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The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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Trade Union Victimisation

Since the start of this calendar year, three members of UCU have been suspended or sacked from their jobs in what seems to be a worrying trend towards targeting union activists. Below are the details of the three cases and links to petitions and other forms of support for them. As the old principle of trade unionism states: an injury to one is an injury to all.

11th June 2019
University and College Union

Jo Grady elected as the new General Secretary

UCU announced on 24th May that Jo Grady has been elected as the new UCU General Secretary, read the UCU news article at this address.



3rd June 2019
Professor Tim Blackman

Branch announcement on VC appointment

UCU Executive Committee notes that Professor Tim Blackman has been appointed as new VC. We welcome him back to the OU following his four years as VC of Middlesex University, and congratulate him on his appointment.

16th May 2019
University and College Union

General Secretary election

The election for UCU General Secretary opened on Monday 29th April and closes at noon on Thursday 23rd May 2019.

There are three candidates who have websites at the following addresses and we have provided their Twitter account names.

7th May 2019

Workload Survey final report

The UCU branch undertook a survey on workload in the autumn, which was publicised to all staff by HR/People Services. The prompt for this was anecdotal evidence of a severe and ongoing workload problem, and fear this might increase after the recent round of voluntary severance.

24th April 2019

USS Consultation response from the VC

We've had a reply to the joint letter we sent to the Open University's Vice Chancellor: view letter.

25th March 2019

Executive Committee statement on the attacks in New Zealand

The OU UCU Executive Committee would like to express its sorrow and outrage at the recent terror attack in New Zealand. We stand in shock and solidarity with the victims and their families, Muslims in New Zealand, and the global Muslim community, who will be mourning this attack and understandably fearing for their own safety. Such acts of terror follow a pattern including the massacres of Jews in Pittsburgh in 2018 and African Americans in Charleston in 2015. They are designed to sow fear and division and create a climate in which white supremacist ideas can take hold.

18th March 2019

UCU and UNISON letter to the OU Vice Chancellor about USS

UCU and UNISON have submitted a joint letter to the university today about how employers can help to resolve the USS pensions dispute. If employers apply more pressure on the USS management, they can improve the likelihood of a good and fair settlement and avoid the risk of further strike action.

At the Open University all employees are eligible for USS; therefore as a community, we all have a shared interest in the continuing strength and affordability of this pension scheme.

21st February 2019

Calling notice for Executive Committee vacancies

Recently Caroline Holland stepped down as Hon Secretary of the Executive Committee. We are very grateful for her work and commitment to the branch, and she has been co-opted to sit as an Ordinary Member of the Executive Committee.

Following this the branch has a vacancy for a Hon Secretary and for two other roles: Central Academic-Related Officer and Regional/National Academic-Related Officer.

21st February 2019

Video message from Nita Sanghera

UCU's Vice President, Nita Sanghera, has sent us a video message: https://youtu.be/gZveG7NmtOg

Please post your ballot paper back by Wednesday 20th February 2019.


Thank you to Nita from the OU Branch of UCU!

14th February 2019

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