Strategic Action Gets the Goods!

The Case for Targeted Action and a Summer Marking Boycott to Maximise Our Leverage at the Bargaining Table * * * We have been heartened to see the ongoing debate about UCU’s industrial action strategy and hope that this marks the beginning of a shift in the union away from partisan infighting towards honest, substantiveContinue reading “Strategic Action Gets the Goods!”

“Making Employers Sweat 2023” – Some Positive Ideas for Effective Escalation

By: several members of UCU Commons As a union, we face some really big decisions in January 2023. Through a combination of branch meetings, a Branch Delegate Meeting, and any other correspondence it receives, the UCU’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) will be deciding on what the #ucuRising action will look like for the remainder ofContinue reading ““Making Employers Sweat 2023” – Some Positive Ideas for Effective Escalation”

The Longer the Picket Line…

Next week, many UCU members will be taking strike action for the first time. Here, some UCU Commons members share what’s worked for them in previous rounds of action: what’s helped to recruit new members, start conversations with colleagues and students, and simply kept us warm (in body and soul) on the picket lines. ForContinue reading “The Longer the Picket Line…”

UCU has a massive mandate: now what?

by: Dave Hitchcock On 24 October the results of two national, aggregate ballot campaigns were announced, and if you’re reading this you probably know the results, but just in case: We have a turnout of 58% (57.8) of all eligible members for the pay and conditions ballot. 81.1% of the votes were YES for industrialContinue reading “UCU has a massive mandate: now what?”

Effective Industrial Action: What Does It Look Like?

This is clearly a crucial juncture for UCU members in higher education, and UCU Commons members were preparing a blog on the choices before us when the General Secretary issued a report containing very serious and substantial proposals for the future of the Four Fights dispute on Wednesday 13 April. We encourage everyone to readContinue reading “Effective Industrial Action: What Does It Look Like?”

UCU Commons Candidates for Equalities Standing Committees

A commitment to intersectional equalities work is central to UCU Commons, as set out in the first of our core values, where we state that we are for equality in all its forms. We are unequivocally committed to making our union and our workplaces trans-inclusive. We are anti-racist, anti-colonial, and opposed to the hostile environment.Continue reading “UCU Commons Candidates for Equalities Standing Committees”

Massaging the Figures on USS: How It’s Done

Are you a vice chancellor concerned for your employees’ quality of life in retirement? Worried that your performance doesn’t match your pay packet? No, we thought not. But you may be anxious about the UCU ballots for industrial action, including the dispute over the proposed cuts to USS pensions. Here are a few numerical sleightsContinue reading “Massaging the Figures on USS: How It’s Done”

UCU Commons Statement on the Labour Party, Transphobia, and LGBTQ+ Solidarity

Content warning: some transphobic language is quoted in this statement. UCU Commons writes today to stand in solidarity with all our trans, non-binary and gender diverse colleagues, comrades and students. We vehemently oppose all forms of transphobia and queerphobia, and we recognise that biphobia, homophobia, queerphobia and transphobia all amount to the same thing: bigotryContinue reading “UCU Commons Statement on the Labour Party, Transphobia, and LGBTQ+ Solidarity”

Why STEM Practitioners Need to Stand Up for Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences

by Nicholas Chancellor A recent narrative which has proved popular with Tory politicians and their supporters (see for example: this announcement) is that students are being duped by ‘low value’ degrees in arts, humanities and social sciences. The idea is that these degree programs lead to hapless students taking jobs with lower starting salaries andContinue reading “Why STEM Practitioners Need to Stand Up for Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences”