Manchester Metropolitan University UCU Branch Rotating Header Image

UCU MMU branch committee speaks out on Capita’s sponsorship of ‘Social Worker of the Year’ awards.

UCU MMU congratulates those finalists for the Social Worker of the Year Awards, including those shortlisted for the Social Work Student of the Year Award. However, we support the ethical position taken by Social Workers Without Borders, one of the judges Nick Berbiers, and others, to withdraw from the awards due to Capita’s involvement as a sponsor.
Capita has been criticised for their gruelling and distressing medical assessments for disability benefits, for their practices in carrying out deportations, including deporting Windrush citizens, and for using “excessive restraint” on detainees flown out of the country.
UCU MMU notes reports critical of Capita’s use of cruel and unethical methods in implementing deportations, including of members of the Windrush generation, and in their administration of social care. We call on Social Worker of the Year Awards to end their relationship with Capita and to implement an ethical framework for sponsorship in future years.

MMU UCU Branch Committee: 23/10/18

Change of date for next Manchester MMU UCU branch meeting to 17/10/18

Please note a change of date for our next Manchester full branch meeting to

Wednesday 17th October 2-3.30pm GM328

with visiting speaker President-elect of UCU Douglas Chalmers of Glasgow Caledonian University and UCU Scotland.

The Crewe branch meeting will go ahead as advertised on Thursday 11th October 10 – 11.30pm.

NATIONAL PAY AND EQUALITY BALLOT IS NOW OPEN – use your vote!

UCU’s national pay and equality ballot opened on 30 August 2018.  The ballot runs until 19 October.

Manchester Metropolitan UCU Branch Committee recommends that you vote YES to strike action and YES to action short of a strike (ASOS). Employers must meaningfully address the key elements of the dispute, including:

  • loss in the value of your pay,
  • shameful pay inequality,
  • the scandal of casualisation,
  • workload and stress.

If you have not received a ballot paper by Monday 10 September, please email your full details to our office immediately at ucu@mmu.ac.uk and we will do everything possible to ensure that you get a replacement paper.

Our ‘get the vote out’ campaign will be in touch via email, in person, on the phone, via email and social media and at your branch meetings (10 October Manchester and 11 October Crewe).  If you would like to volunteer to help please contact Branch Chair or Secretary at ucu@mmu.ac.uk.

Pay and equality matters – vote YES to strike action and vote YES to action short of a strike.

Memorandum of understanding: UCU/MMU Lecture Capture

Attached here is the wording of UCU’s memorandum of understanding with MMU on ‘Lecture Capture‘.  Members at MMU should write to branch secretary Julie Wilkinson at ucu@mmu.ac.uk with any questions or concerns about the implementation of the understanding.

Memorandumofunderstandingonautomaticrecordingoflectures-3

 

MMU UCU meeting dates 2018-19

MMUUCUMembersSchedulemeetings1819

Manchester Metropolitan University Branch:

Dates of meetings 2018-19 Venues tbc

 

Branch Meetings
Manchester Wed 10th Oct

2 – 3.30pm

Crewe Thurs. 11th Oct.

10 – 11.30am

Manchester Wed 5th Dec

2 – 3.30pm

Crewe Thurs. 6th Dec

10 – 11.30am

2019
Manchester Wed 20th Feb

2 – 3.30pm

Crewe Thurs. 21st Feb

10 – 11.30am

Manchester Wed 1st May

2 – 3.30pm.

Crewe Thurs 2nd May

10 – 11.30am

Manchester AGM Wed 12th June

1 – 3pm

Crewe AGM Thurs 13th

June

10 – 12am

 

Branch Committee meetings
Wed Sept 12th 2pm – 4pm
Wed Nov 7th 2pm – 4pm
Wed Jan 23rd 2pm – 4pm
Wed March 13th 2pm – 4pm
Wed May 8th  2pm – 4pm
Wed June 19th 2pm – 4pm

 

 

 

Pensions dispute in pre-92 Universities

MMU UCU sends our support and solidarity to our colleagues on strike over threats to the USS pension scheme. Lots of our members also have USS pensions, although we are not striking because our employers operate the Teacher’s Pension Scheme instead. We urge Universities UK to negotiate to protect the value and security of pensions for all academic staff.

Picture:  Thursday February 22nd 2018:  UCU Vice President elect Vicky Knight visits University of Manchester picket lines.

Message of support from Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner MP:

“I share your alarm at the threat of compulsory redundancies arising from MMU’s announcement that they will close their Crewe campus.
“All redundancies of university staff are to be regretted, but this case is particularly concerning, as it appears management have failed to enter into any meaningful negotiations to see what alternative options were available. I urge them to meaningfully negotiate and address these concerns by finding an alternative to compulsory redundancies.
“The fact that this dispute arose from the decision to close the Crewe campus is also especially disappointing. Campuses such as Crewe can play a key role in providing education, and helping students from all backgrounds to access it, as well as supporting the local economy.
“I understand the pressures facing vice-chancellors but, they must, at all times, consider the welfare of their students and their staff to make their university a success. As a former trade unionist myself, I know the decision to start industrial action has not been taken lightly, and I send my solidarity and support along with newly elected Labour MP, Laura Smith.”

Laura Smith MP sends a message of support.

Thanks to MMU Cheshire graduate Laura Smith MP, newly elected in Crewe, for her support for our action to protest against compulsory redundancies.

Strike action today

Today we picketed all the main entrances and buildings in the University including Crewe, in Manchester from 7am. We talked to many sympathetic colleagues who work in administrative jobs, including Unison members, who are extremely concerned about colleagues in Crewe, and the prospect of possible redundancies in Manchester.  I gave interviews to the Manchester Evening News, Key 103 Radio, and Talk TV; Crewe Chronicle spoke to colleagues at Crewe; and Martyn Moss for UCU talked to ITV, and BBC radio Manchester.  Student supporters came to back us up – but we did not have to persuade UCU members to turn round, or to support the strike. Only non-members seemed to be going into work. Support like that tomorrow, Wednesday, will really help to make our point. Our rally in the Deaf Institute was inspiring, with protest songs from Crewe-based music lecturer Pete Dale, in great voice despite the imminent threat of redundancy, and speeches from our General Secretary Sally Hunt, Adam Ozanne Branch Secretary of the University of Manchester, Nik Wigmore of the NUT, an MMU postgraduate student, and John Deeney, MMU UCU rep from Crewe;  all ably MC’d by Lucy Burke for the branch committee.

In an earlier strange encounter, along with a student supporter I crossed paths with the Vice Chancellor Malcolm Press and DVC Jean-Noel Edzingeard on their way into a senior staff team meeting. The Vice Chancellor offered to take a leaflet from me; and then all our leaflets.  I said how disappointed we were that we had not had a message offering to open meaningful talks with us.  The Vice Chancellor had nothing new to add, not even a chink of light.  I was, though, able to introduce him to one of our postgrad students, who applied to us as a mature student with limited qualifications – below the entry tariff –  and first in his family to even consider a University education – on the basis of an outstanding selection of original creative writing; who went on to take a first class degree; and is now taking an MMU masters course with a view to studying for a PhD.  Exactly the sort of student who stands to lose out if the management cuts places and ups entry tariffs.

So it is not only for the sake of our colleagues that we picket the Open Day tomorrow Wednesday, to get our message out to prospective students and their families – and passers by.  We believe that to drop those compulsory redundancies and invest in the staff, is part of a sustainable academic future for MMU; one which privileges the quality of tuition and the value of the student experience in our University, alongside true respect for all its members.

Decent working conditions and job security should be the measure of every University for any applicant.

And open argument and debate is what coming to University is all about.  Including on an open day!

If you are a member of UCU at MMU, and you have not yet been down to the picket lines, please come.  Picketing tomorrow from 7am; open day event from 10m at All Saints, Manchester.  Just bring yourself  and your passion for our cause.

If you are a supporter – we would love to see you there.

In solidarity,
Julie Wilkinson
MMU UCU Branch Chair

Wakefield and District NUT – and graduate of Manchester Polytechnic as was

Please pass on a message of support from Wakefield NUT for your
strike.  I was a student at Manchester Poly in the 80s’ we were
fighting against cuts then and so the struggle continues over 30 years
on.
Lets hope one day spending money on education is more of a government
priority than spending money on waging war.
If there is anything else we can do to support your dispute please
don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Yours in peace and solidarity
Sally

Sally Kincaid
Divisional Secretary
Wakefield & District NUT