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Intellectual property rights advice service launched by UCU

Its called UCU IP Protect and will provide members with up to 1.5 hours of expert legal advice on intellectual property rights, what they are and how to exploit and protect them. The new service will be accessible via the UCU Support Centre.  The service is being offered in a collaboration with international law firm Maclay Murray Spens LLP.

UCU occupation​al stress survey 2014

UCU nationally is running the latest in our series of biennial stress surveys to monitor members’ perceptions of their working conditions.  We need as many members as possible to respond to the survey to give us a good picture of the levels of work-related stress and other key issues that our members experience such as life-work conflict.  The information will be used to develop our campaign for better working conditions, and to help employers tackle the causes of stress in the workplace at source. This questionnaire about your experience of work-related stress is anonymous, and all information will be treated confidentially. The survey was designed, and will be administered and analysed by a team of independent researchers.
Please click here to respond to the questionnaire. The survey should only take about 20 minutes to complete, and will remain live until Monday 20 October.   If you have any queries please contact UCU health & safety advisor John Bamford (jbamford@ucu.org.uk).

USS ballot opens today – use your vote to defend your pension

Use your vote, speak to your colleagues and email this flyer that provides more information.


You will have seen recent briefings about the USS ballot that starts today and closes on 20th October.  Your paper ballot form will arrive during the next few days.  The proposals will mean lower benefits, less guaranteed income in retirement, and a worse pension than colleagues in the Teachers Pension Scheme.  Remember this is just the start and if they win this then future erosion is very likely.

Its important that we get a good turn out and a strong vote in favour of action on both ASOS and taking strike action.
We have a good case:
  • The huge ‘deficit’ is artificial – USS is healthy and growing. The USS projections involved are contested by UCU and we believe the employers’ proposals are a deliberate overreaction.  Since 2011, the fund’s investments have grown by £8bn.  Returns on investment have outperformed both average earnings and inflation.    
  • The employers can afford it – Pre-92 institutions are doing well. There is simply no case for the pensions they offer to be inferior to those offered by new universities.
This youtube video produced by Leeds UCU explains the threats and what we can do to stop them.
This is a detailed analysis of the effects of the proposals completed  for UCU by First Actuarial. 

Press coverage: Telegraph, Times Higher, FT.
If you want more information about the employers’ proposals please go to our USS blogsite.

Call for Researcher Society reps

Many faculties now have internal researcher society committees which we are keen to keep in contact with by having an SUCU member sit on each.   Are you a member of one of these committees, or would you like to become one?  They are usually very pleased to add new members.    If so please email ucu@sheffield.ac.uk — it only takes an hour of every month or so would be extremely helpful to SUCU’s work with researchers.

Annual General Meeting this Thurs 12 June 1pm

We look forward to welcoming and hearing from our guest speakers Lambeth College strikers and Students Union Officers.  Its a great opportunity for us to offer our support to colleagues.  A collection towards the Lambeth College strike fund will also be taken.

This should be a lively meeting so please do come along.  In addition to our guest speakers business will include the election of next year’s Branch Committee and Branch Officers.

A sandwich lunch will be served at 12.45 and an Annual Report will be available on the day.  Venue:  Council Chamber, Octagon.

SUCU AGM agenda 12June2014

Lambeth College went on all out strike last Tuesday against terrible new contracts.  Read more and visit their website.

Please support the Lambeth campaign: