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:




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

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?


  • 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: 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 Nolan MBA, FCIPD, FHEA, MCiM

Chair HE Sector SE Region UCU

Branch Chair UCU CCCU

Follow us on twitter @ucucanterbury


Suggested Template:


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.