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The University and College Union at The University of St Andrews

Bank Workers and Postgrads – read this!

The UCU St Andrews Branch will be hosting an Open Meeting on Wednesday 4 December at 515pm in the Irvine Lecture Theatre. This meeting is being held specifically for those staff who are employed on casual contracts.  We will be giving an overview of the main issues affecting casualised staff, what UCU is doing nationally, and what we can do at branch level to offer advice and support to this vulnerable staff group.  Please do come if you can – and feel free to bring your colleagues along too.  You don’t have to be a member to attend the meeting!

 

UCU Locally in St Andrews

Here in St Andrews we have members in all schools and units and we represent academic staff, teachers, researchers, academic related staff (librarians, senior administrators, IT staff) and postgraduates – including staff employed on hourly paid contracts (bank workers) such as tutors, demonstrators, invigilators etc.  Our local union reps and negotiators are your co-workers and colleagues – so they understand the particular workplace issues and pressures that you may experience.  We have a number of trained reps (“caseworkers”) who can assist members who need help and support dealing with workplace difficulties – anything from Health & Safety issues, to dealing with contract renewals, pension rights, sick leave problems, promotion appeals, discrimination, grievances, bullying…

 

Our local committee meets regularly and organises local events and meetings.  We have monthly meetings with the University and the other campus trade unions where issues affecting members are discussed and resolved.  Most recently, there have been discussions on updating university policies, improvements in protecting personal data, arrangements for returning to work after sick leave and inequality in pay/promotions.  These, and other issues, are all on on-going…!

 

UCU Nationally

Nationally, UCU negotiates annual pay increases, on issues affecting the pensions scheme (USS) and the framework for local grading structures and terms and conditions of employment. We are running a number of national campaigns – the Stamp Out Casual Contracts Campaign and the Early Careers information may be of particular interest to you.  A full list of UCU’s campaigns can be found at http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1683

 

Stamp Out Casual Contracts

UCU has a long history of fighting casualisation and demanding fair treatment for all our members and we know that campaigns against casualisation are supported by all our members – not just those who are directly affected. Casualisation in all its forms is a blight to further and higher education bringing with it inefficiency, inequality and personal stress. We want to change that.

The specific aims of the campaign are:

 

  • to increase the use of permanent contracts for the many professional staff employed on casual contracts across further, higher and adult education
  • to resist vulnerable employment, including the imposition of zero hours contracts, bogus self-employment, pay lower than that of colleagues doing comparable work, detrimental variable (minimum) hours contracts; and to seek equal treatment for agency workers
  • to oppose selection for redundancy on the basis of being on a fixed-term and/or part-time contract
  • to transfer hourly paid and other staff on casual contracts to full-time or fractional contracts with the same terms and conditions as permanent, full-time salaried staff
  • to increase the recruitment and activism within UCU of those on casual contracts, and to encourage their voices to be heard
  • to push for fair working conditions for staff on casual contracts, including photocopying facilities and desk space.

More information can be found at http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3532

 

Early Careers Information

Working in post-school education is one of the most rewarding professions there is but starting a new career can be daunting. You can find some helpful resources and advice on the UCU website at http://www.ucu.org.uk/earlycareers The UCU early careers guide is for those who are new to or considering a career in further or higher education and contains professional guidance on:

  • finding the right job
  • what to expect when you start work
  • tips on getting the most from your career
  • practical advice on what to do if you have a problem at work.

This is an invaluable resource which will assist you throughout the early stages of your career.

In addition to material provided by trade union and education professionals there are contributions from younger members, so the guide is based on the real experience of staff in further and higher education.

 

St Andrews UCU is a branch in which every member’s view is welcome and all viewpoints are respected.

 

The St Andrews branch office is staffed on a part-time basis but our administrator, Susan Melvin, will be happy to make an appointment to see you at any time – just drop her line (sm247).

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