2016 AGM – 25 October

The AGM will be held in room LG6, Keppel Street at 12:30pm on Tuesday 25 October 2016.

Please come along and bring any prospective members.

Lunch will be provided – it would be helpful if you could let us know if you are coming so we don’t over (or under!) cater.
Also let us know if you have any items for the agenda.

Looking forward to seeing you on 25th.

Lorna Gibson
LSHTM UCU Branch Secretary

Tue 19th April: UCU event – Catherine West MP

This event has been rescheduled:

Date: Tuesday 19 April 2016
Time: 12:00 noon
Venue: Manson Lecture Theatre, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK
Type of event: Seminar

LSHTM UCU is pleased to announce that

Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green and Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) , will be giving a talk.

Admission: Open to LSHTM staff and Students

Contact: Dan Arthur
Email: dan.arthur@lshtm.ac.uk

London School of
Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

USS Action begins today! 6th November 2014

USS Dispute – What should YOU (not) be doing??
I would strongly advise you too look at the FAQ as this covers all the questions I’ve received so far – http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/assessment-boycott-faqs/ but some highlights:

**Is external examining included in the action?
No. We have balloted members in relation to their principal employment. External examining involves a contract with a separate employer and was not covered by the ballot. Fact sheet for external examiners – http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/files/2011/09/ucu_ussaction_externalexaminers_briefing.pdf

**What exactly does the boycott include?
The boycott is intended to be comprehensive and to include all formal student assessment, including the formal setting of assessed work. By ‘formal’ we mean any assessment, whether expressed numerically or in any other form, which contributes to the award or classification of any degree, certificate, diploma or any other academic or professional qualification.

It applies to all levels, sub-degree, undergraduate or postgraduate, and to all forms of higher education and professional training, full-time, part-time or distance learning.

As well as final awards at the end of courses, the boycott also covers assessment that contributes to decisions about the suitability of students to continue with their studies (eg at the end of the first year of a degree course) or to undertake particular options or modules (eg where they have prerequisites).

The assessment boycott is not restricted to final examinations, but includes any form of in-course continuous assessment. It will include traditional essay setting and marking, but also setting and assessment of any student work falling within the formal assessment defined above, including, for example, the setting or assessment of projects and dissertations, laboratory and other practical work, performance (eg in music or drama) and supervised practice (eg in teacher education).

Examination of dissertations and theses at postgraduate level, as well as vivas, are included in the action.

**Are there any exemptions from the boycott?
The boycott often lead to staff having to take very difficult decisions. That is why this sanction is used only very rarely and also why it is effective. In order to be fair on every member, the union is therefore unable to offer any exemptions from the boycott.

**But what if my job is almost entirely devoted to the administration of examinations?
There are a small number of members, such as examination officers working in university registries, whose jobs are wholly or substantially devoted to examinations work. They are not covered by the action short of a strike and while they should refuse to take on the work of others who are participating in the action they should continue to work normally.

THERE ARE MANY MORE ANSWERS AT http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/assessment-boycott-faqs/ If you have further questions please reply email me!

USS Ballot Update

Dear colleague,

Your pension at stake – please use your vote

The USS ballot opened this morning, and you should receive your ballot paper over the next few working days.

I hope that you will vote yes to take action in defence of our pensions, but however you vote it is vital that the union achieves a significant turnout so please exercise your democratic right to participate.

If you want more information about the employers’ proposals please go to our USS blogsite.

Best wishes

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

2014 Equality Conference

Annual Equality Conference will take place

13th, 14th and 15
th November 2014

Conference will be held at Manchester Conference Centre

To Register/for mor info – click here

Thursday 13th November 2014
14.30 – 18.30: Women Members’
Conference
Thursday 13th November 2014
19.30: Dinner (All members)
Friday 14th November 2014
9.30 – 13.00 Joint Plenary and Workshop
sessions (All members)
Friday 14th November 2014
14.00 – 17.00 Black Members Conference
Friday 14th November 2014
14.00 – 17.00 Disabled Members Conference
Saturday 15th November 2014
10.00 – 13.00 LGBT Members Conference

Please note that the dinner and the joint plenary and workshop sessions are for all members
A workshop will be organised on Friday afternoon for those who are not attending the black members conference or disabled members conference
but travelling home later on Friday or staying for the LGBT conference

Information about speakers and agenda for the conference will follow but will include
UCU President, Liz Lawrence and General Secretary, Sally Hunt

Good to meet you!

If you’re looking at our blog because you talked to rep or were handed a leaflet in recent days – it was good to meet you! If you’re considering joining UCU, even better. The easiest way is to do it online at join.ucu.org.uk. Joining take about ten minutes, and your membership begins immediately.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesistate to get in touch – we can be reached by email (ucu@lshtm.ac.uk) or Twitter (@lshtmUCU).

Finally, thanks to all who came to our Diane Abbott event yesterday lunchtime – we hope you enjoyed it.

Strike Action Thursday 6th February – Msg to students

LSHTM UCU Message to students.

I’m afraid I have to tell you that as the university employers have refused to return to negotiations about our pay/conditions all 3 staff unions will be taking a whole day of strike action on Thursday 6th February. We regret having to take this action as it will mean much of the School will be closed and many classes will be cancelled. We will again lose a day’s pay but sadly our employers have given us no choice.

When striking we refuse to work, hopefully closing the institution and allow those affected to demonstrate support for the action. On the day we will form picket lines at the main entrances. These will be made up of staff on strike who will ask you not to enter the buildings. They will have leaflets that explain why we are on strike and we ask you to show support by not entering the buildings, even for self study. If you need to meet colleagues please do so outside at one of the many coffee shops nearby, the British Library or British Museum. Take anything you need Wednesday evening when you leave. If you would like to, please do join us on the picket lines.

I apologise again but this form of action is the only one, short of refusing to mark your work, that we can take legally in the UK. If you want to know more about the strike please see: http://fairpay.web.ucu.org.uk/

Dan Arthur
UCU Branch Secretary
http://ucu.lshtm.ac.uk
Twitter @lshtmUCU

Message to Students about 3rd Dec 2013

As you will be aware the legally recognised trade unions for staff in higher education are in dispute with our employers about the ‘cost of living’ pay increment they have offered this year. I’m afraid that I have to tell you that as the UK university employers have failed to bring any new proposals to the negotiation table since our last day of action on 30th November, staff in UK universities will strike again on 3rd December. It is our expectation that many classes will not run and many central services will be closed on 3rd December.

What does this mean?

All levels of university staff from cleaners to professors are involved in this dispute. On Tuesday we will refuse to attend work that day and form protests, or pickets, at the main entrances to the building to discourage others from entering. We regret the disruption this will cause to classes on the day but it is one of very few options open to us. We will lose a day’s pay (which we hope will be donated to the student hardship fund) and many of us will have worked harder to mitigate the impact on students of our action. We are not only trying to maintain a decent standard of living for current staff but make sure the sector continues to attract good, new staff to enable teaching and research.

How can this happen?

Every year university employers representatives and university staff representatives meet in a national forum to agree changes to terms and conditions including pay. As a sector that recognises the right to join a trades union it is these unions that negotiate on behalf of staff. The unions balloted their members on the offer this year and the members (university staff) rejected this offer. This means that we are now in dispute with our employer and gives us the legal right to bring pressure on our employers through means of protest including strike.

Why is this happening?

We have not been in dispute with our employers over pay since 2005. At that time we secured an acceptable pay deal which expired in 2008. Since 2008 in spite of increasing student numbers, increasing workloads, increasing job instability and increasing requirements to do more and more to progress we have effectively suffered a 13% pay cut. This is unacceptable. As university have to publish their financial statements we know that our employers can afford a pay rise in line with the increase in cost of living. University leaders have continued to get real pay rises every year while the people that do the work see the value of their pay decrease.

The unions involved in this dispute are UCU, UNISON and Unite. We all hope that the employers come back to the negotiating table in the coming weeks to settle this dispute before we take more action in the spring term.


Dan Arthur
UCU Branch Secretary
http://ucu.lshtm.ac.uk
Twitter @lshtmUCU

Our joint message to LSHTM union members

Dear colleagues,

Tomorrow UCU, UNISON and Unite members working in Higher Education across the UK will be taking strike action over pay.  The reasons and case for this action is clear – the five year pay squeeze is affecting our members’ living standards, and our employers are refusing to negotiate with us – even though the money for a fair pay rise is there.

For years now across our sector we have witnessed staff cuts, course cuts and wage cuts.  Indeed, the only things in the sector which seem to have escaped cuts in recent times are the remuneration packages of senior management.  Workloads are becoming unsustainable, and in the face of rising housing, energy, transport and food costs, our members are working harder and longer for less.

That’s why we’re taking strike action tomorrow – and it’s why we’re asking you to join us on the picket line.  This is the first time ever that all three unions have taken action together, and as such it’s a unique opportunity for a fair pay deal.  But we can only achieve that if university managers across the country – including those at the School – arrive at work tomorrow to a well-supported picket and an empty building.  Only that powerful message will lead to them going to the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and telling them that they need to get back around the negotiating table with us.

So let’s work together to win that fair pay deal.  Let’s make the case to our colleagues – tell them what their union does for them locally and nationally, and ask them to join us.  Let’s make the case to our students – tell them how the pay of those who teach and support them has been eroded, and how ultimately their education will be eroded too – and ask for their support by not attending the School that day.  And let’s make the case to our management, so that they go to UCEA with our message ringing in their ears: this derisory 1% pay offer, the years of pay cuts before it and UCEA’s failure to talk to us about equal pay for women, redundancies and the living wage is simply not good enough.

Make the case! Build the union! Support the strike!

In solidarity,

LSHTM UCU Branch Committee
LSHTM reps, UCL UNISON Branch Committee
LSHTM Unite Branch Committee