At a husting hosted by Ulster UCU today, we got talking about workload, and how we can tackle issues of workload for academic and academic related / professional staff (“ARPS”). Part of my answer led me onto the issues faced by ARPS in terms of grade drift, progression, and respect (or not) as part of … Continue reading Love Our ARPS? Academic Related and Professional Staff in UCU
At the UCU Cradle to Grave conference on Saturday 16 February, Angela Rayner reinforced Labour's commitment to ending zero hours contracts. I asked her what Labour's plans would be for ending other forms of casualisation beyond zero hours (which they intend to do in every sector) and cited the extensive misuse of fixed term contracts … Continue reading Holding Labour to their promises on secure work!
There has been relatively little discussion about Brexit at UCU VP hustings. This may be due to collective levels of despair and ferocity of views held, but as a union we MUST be on top of the issues, as strongly as possible. While it may might feel easier to panic and disappear into a black … Continue reading Brexit
It’s Heart Unions week this week: a campaign the TUC run to celebrate trade unions and to encourage recruitment and organisation, to build our movement. It’s been going a few years, and while this year’s engagement isn’t the massive series of events we saw last year, the premise is so positive and uplifting - Unions … Continue reading Heart Unions 2019
Attending hustings around the UK that branches have generously organised has been brilliant, even when the train wi-fi hasn't been! I am attending every single husting event for which I have received an invitation! Where at all possible I am travelling in person but am arranging to use Skype for the couple of occasions where … Continue reading UCU VP Hustings!
Last week, I wrote about the absolutely central role that anti-casualisation work must take in UCU activism and campaigning. So how do we take a stand against the current culture of exploitation to build a truly progressive, inclusive community of learning and teaching? What changes must we demand from our employer, and how can we … Continue reading The battle for secure work part 2
#LoveFE I spent today warmed in cold weather by the magnificent solidarity of the Bridgwater and Taunton UCU picket lines. They are one of the “super sixteen” FE colleges that smashed the anti-democratic 50% turnout threshold for taking industrial action as laid down by the Trade Union Act 2016. This branch has been completely rejuvenated … Continue reading Standing Together: FE Fights back
The battle for secure work: the heart of our fight for the education sector Media attention is constantly focused on the kinds of jobs and opportunities students can hope to get when they leave college and university. As their teachers and staff, we want secure, decent work for all of them. We want it for … Continue reading The battle for secure work part 1
Vicky Blake Widening Participation Officer (Academic-Related) Campaign flyer available in colour and greyscale. I’m standing for VP in a year of unprecedented membership growth and engagement in UCU. New and established activists are organising: joining branch, regional, and national committees, and mobilising online networks including USS Briefs, International and Broke, Academics for Pensions Justice, and Rank … Continue reading Election Statement
I’m a widening participation officer at the University of Leeds, and was finally made permanent a couple of years ago after almost a decade of casualised contracts. I joined UCU as a Durham University postgraduate in 2009, while firmly skewered on the sharp end of precarious work. I juggled multiple zero-hours teaching and admin roles, … Continue reading About me