facilities Agreements underpin trade union activities in the work place.

They set out what support the employer will give the union to carry out their duties.

They are a vital piece of best practice industrial relations.

Ours is out of date and urgently needs updating to cover:

  • The total time agreed for UCU CCCU officers
  • The funding of UCU CCCU officers which is currently inappropriate, too little and out of step with other universities

Some progress has been made since term two last year. We now have:

  • A UCU office LG69
  • A 0.6 admin support has been provisionally agreed for UCU CCCU
  • Work has been done to draw up a contract to replace the out of date contract in existence

But progress has been slow and we are awaiting SMT to respond to UCU proposals covering.

If progress is not made at the JNCC on Nov 2 UCU CCCU will enter into formal dispute and inform ACAS of failure to achieve basic agreements.

We’re fighting a compulsory redundancy at CCCU

A UCU member has been in our view inappropriately dismissed due to ‘redundancy’.

This is a compulsory redundancy which UCU opposes.

The case is being appealed.

The UCU branch is considering what action, up to and including industrial action, it will take to protect members’ jobs and prevent compulsory redundancies in the future.

The SMT and the governors have all been contacted to inform them of the seriousness of the current situation and of UCU’s national position.

UCU CCCU believe the redundancy need not occur. The cost of loss of goodwill and confidence in SMT that compulsory redundancy will create massively outweighs any short term, short-sighted financial gain.

The Branch will consider what action can be taken to support our member and to protect jobs in the future at our next Branch Meeting.

Currently UCU is taking action in Leeds to protect staff and members from poor management practice and redundancies.

More about Leeds here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/defend-leeds-statutes