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University and College Union

The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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University and College Union - UCU rising

Industrial action paused

UCU announced on Friday 17 February that they have reached a point in discussions with employers where they have made significant progress across a range of issues. To allow the ongoing negotiations to continue in a constructive environment UCU has agreed to pause action across the pay and pension disputes for the next two weeks and create a period of calm. 

20th February 2023
UCU rising - first strike date is 1 February

Strike dates updated with 4 weekend dates

For the upcoming strike action the Open University pattern will include two weekends, These have been added where the existing pattern already had a Friday. Therefore the 'extra' dates will be Saturday 11th February, Sunday 12th February, Saturday 18th March and Sunday 19th March. See list of the national UCU strike dates below.

How does this work?

Staff who work the normal 5-day working pattern (or a part-time portion of the standard weekday work week) are not affected by this. You would not declare the extra strike days.

30th January 2023
Fiver before the fifth - donate a fiver to UCU fighting fund

Fiver Before the Fifth campaign

There is a campaign to raise money for UCU's fighting fund ahead of the industrial action in the face of employer intransigence on JNCHES (pay, equalities, workload and casualisation) and pensions. 

This branch invites all members: 

20th January 2023
UCU rising - first strike date is 1 February

Strike days announced by UCU

UCU have announced that 18 days of industrial action will take place in February and March 2023 in the pay and pensions disputes, read the UCU press release here

The first strike day will be Wednesday 1st February. 


13th January 2023
Homemade felt picket armband

Nottingham Clarion Choir videos

Members of the Nottingham Clarion Choir joined our picket line at the OU office in Nottingham on one of the strike days in November 2022. One of our members took these videos and she is happy for us to share them. The same UCU member also made a beautiful picket arm band in the photo on this page. 

Further information about the Choir is on their website.

Videos of the Choir singing.

15th December 2022

AL newsletter issue 6

We have sent another issue of our Associate Lecturer (AL)  newsletter to all AL members, you can read the newsletter here

18th November 2022
UCU ballot result - USS pensions dispute

UCU announces 3 strike dates

UCU have announced three strike days in the current dispute over pensions, pay and working conditions.

The three strike days are planned for:

  • Thursday 24th November
  • Friday 25th November
  • Wednesday 30th November

Read the UCU press release, 8 November

9th November 2022
OU branch of UCU Open meeting

Open meeting on Pay and Pensions

There is a recording of our Open meeting on Pay and Pensions, which took place on 10 October 2022, on our YouTube channel. 

Mark Taylor-Batty and Robyn Orfitelli spoke about the key issues and gave an inside perspective on why Higher Education staff need a pay rise and the restoration of our USS pension benefits.

View video.

28th October 2022

Richard Bradbury, Vice-President to appear in video at TUC Conference

The success of the AL contract in reducing casualisation within the Open University is now being recognised more widely, both nationally and internationally, with the trade union movement.

17th October 2022
Farewell to Kate, Bruce and Jeremy

Farewell to three amazing branch members

The branch has said farewell to three special branch members, Bruce Heil and Jeremy Roebuck are retiring from the OU and Kate Hawkins has got a new job.  Bruce has been a member of our branch executive since 2009 and a UCU AL rep since 2007 when the AL reps became an elected committee. Bruce has helped hundreds of members over that time as one of our caseworkers. Jeremy joined the branch in 2013 and has been an excellent AL rep and caseworker, helping lots of members with their issues.

29th September 2022

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