MMU UCU branch meeting Wed 29th Sept 2021 1 – 2.30pm online

To all MMU UCU members:
  • if you are tired of working every evening and weekend
  • if you are unable to take your annual leave
  • if you are an associate lecturer facing redundancy
  • if you have had enough of pay erosion and the gender and race pay gap

​come to our branch meeting Wed 29th September 1 – 2.30pm 

where we will be talking about our forthcoming ballot for industrial action over pay, pay equality, workload and ending exploitative insecure employment.

Contact the branch for zoom link to meeting at

If you want to join UCU go to

MMU UCU Branch Committee 

facebook: @MMUUCU
twitter: @manmetucu

Dispute between UCU and MMU – Say No to Unsafe Working and Workload Intensification

The Covid19 pandemic has exposed the long-term problems in MMU management’s approach to the well-being and safety of its staff.  The same strategy underpins the senior management team’s refusal to negotiate with UCU to control the risks to staff of face to face teaching, and the University’s persistent refusal to agree a fair and consistent workload model which respects the professional expertise of its academic workforce.  Instead we are confronted with the risks on-campus of a potentially fatal disease, with inadequate safety systems, and with arbitrary and sudden intensification of workloads, which are driving many staff to the point of exhaustion.

Two years’ worth of negotiations on workloads were dropped by senior managers when the pandemic began, and those rights to consultation that UCU does have were simply ignored. Senior managers communicate decisions but do not engage in meaningful consultations to build a collaborative approach to change. Instead they have unilaterally imposed a wholesale revision of curriculum delivery to introduce ‘block teaching’, cuts in research time and support for staff PhD study, and a revision of PhD supervision which increases workloads, alongside a massive intensification of teaching and marking allocations.  We are expected to respond rapidly to these impositions but everything from timetables and workloads to risk assessments are delivered to us late, if at all, with particularly severe consequences for disabled staff, parents and those with caring responsibilities.  We have no guarantee that these changes will not be permanently imposed.

A branch general meeting voted strongly in favour of moving to a dispute should our clear and reasonable demands on workloads and face to face teaching not be met.  UCU negotiators have met with management and have engaged in two ACAS meetings. We have left management in no doubt about members’ anger, anxiety and distress.  We have reported the devastating effects on staff health and safety of workload stress as well as failures in the control of risks.  The branch has repeatedly proposed ways in which we could work together to resolve these issues, but so far, the University has rejected all compromise.

The MMU UCU Branch Committee has begun a consultative ballot to gather members’ views and is calling on all members to vote YES for strike action and YES for action short of a strike.
The ballot closes at 5pm on Thursday 3rd December.  

Covid Health and Safety Team

Here is a list of MMU UCU members who have volunteered to help with the branch’s efforts to secure a safe return to campus. If you have any concerns or issues you would like the branch to raise with management you can either contact the branch at or one of our team listed below.

Name Email Department
Keith Crome Branch Health and Safety Officer (HPP)
Simon Faulkner Art
Michael Gorman Art
Matthew Gobey Business
Cathy Urquhart Business
Ria Deakin Business
Sean Brophy Business
John Deeney Drama and Contemporary Performance
Pura Ariza Education
Lucy Burke English
Huw Jones English
Helen List English
Julie Wilkinson English
Lara Williams English
Helen Nicholson English (Drama)
Sami Pinarbasi HPP
Craig Griffiths HPP
Helen Mayall HPSC
Catherine Downs Law
Kathryn Brownbridge MFI
Jon Borresen Science and Engineering
Caroline Bettridge Science and Engineering

Contact details for branch officers 2020-21

Role Contact Department
Chair Lucy Burke
Secretary Julie Wilkinson
English/Creative Writing
Vice Chair John Deeney
Art and Performance
Health and Safety Cathy Urquhart Business School
Casework Co-ordinator Helen List English/Film
Treasurer Keith Crome Philosophy
Membership Secretary Olly Bones Psychology
Equalities Officer Linnie Blake English/Film
Environmental Officer Hannah Matthews Environmental Science
Convenor Righton/Cav Kathryn Brownbridge MFI
Convenor HPSC Margaret Struthers HPSC Social Work
Convenor Education Pura Ariza Education
Convenor Geoffrey M Michael Gorman & Huw Jones & Art/English
Convenor Business Matthew Gobey & Kevin Albertson & Business
Convenor John Dalton Jon Borresen Maths
Convenor New Arts Bldg John Deeney
Convenor Law Maria Bryan Law
Ordinary Member Daniel Joseph Sociiology
Convenor Art Simon Faulkner Art
Ordinary Member Brigitte Graf Health & Nutrition
REC SAT rep Patrick Williams Criminology

Branch meetings Academic Year 2019-20

MMU UCU Branch and Committee meetings 2019-2020: rooms from October tbc.  Branch meeting venues from October may change.  Look out for all-member emails advertising meeting venues and for any emergency additional meetings.

Tuesday 3 September 1-3pm G.07 SBB Local reps and committee meeting GTVO
Wednesday 11 September 1-2.30pm G.07 SBB Committee meeting
Wednesday 18 September 1 – 3pm 407B Business School North Atrium Branch meeting
Wed 16th Oct 1 – 2.30pm Committee meeting
Thursday 17th Oct 10am DEOC Meeting
Wed 27th Nov 1 – 3pm Birley Branch meeting
Wed 11 Dec 1 – 2.30pm Committee meeting
Wed 22ndJan 1 – 2.30pm Committee meeting
Wed 29thJan 1 – 3pm. Geoffrey Manton Branch meeting
12th Feb 2pm venue tbc DEOC meeting
Wed 26thFeb 1 –  2.30pm Committee meeting
Wed 11thMarch. 1 – 3pm Benzie Branch meeting
Wed 1stApril 1 – 2.30pm Committee meeting
AGM Wed 6th May 1 – 3pm John Dalton
Wed 13thMay 10am venue tbc DEOC meeting
Wed 20thMay First meeting of newly elected branch committee: date tbc
Wed 10thJune 1 – 3pm tbc Branch meeting

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


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 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

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