Branch Meeting (Online) to discuss strike action and ASOS

Kingston UCU branch meeting to plan for and provide information about the upcoming industrial action: 3 days of strike (1-3rd Dec) and action short of strike (ASOS) working to contract beginning on the 1st of December, over the Four Fights dispute on pay deflation, pay inequality, unsafe workloads and casualisation.

This meeting will take place on Zoom – members have been emailed an invite. If you haven’t received one, please Contact Us.

When joining, please make sure your full name is visible so that people can identify that everyone present is a current union member and have an awareness of who is taking part.

This is the second of two branch meetings today. You do not need to attend both but of course you’re very welcome to.

Branch Meeting (Online) to discuss strike action and ASOS

Kingston UCU branch meeting to plan for and provide information about the upcoming industrial action: 3 days of strike (1-3rd Dec) and action short of strike (ASOS) working to contract beginning on the 1st of December, over the Four Fights dispute on pay deflation, pay inequality, unsafe workloads and casualisation.

This meeting will take place on Zoom – members have been emailed an invite. If you haven’t received one, please Contact Us.

When joining, please make sure your full name is visible so that people can identify that everyone present is a current union member and have an awareness of who is taking part.

This is the first of two branch meetings today. You do not need to attend both but of course you’re very welcome to.

Kingston UCU members to strike 1st -3rd December, followed by action short of a strike

Kingston UCU met the 60% turnout threshold on a national ballot over the ‘four fights’, with a majority of those who voted endorsing both strike action and action short of strike (ASOS). Because we met the minimum 50% turnout required, we now have a legal mandate to do both of these things.
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Following discussion at the branch meeting on 10th November, the branch Chair and Vice-Chair fed back the views of Kingston UCU members to the national branch delegates meeting. Following this, a decision by was taken by UCU national to instruct its members to:
  • Undertake 3 days of strike action between Wednesday 1st and Friday 3rd December
  • Commence ASOS (working to contract) from December 1st
Kingston UCU will be participating in both of these actions. Branch meetings will take place on Wednesday 24th at 1pm or 7pm to discuss how the branch will manage both strike action and ASOS.

Four Fights ballot result: Kingston staff vote for industrial action

Our branch has achieved a phenomenal 60% turnout in the national Four Fights ballot over over unsafe workloads, casualisation, pay deflation, and the gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps. This was in spite of the incredibly short ballot period and issues with missing ballot papers, and is a huge increase on our turnout of 32% in the last ballot in 2019.
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92% of members endorsed some form of action, with 70% voting in favour of strike action and 92% in favour of action short of strike.
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We will be talking through what this means at our branch meeting Wednesday 10th November 1-3pm on Zoom, with our discussion feeding into a national delegates meeting before the UCU Higher Education Committee convenes on Friday 12th. Please come along if you can. Check inboxes for links.
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Thank you to everyone who voted and all those departmental contacts and activists who helped out with the Get the Vote Out campaign

Emergency Branch Meeting – Politics, History, Media & Communication, and Film Cultures ‘consultation’ processes launched

This Wednesday 28th 3-5pm, you are invited to a Kingston UCU branch meeting to discuss recent management decisions affecting Politics, History, Media & Communication, and Film Cultures. As of last week, staff in each of these subject areas are currently in a 45 day consultation process – at the end of this process there is a serious risk of redundancies. There has been a failure by senior management to consult here which your branch regards as a breach of  our trade union Recognition Agreement with the university and the Managing Organisational Restructures Procedure.

The purpose of this meeting will primarily be to discuss our collective response to these decisions.

This meeting will take place on Zoom – members have been emailed a calendar invite. If you haven’t received one, please Contact Us.

We hope you can make it. Please do not worry if you are only able to attend some of the meeting – we know it is a busy time for everyone.

Update: Threats to jobs in Politics, History, Media & Communications and Film Studies

“Suspension of UG Politics Courses – who will be next?”

This was the headline from our last branch newsletter. Now we know who will be next as unfortunately colleagues in History, Film Studies and Media and Communication have been targeted in a course rationalisation process in KSA that will seek to form three new schools in that Faculty. History colleague FTE’s are to be reduced from 3 to 0 whilst colleagues in Film Studies and Media and Communication have been rather arbitrarily lumped together to find a reduction in FTE’s from 13.3 to 7.2.

Thus, there is the possibility of job losses for a significant number of our colleagues from different parts of the university. This is how management thanks us for working so hard over the last year in these truly extraordinary times and helping them to keep the university afloat. Clearly management does not have the best interests of their employees at heart and no amount of faux concern about stress and mental health issues on Staffspace can hide this.

Continue reading

Emergency Branch Meeting – politics department under threat

Kingston UCU emergency branch meeting to discuss the recent decision to suspend undergraduate recruitment to politics courses and plan our strategy in response to the decision.

We’ll be joined by colleagues from Union of Kingston Students and students from the Save KU Politics campaign for a solidarity rally at 1.30pm

This meeting will take place on Teams – members have been emailed a calendar invite. If you haven’t received one, please Contact Us.

Don’t forget to sign and share the petition to Save the KU Politics Department

Minutes of branch meeting April 21st

Members can find the minutes of the last KU UCU branch meeting here:

Kingston University UCU Branch Meeting via Zoom 21st April 2020

Issues discussed included:

  • Working from Home and Health and Safety at work
  • Personal Boundaries and safeguarding while working from home
  • Support for staff with caring responsibilities whilst working from home
  • Situation for HPLs, fixed term and casualised staff
  • Furlough arrangements
  • Marking deadlines
  • Annual Leave
  • Impact of university closure on REF
  • Support for international and postgraduate students
  • Proposals for TB1 2020/2021

A #CoronaContract motion was passed to call on Kingston University support and protect the jobs of all staff on casual contracts and PhD students.

Please get in touch if you have any updates or feedback on these issues or any other issues that arise.