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The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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Helping Hands Newsletter

Two of our reps have sent out a new newsletter called Helping Hands to all UCU members in Academic Services - you can view the second issue here. The first issue was sent out in April via email, see link below.

August 2020 - issue 2

April 2020 - first issue of our Helping Hands newsletter

14th August 2020
OU branch of UCU

AL Contract newsletter

We sent a newsletter about the new contract for Associate Lecturers to all members on the 6th August 2020 - view newsletter.

7th August 2020
UCU Four Fights dispute

UCU Consultation on the Four Fights/Pay and Equality Offer

UCU is consulting members on the ‘Four Fights’ offer made by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) on behalf of higher education employers.  The consultation, which is an electronic ballot, closes at noon on 29 July.  The union negotiators, the UCU Higher Education Committee, and a majority of branch delegates who met in June have recommended voting to REJECT. 

You can read the full offer on the UCU website.

24th July 2020

Open letter on pay deductions

Our Executive committee have created an Open letter on the pay deductions for the Feburary and March industrial action, view letter.

1st June 2020

UCU Covid-19 member survey

UCU's survey of working conditions under Covid-19 is now live, the deadline for responses is 5pm on Friday 22 May. 

The survey covers a lot of questions that are crucial for shaping our response to Covid-19, but it should take you no more than 10-15 minutes. It is very important that you complete it. Your answers will be hugely valuable to UCU in their efforts to protect you and your colleagues in your workplaces and challenge any detrimental changes employers are imposing on you as a result of the pandemic. 

19th May 2020
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

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