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University and College Union

The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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UCU coronavirus advice

Weekly members drop-in meetings during lock down

We are holding two drop-in meetings for members per week during lock down, usually at these times:

17th April 2020
UCU and UNISON branches

New YouTube channel created

We have created a new YouTube channel with the UNISON branch - if members have videos that they could share with us, please send a link to ucu@open.ac.uk.


10th March 2020

Strike dates announced

As reported in December, the UCU special sector conference on USS recommended a pattern of 14 days of strike action as in 2018. The UCU NEC agreed that institutions could vary this pattern slightly once employers were notified. The OU has a more 'chunky' pattern. Many members told us that short bursts of action placed higher burdens on staff since the expectation was that the work would just be made up. We have also added one Saturday, which has not been attempted before.

No further revision is expected, so our dates are:

Week one: Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February

11th February 2020
Nita Sanghera

Nita Sanghera

UCU announced the very sad news that Nita Sanghera passed away on 16th January 2020 - there is a web page of messages at this address: www.ucu.org.uk/nita and the branch will be sending a message of condolence.  If you want to send a message for the website, please email it to campaigns@ucu.org.uk.

29th January 2020

Local hardship fund now available

We have now published the guidance and application form for members to apply to our local hardship fund, this is for members who took part in the industrial action, 25 November to 4 December.

Whilst UCU is not able to give assistance to all members taking strike action, the union offers the financial support both nationally and locally for members at risk of serious hardship. Union members must ensure they are paying subscriptions at the correct rate in order to be eligible.

23rd January 2020

Branch meeting dates for 2020

We have now set dates for Branch meetings for 2020, all OU UCU members are welcome to attend our Branch meetings and they all take place at either 12.30 or 1pm. We have sent Outlook meeting requests to all members for the meetings in 2020 up to the AGM in June. Any questions please email ucu@open.ac.uk.

The dates are all on the Events page.

9th January 2020


Last week the UCU negotiators sent a letter to UUK pushing for renewed negotiations. The letter is here: www.ucu.org.uk/media/10631/UCU_letter_to_phil_harding_November_2019/pdf/UCUlettertophilhardingNovember2019

On Monday a meeting was held with UUK. It's clear that this has been a result of the strength of the national strike action.

3rd December 2019

National negotiations update - 28/11/19

UCEA has agreed to consult with employers over the union demands on workload, casualisation and pay gaps, which it has always insisted were outside the mandate given by the employers. The employers may still say they refuse to give this mandate--but at least there are some conversations happening. However UCEA refuses to discuss pay. More detials can be found here: https://ucu.org.uk/article/10467/UCU-statement-on-latest-pay-talks

28th November 2019

Open letter to students - Strike action

The branch has published an open letter to our students, explaining our reasons for the strike action. You can find the full text here: view letter, 22nd November 2019

Feel free to share this link with students as appropriate.

24th November 2019
USS Pension justice

Ballot results

UCU announced the results of the two ballots on 31st October. UCU members back strikes over both pensions and pay and conditions. Read full news article.

4th November 2019

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