#onedaywithoutus – Warwick University and Warwick UCU

Warwick UCU  and the University of Warwick are supporting this national day of action to celebrate and highlight the contribution that people from across the world have made to the UK.

For information on events taking place, please visit the http://www.1daywithoutus.org website.

Whilst UCU cannot recommend withdrawal of labour, we encourage members to show their support by taking part in one of the local or national events.

The University is promoting the event at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/news/intnews2/one_day_without_us and we are encouraging people to meet in the Piazza at 12:30 for an opportunity to support this event on social media as the national organisers of the event have suggested.  As it is half term, you can even bring the kids and, after the event, take them on a sculpture tour to see the works by international artists, and visit the Mead Gallery to see the latest installation by Subodh Gupta.


Statute 24 Open Meeting

Have you ever questioned received wisdom?

Have you ever put forward a new idea?

Have you ever voiced an unpopular opinion?

Do you work alongside any colleague who has?  

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, the removal of Statute 24 affects you.


 Come to the Statute 24 Open meeting

 Wednesday 22 February

 13:00 to 14:00 in Oculus 0.04


 Paul Bridge, UCU’s National Head of HE, will speak.


Invite non-members to come. Anyone can take part in the debate.

Encourage non-members to join UCU ( https://join.ucu.org.uk/) so they can vote on the motion – details to follow.

University management are determined to remove virtually all of Statute 24 and make all staff subject to the same policies on redundancy, discipline, grievance and sickness absence. This will make it much easier and quicker to dismiss academic staff and, by extension, the professional, technical and support staff who work alongside them. UCU is strongly opposed to this kind of change, both nationally and locally.

Under the new system, Heads of Department will get fresh powers to make academic staff redundant and Faculty Chairs will be able to dismiss academics for saying anything that could damage the university’s reputation. There will be no external scrutiny and no independent appeal. This cannot be right. The checks and balances detailed in Statute 24 are essential to protect academic freedom not just in principle but in day-to-day practice.

If you genuinely want academic staff to question received wisdom and put forward controversial/unpopular opinions … don’t make Heads of Department responsible for academic redundancies and Faculty Chairs the arbiters of gross misconduct.

Statute 24 Open meeting

Wednesday 22 February

13:00 to 14:00 in OC 0.04


Newsletter – January 2017

  • Editorial message to members

Welcome to the first UCU newsletter of 2017.  It won’t have escaped your notice that 2016 has been a year of great change and some surprises, on the world stage and also within the Higher Education sector.

  • Attack on Statute 24 and Ordinances 19-22 – aka “Review of University Governing Instruments”

Management are proposing to abolish all sixteen pages of Statute 24, except for the first paragraph, together with the four related Ordinances (19-22). Why does this matter?

  • The Prevent Duty and Universities

On 15 October 2016, some staff and students organized a hugely informative one-day conference on the Prevent Duty and universities, prompted by the growing racism and xenophobia that has been unleashed in the wake of June’s EU referendum outcome.

  • Gender pay and anti-casualisation claims

Following the decision to stop industrial action UCU head office have provided branches further guidance on lodging gender pay and anti-casualisation claims – in line with the strategy of exerting pressure at the institutional level.

  • NSS Boycott

As noted in the last newsletter, one of the policies adopted by the Students’ Union, both nationally and at Warwick, is the boycott of the National Student Survey (NSS).  The NSS is one of the quantitative metrics which will be used to generate TEF scores.  UCU also has national policy opposing the TEF and recently issued a joint statement in support of the boycott.

  • Democratic Deficit within the University – opposition to TEF

Our recent newsletter gave an update on the fight against TEF.  To recap, TEF is one element of the Higher Education and Research Bill, which, if passed, will have far reaching and deleterious effects on higher education through the imposition of a market-based consumer model of education.  UCU has national policy opposing the HE bill and the implementation of TEF.

  • University of Warwick Green Ranking:  Improvements but much more to be done

It’s welcome news indeed that Warwick has substantially improved its Green Ranking as issued by the organization People & Planet. The university has made a concerted effort at meeting auditing and reporting requirements since the previous survey, and its commitments regarding carbon management and reduction, as well as the highlighting of staff accountable for sustainability targets, are especially noteworthy

UCU newsletter Jan 2017

‘Why we cannot afford to lose Erasmus+’

Warwick academic Andrea G. Klaus has co-written a report on the value of the Erasmus programme –  “Why we cannot afford to lose Erasmus+”. This is an essential read for anyone who works with European students who have gained from this programme.

“The Erasmus+ (formerly the Erasmus) programme supports student and staff mobility throughout the European academic community. Amongst many other things it provides students with the opportunity to study in another EU country for up to a year for free. It also funds students who opt for a work placement in industry or who choose to work as Language Assistants in schools. Not only do students studying Modern Languages Degrees participate in this scheme but it is also available to students from all other degree courses. (For more information see http://www.eua.be/Libraries/publications-homepage-list/afterthe-brexit-referendum-possible-outcomes-for-horizon-2020-and-erasmus.pdf?sfvrsn=4 )
Since its launch in 1987 over 200,000 students have studied and worked abroad, mainly in France, Spain and Germany. This represents approximately 0.5% of the UK student population.”

Read the full report.

Warwick UCU AGM

Warwick UCU will be holding its AGM on:

 Date:  Wednesday 1 March 2017

Time:  12:30 to 2:00pm

Venue:  H0.60 Humanities 

 Provisional agenda items to include: 

1) Reform/Removal of Statute 24

2) Stern Review of REF

3) The Higher Education and Research Bill

 This is an important meeting, so please make a note in your diaries and we hope to see you there!  Election information will follow in due course.

Warwick Historians Against Racism Blog – Bigotry seeks company in the UK

UCU Warwick would like to draw your attention to this excellent blog post by a group of Warwick academics in the History Department.

Bigotry seeks company in the UK

We historians at the University of Warwick are very concerned about the racism that is becoming increasingly commonplace over Britain, especially in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.


Newsletter – November 2016

The latest UCU Warwick newsletter was published on November 18th.

UCU Newsletter November 2016

EU Referendum – Letter to the VC

The UCU committee has sent the outcomes of the Warwick UCU Open Meeting on the EU Referendum result to VC Croft.

Warwick UCU EU Open Meeting Follow Up Letter to VC

National Demo

NUS and UCU joint national demonstration in central London, Saturday 19 November.

When is a victory not a victory?

 In September, the University announced that it was doing away with Spinal Point 3 on the pay scale so that all directly-employed staff received, at least, the £8.25 advocated by the Living Wage Foundation. The casual observer might think this was great achievement which the trade unions should have celebrated. Well, not quite.

NSS Boycott

UCU supports NUS’s right to boycott the National Student Survey.

The National Union of Students has now confirmed that it will be organising an all-out boycott of the National Student Survey (NSS).

Hourly Paid Teachers at Warwick – What’s going on?

Warwick University is one of the HE institutions in the country which perhaps relies most heavily on the work of casualised staff to carry out core teaching – 70% according to recent UCU figures.

Lecture Capture

We have submitted a statement to the task and finish group which includes a demand that if there is to be any change to lecture capture policy.

UCU Caseworkers

UCU relies on volunteers to run the branch and fulfil the various functions. We need to boost our numbers of active caseworkers as a top priority.

Caseworker Training

There will be a caseworker training session on Monday 28 November between 13:00 and 15:00 in room 0.011 Scarman Road.  Lunch will be provided.

Warwick students occupy ‘The Slate’ in support of HE

Warwick students have occupied The Slate, the conference facility being built between Scarman and Radcliffe, in protest at the “devastating direction in which education is being pushed and our own institution’s complicity in that agenda” – see https://warwick4freeducation.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/statement-of-occupation/#respond

The students’ arguments are compelling; Warwick UCU fully supports their objectives and completely endorses their demands (reproduced below):

  • The University must opt out of the Teaching Excellence Framework;
  • The University must agree to Warwick Anti-Casualisation’s 6 demands for fair teaching conditions;
  • The University must scrap the protest injunction and apologise for their handling of the events of 3 December 2014.

Opposition to the Higher Education and Research Bill is widespread at Warwick, amongst both staff and students.

http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/warwick-university-staff-praised-by-students-for-condemning-government-s-green-paper-and-prevent-a6926116.html) and http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/warwick-university-protest-students-block-main-campus-road-in-day-of-demonstrations-against-a6898026.html)

The occupation has already released a statement indicating that this is a direct act of solidarity with staff to fight the erosion to our working conditions that the TEF will entail.

We therefore call on University management to promise no legal action under the injunction and reiterate our request that it be lifted with immediate effect.

In solidarity, Warwick UCU


The Unviersity has posted a response from the VC on the Exec Blog:


“We have reached agreement to bring a peaceful conclusion to the student occupation that has been taking place at the University of Warwick since 2 December 2016. Here is my letter to the protesters following engagement between the University, the Students’ Union and the protestors to reach this conclusion.”

The tone of this letter, and its content, is very heartening.  We hope that this spirit of teamwork and collegiality can continue so that all members of the University can work togther to protect our institution from damaging change.

Anti-Casualisation Day

Warwick Anti-Casualisation (WAC) will be available to speak to in the Piazza today from 11am where they are highlighting the crucial role played by part-time teachers in Warwick.

UCU Warwick supports the work of this group and as today is ‘UCU’s day of action against precarious work‘, we ask that our members encourage all part-time teachers to sign up as UCU members and to visit the WAC website to sign the petition calling for fair teaching conditions.

Teaching conditions vary across the University and some departments may be examples of excellent practice in this area – we would be interested in any examples where members feel that their departments support of their part time teaching staff is exemplary.

These are the 6 demands of the WAC:

1) Hourly-paid teachers must be made employees of the University. Currently, hourly-paid teachers hold the inferior legal status of ‘workers’ but not of ‘employees’. This deprives them, unjustifiably, of the standard employment rights enjoyed by salaried members of staff.

2) Hourly-paid teachers must be paid for every hour worked. Assigned time allowances do not reflect the reality of teaching. As a result, teachers have to work many unpaid hours.

3) Hourly-paid teachers must be paid at consistent and fair rates. Some departments pay different rates for different tasks within the same job, despite them being interconnected and requiring the same skill level. To recognise the level of skill involved in the teaching delivered, we demand a pay rate of at least FA5 for all tasks.

4) There must be pay harmony across departments. At the moment pay rates vary across departments; we demand equal pay for equal work across departments.

5) Compulsory teaching as a condition for scholarships must be abolished. Teaching bursaries are exploitative because they basically require PhD students to work for free. Not only do these arrangements make it hard for postgraduate researchers to meet their actual living costs, but they are also not conducive to the long-term quality of teaching.

6) Hourly-paid teachers should be paid for the hours they spend undertaking teaching-related training. This should include all hours needed to achieve affiliate Higher Education Academy (HEA) status.

UCU Open Meeting


UCU Open Meeting
Wednesday 30 November
12:30 to 2:00 in S0.11

Warwick UCU will be holding an Open meeting for both members and non-members in Week 9. More details will follow but three confirmed items for discussion are:

1) The Higher Education and Research Bill – what does effective resistance look like?

2) The Teaching Excellence Framework – what does the National Union of Students’ decision to boycott the National Student Survey mean for university staff?

3) The Stern Review of Research Excellence Framework – some unintended consequences of tackling the “transfer window”.

See you there.