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University and College Union

The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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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
UCU rising ballot

UCU Rising ballot

The branch is busy contacting members to ask if they have voted in the UCU rising ballot - please email ucu-payballot@open.ac.uk if you have returned your ballot paper or complete the UCU form. It's the same form to request a replacement ballot paper if yours hasn't arrived yet. The ballot closes on 21st October so please make sure you post your ballot paper by the 19th October. 

23rd September 2022

AL Newsletter issue 5

We have produced issue 5 of our newsletter for Associate Lecturer (AL) members, you can read the newsletter here

15th August 2022
Associate Lecturer new contract

The AL Contract Negotiations, a personal recollection

It seems slightly unreal that the new AL contract has come into force now because there were a lot of moments when I didn’t think it would ever happen. UCU first started negotiations on a new contract back in 2008. At that stage the University was negotiating with us on a form of variable hours contract, but as the new economics of HE took shape in 2011 management was increasingly reluctant to guarantee minimum workloads and salaries for ALs and became slightly fixated on the notion of replacing the current profile of the workforce so that remaining ALs worked on larger contracts.

9th August 2022
New AL contract goes live

New Associate Lecturer contract

The Branch is extremely pleased to report that the new Associate Lecturer contract went live on 1st August 2022, after many years of negotiations.

UCU secures biggest decasualisation win in the history of UK higher education. UCU has today hailed a landmark win as the Open University began rolling out a programme of new permanent contracts for 4,800 previously casualised Associate Lecturers, the biggest decasualisation programme ever to take place in the higher education sector.

2nd August 2022

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