Exeter UCU News – June 2015

  1. Ballot on pay offer

All members are due to receive a separate email by the end of this week (12 June), containing instructions on how to vote in a consultative e-ballot on the employer’s final pay offer for this year. The offer (in summary) is 1% on all pay spine points, save for points 1 to 8 which have larger increases in order to bring point 1 up to the current Living Wage.

UCUHE250 contains links to further information including full details of the offer.

This ballot is asking whether you accept or reject the offer. Please note that if the result of this e-ballot is to reject the offer, it is expected that another ballot will follow to call for industrial action.

  1. Staff who are leaving

We would like to say thank you and best wishes for the future to any members who are leaving the University of Exeter. Some members are departing under the Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS), others are retiring or moving on to pastures new.

In particular we would like to thank our committee members Jonathan Gosling (UEBS Rep), Paul Sandy (Pensions Officer), Carolyn Jarvis (Communications Officer) and Jo Melling (Shadow Communications Officer) who are all departing at the end of the month.

Any UCU members who are leaving the University though VSS or fast-track schemes are reminded that they should amend their contact email address by logging into members.ucu.org.uk, as their University account will in most cases be terminated immediately upon leaving. Members who are retiring can usually retain their email address. http://as.exeter.ac.uk/it/account/joiningorleaving/

What happens to my Union membership when I leave?

Most changes you might need to make to your membership can be submitted online in UCU eServices at members.ucu.org.uk.

  • You can amend your contact details in the My Personal Details, My Home Address and My Workplace Details sections
  • If you move to another institution, you can update this in the My Workplace Details section and your membership will automatically be transferred to your new workplace. Please also remember to check that you are paying the correct subscription amount in My Subscription Details.
  • If you have a gap in your employment, you may be eligible for Unemployed membership which provides up to a year’s subscription-free membership. This can be selected in the My Other Details section.
  • Those who are retiring can check their options at http://www.ucu.org.uk/retirementoptions – note there is a low-cost ‘retired’ membership category that can be selected in the My Other Details section of eServices. There are many UCU regional retired members’ branches around the country, including one for the South West which is based in Exeter.

If you have any other questions about your membership please either contact our branch Membership Secretary, Juliette Stephenson, or email the UCU Membership team.

  1. EUCU Committee vacancies – can you help?

We have some committee positions that have not yet been filled this year and some becoming vacant due to the departure of colleagues. We would love to have a chat with anyone who is interested in helping to support the following important areas:

  • Health and Safety
  • Pensions
  • Communications
  • Business School
  • Cornwall Campuses
  • Luke’s Campus
  • Environment

Please do get in touch with Sophie Swainger (Secretary) if you would like more information.

  1. Branch activity update

The branch has been hard at work raising issues, contributing to consultations and attending meetings on your behalf. Here are some updates on the current activities:

  • Positive discussions have taken place with the University with the aim of improving the way the disciplinary procedure is implemented. We are hoping that this will more consistent application of the procedure across the University and improved training for relevant HR colleagues and Union caseworkers.
  • Thank you to all the members who contributed to the Exeter Academic consultation. The branch submitted a response informed by the contributions you copied to us, and we will provide further updates in due course.
  • The majority of suggestions put forward by EUCU regarding the professorial salaries proposals have been accepted and will form part of the new scheme. This includes requests to improve feedback on professorial performance and progression.
  • Branch representatives have been contributing to meetings regarding how SWARM is used, and more generally regarding issues of workload and stress for both academic and professional services members.
  • Alongside other organisations, our branch is helping to subsidise coaches going from Exeter to the End Austerity Now demonstration in London on Saturday 20 June. There are some seats still available at a discounted rate of £12 (return!) for Exeter UCU members – please contact Richard Bradbury on smolny57@btinternet.com for details by lunchtime this Sunday (14 June), making sure you mention that you are one of our members for the discounted price. Richard will also be at the Devon People’s Assembly rally tomorrow (Saturday 13 June) in Northernhay Gardens in Exeter, and members can buy tickets from him in person there.
  1. EUCU gatherings
    • Come and say hello to us at the staff festival in Exeter on 18th June, where we will have a stand in the Forum. We do also hope to see Cornwall members at the staff festival in Penryn on 24 June.
    • We are meeting up in The Imperial (New North Road) from 5.30pm on Thursday 25 June; any members or other colleagues are welcome to join us for an end-of-term celebration and to thank members who are leaving. We hope to see you there!

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