Historic pay and casualisation deal at London CCCG FE colleges

Congratulations to UCU members at CCCG. This is a brilliant victory by your members. Staff working in FE are among the lowest paid in the education sector. This award, alongside the fractionalisation agreement is an important step in ensuring staff are valued for the vital work they do. Congratulations to the governing body in agreeing this bold and progressive step forward and I hope this signals a change in direction that the whole sector can follow.

In Solidarity

— John McDonnell MP, shadow chancellor

wkcDear Colleagues

UCU branches met today across the Capital City College Group (CCCG – City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of North East London) and agreed to settle on the 2018/19 pay claim. After several weeks of negotiations, the governors have agreed a pay offer of 5% to all staff in the group who earn less than £55k. Senior managers that earn between £56k up to £76k will be awarded 3% and those earning £76k+ will not get a pay increase this year.

The CEO has waived his right to an annual bonus.

The 5% award will be back-dated to September and is worth up to £2K pa which works out as up to £140 per month take home and will be put into the December pay packet. This will mean staff should expect up to £600 extra in their December pay packets.

This is an historic deal which will, we hope, give other colleges the confidence to follow. CCCG is the largest group in London and the third largest in the country. Continue reading

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Report back from Resisting the Market conference

Resisting the Market, Uniting for: Pay, Pensions, Democracy, Equality and Justice

Organised by UCU Transformed, UCU Left, Branch Solidarity Network and OurUCU

Saturday 13 October 2018

This was an inspiring conference bringing people together who have fought for pensions and pay and campaigned to reclaim their university, are fighting precarity, oppose racism on campus and want to bring all staff in-house.

100 people attended from around 50 university and college branches.

mark abel

Most of the day was made up of workshops hosted from a diversity of campaigns. The day ended with a general assembly and discussion of the success of the pensions and pay campaigns and how to win the coming battles including the pay ballot closing on the 19th.

Workshops

Deepa DriverThe morning workshops included a meeting on USS: Where next after the JEP report? The session was run by a USS Briefs team including Felicity Callard, Jo Grady, Jaya John, Deepa Driver (left) and Carlo Morelli, national negotiator.

There was a very informative presentation on Adult Education, Devolution and Apprenticeships. Forogh Rahmani, a senior policy advisor from the London Mayor’s office, outlined how they were preparing for the devolution of adult funding. It was refreshing to be in a dialogue with policy makers who are listening and want to engage with unions. A link will be available here to the presentation. Continue reading

What next after the JEP: how can we build the pay fight?

London Region UCU Open Activist Meeting

Pensions and Pay – What next after the JEP and how can we build the pay fight?

Monday 17 September, 6.30pm

Room 1.20, Engineering Building, University College London
Entrance opposite Waterstones/ULU on Torrington Place. Nearest tube Goodge St.
Map and directions

All members welcome

This meeting is for members in Further and Higher Education to hear about the USS dispute and to discuss how we unite the union to fight over pay.

The report of the USS Joint Expert Panel has been published at www.ussjep.org.uk

USS branches are strongly encouraged to organise local meetings next week to discuss the report and next steps in the campaign.

UCU London Region has called a meeting for Monday 17 September for colleagues from all parts of the HE sector to discuss what the report means and to debate next steps in the campaign.

With ballots taking place over pay in both Higher and Further Education, one logical conclusion is that any cost increase imposed over pension costs should be billed to the employers in the pay campaign.

Useful links

Post Congress Meeting, 9 June

After Congress: what next for UCU?

Open National Meeting for UCU members

Saturday 9 June, 2pm

Venue: G22 Lecture Theatre, Pearson Building, UCL.

The Pearson Building is in the UCL quad on the left as you enter. The entrance to the building is in the North corner of the quad.

Map | Nearest tube: Euston Square.
ucl-g22-lt-map
After the fallout of UCU Congress on Wednesday 30 May, 130 UCU delegates met and it was agreed that London Region UCU would call a National Meeting as soon as possible on:

  • UCU democracy
  • Campaigning in our sectors, how to build on motions passed at HE and FE sector conferences
  • What kind of union we want

After a year of transformative industrial action, UCU members are demanding discussion on where next for our disputes and union.

The strike action taken by UCU members in HE in defence of USS pensions has been inspirational. Some 40,000 lecturers, academic related staff, researchers and support staff have struck across 64 institutions. After a year of industrial  16,000 people have joined UCU. Many of these new members  are BAME, women and young members starting out their careers.

In FE colleges are involved in a campaign of escalating strike action in defence of their pay and conditions. There are another 146 branches that have submitted 168 claims to their employers that could form a second wave of action. This is 50% of all FE bargaining units across the UK. The claims range from, pay, casualisation, equal pay and workloads.

Hosted by London Region UCU. All UCU members welcome.

For clarity, this meeting will follow on from the London Region meeting which takes place the same day at Carlow Street.

Best wishes
Mandy Brown
UCU London Regional Secretary

Workshop notes, #UCUTransformed

The following notes were documented during the various workshops

Moving into action, Organising to GTVO and strike

  • Take-away points / memorable moments. Importance of Preparing The Ground before ballot. GTVO not just bureaucratic but political campaign. How to keep the momentum going that the strike has built. Broaden the scope of the things we challenge.
  • Suggested actions. Investigate issues with electronic voting. Find a balance between local and national issues.

#NoCapitulation, using social media

  • Decisions. Extend use in FE – training sessions?
  • Take-away points / memorable moments. Social media is an add on and can catalyse but not replace organising. Builds community identity but can exclude. Anonymise, share responsibility, have agreed guidelines to protect branch.

Democratising the union: putting members at the centre of change

  • Decisions Add equality/disability awareness / inc in organising events
  • Take-away points / memorable moments Clyde Workers Committee 1915: ‘We will support the officials just so long as they represent the workers, but we will act independently immediately they misrepresent them’.
  • Suggested actions Hold academic conference on this matter, congruent with who we are and what we do, publish papers etc.. Think of ways to replicate the GTVO campaign / picket line mobilisation. Demand that key papers from HEC and FEC meetings be published. Sheffield’s Democracy Review motion
  • Questions raised (still to be answered)
    • How do we increase members’ knowledge about the union?
    • Is it too late to influence the JEP? Is this not a problem of a general democratic deficit?
  • Other Role of the Special Higher Education Sector Conference – depending on when, what its potential could be.

Reclaiming our Colleges: Students and workers organising together

  • Take-away points / memorable moments Teachouts and solidarity between students and staff. Building horizontal relationships. Not Student Union but grassroots. Building standing committees with staff and students. Lack of effective pre-strike communication between UCU and SU in some campuses
  • Suggested actions Questions of Governance (Scotland as an example?). Campaigns in defence of Statutes. For democratising our colleges. Building joint student+staff solidarity committees with a view to calling general assemblies. Continue teach-ins? Regular newsletter. Fight for education as a whole. International movement.
  • Questions raised (still to be answered) Solidarity with other university workers (e.g. cleaners, security, etc.) who also have been striking for their rights? What should students do to reclaim their students union?
  • Other University bureaucratisation & increasing admin tasks issue – important for both students and workers

 Equality Through and Through: Integrating equality demands in our industrial campaigns

  • Decisions Things must change on disabled access.
  • Take-away points / memorable moments Integrate equality. must be central to everything we do. eg pay claim to give more to lower graded workers, who are often Black members. union increase in FE in hourly paid, women, black members and disabled members are concentrated in this group and UCU must campaign for HPL as an equality issue. also pensions move to career average rather than final salary affects women (and disabled..).  HE: Cambridge used the USS strike to challenge racism and set up a network of women of Colour. new people involved must be included. ge in our access to our union events . disabled members demand we are included by equal acess and involved in planning for this in future. Midlands region has a number of equality reps at regional level and this should happen for every strand.
  • Suggested actions integrate equality. must be central to everything we do. eg pay claim to give more to lower graded workers, who are often Black members. union increase in FE in hourly paid, women, black members and disabled members are concenrtrated in this group and UCU must campaign for HPL as an equality issue. also pensions move to career average rather than final salary affects women (and disabled..).  HE: Cambridge used the USS strike to challenge racism and set up a network of women of Colour. new people involved must be included. ge in our access to our union events . disabled members demand we are included by equal acess and involved in planning for this in future.  women strike actions on 8th March in USS was a good step, but the fight to decolonise the universities and make them democratic goes on. The union is much too slow on sexual harassment.  can we integrate more carefully issues of sexual harassment
  • Questions raised (still to be answered) how can we frame our pay campaigns in such a way as to embed equality issues better?  how can we make disabiled access better (consult disabled members and campaign with us rather than put issues to back burner)  how do we shift the agenda so tht we are not limited to the constraints of the UCU lawyers advice and the law–which does not achieve equality. how do we stop Athena Swan being a token event
  • Other we have done well in winning the idea that we get equality on the agenda as an industtrial issue. we are serious about it and need to make the officials see it as an industrial issue. we need to make the union ask the question of the members, what does victory look like on equality questions?  more discussion on how everyone is involved in fighting for equality–eg not just women or not just black memebrs organising around equality. It must not be only the oppressed who are involved in changing things. should international issues be hived off into a seperate workshop from equallities in future?

Ten Points for the USS Valuation, #UCUTransformed

At the UCU Transformed meeting on 28 April, Dennis Leech (Warwick) posed the following points and questions that the Joint Expert Panel should consider.

  1. How does a scheme that is currently cash flow positive go into deficit?
  2. What do cash flow projections for income and outgo look like?
  3. Why use index linked gilts (currently producing a negative return)?
  4. Consider using the internal rate of return.
  5. Are investment returns really too low?
  6. Investigate the ‘best estimate’ valuation.
  7. Focus on income from investments not asset price.
  8. Question the facile assumption that equities universally riskier than bonds.
  9. Examine in detail projections of key parameters e.g. mortality, growth, inflation, etc. Also the level of prudence.
  10. Distinguish between risk and short-term asset price volatility.

See also