Liberating Arts Festival, University of Exeter, Saturday 4th November 2017

A festival of radical and political arts was held on Saturday 4th November at the University of Exeter. This event was organised by Chris Jury of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), an organisation to which Unite is affiliated. A full day of events was scheduled which included talks, drama, music and dance, all with a common theme of liberation and political struggle.

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The University Of Exeter Branch Of Unite the Union were kindly offered the chance to have a stand at the event at which there was a great deal of interest and networking. We were able to raise our profile and make contact with politically motivated students as well as representatives from the SW Trades Council and Unite Community branches in the SW. It is hoped that this spirit of cross union co-operation and common cause with the student body may be furthered by the formation of a Unite Community Group in Exeter in the not too distant future. Watch this space.

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The cultural highlight for me was an entertaining and musical history of Jamaican Ska presented by Dave Chapple (SW Trades Council).

gftuliberatingarts.wordpress.com

John Davey (Branch Chair)

Learn to live – Unite e-learn partnership

Unite has teamed up with leading online education provider, e-Careers, to bring our members and their families access to over 600 online learning courses in a broad range of subjects, including project management, accountancy and bookkeeping and information and technology.

We are now able to offer better and more varied educational support – and shave hundreds of pounds off courses. With interest free payment plans the courses are affordable to everybody.

Plus, for Unite members, there is even more money off – just mention the code UNITE10 or enter it at checkout when buying online to get an even better deal.

Each course offers state-of-the-art training and qualifications in an easily accessible e-learning format so you can study at your own pace either at home or at work.

With mentoring and support from tutors (available with certain courses), progress tracking and 24 hour technical support Monday to Friday you are never alone. Where applicable you can even sit exams at home or at work.

Please share this with your members and let them know about this exciting new opportunity.

There is a short film you can watch for more information

and posters and leaflets that can be downloaded from the website.

Please visit the education webpage for further information and links to all of the courses available.

EU research funding fears should not be used to depress university wages, says Unite

University bosses should not use speculation about future EU research spending in the UK to avoid giving higher education (HE) staff a decent pay rise, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Thursday 21 July).

Unite, which has about 16,000 members in HE, said that it would be holding a strike ballot in response to the ‘paltry’ 1.1 per cent pay offer for August 2016-August 2017 proposed by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

Unite, which will be working closely with other HE unions on the pay campaign, will start balloting its members in the middle of August and will close on 8 September. This follows a consultative ballot which showed that 75 per cent of Unite members rejected the pay offer.

Unite national officer for education Mike McCartney said: “The derisory pay offer is less than the current Retail Price Index (RPI) for inflation which is running at 1.6 per cent.

“Last year (2015/2016), the pay award was just one per cent, while, at the same time, obscenely paid university vice chancellors are swanning around the world staying in first class hotels.

“Our members have contributed deeply to the excellence of the UK’s university system that is still very attractive to overseas students and is a beacon for research innovation and funding – they, too, should be decently rewarded.

“However, Unite is warning university panjandrums that they should not use the recent Brexit vote and speculation about the future of EU funding for research to depress wages even further.

“There are rumblings in the background in universities that because of potential reduced European funding in research, coupled with the reduction in the number of foreign students, that it could have an impact on pay, either by withdrawing this year’s already paltry offer or on next year’s pay round.

“The UCEA should not be tempted to go down this route as universities need well-qualified and rewarded staff to maintain the UK’s place in the global university rankings.”

Currently, the UK is the second best represented country in the rankings, with 78 universities in the top 800 and 34 in the top 200.

The majority of Unite’s members in the sector are laboratory staff and technicians.

Notice of Unite Branch Annual General Meeting 27/04/2016 (New Unite Merchandise will be available at the meeting)

We have an Unite Branch Annual General Meeting coming up at the end of April, please try and attend if you can.

Unite at Exeter University Branch Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 27th April 2016, at 1230, Laver Lecture Theatre 6. (Look for the Unite Banner)

The Branch according to the rules needs a minimum of the following Officers to be able to function as a stand-alone Branch:-
Branch Chair (Current Chair is retiring so this post will be vacant)
Branch Secretary (Current Secretary is looking to standing down so we will be looking for a new Secretary.)
Treasurer – Morley Burrow (Campus Services)
Equalities Officer – Ian Leaves (Technical Services)

The above are the minimum the rules allow, if the Branch agrees then Secretary and Treasurer can be a joint role. Also other roles such as Women’s Officer, Youth Officer etc can be added by agreement of the Branch.

If you are currently not active and would like to become more involved or even become a rep, then please let us know? We particularly need activists / reps in the following areas:
Cleaning, Porters, Security and Hospitality, however wherever you work if you’d like to be a rep or become active let us know?

We also need to ratify the Branch Standing Orders, at this AGM, please see attached.

We will also use this meeting as an opportunity to discuss other Issues such as Pensions / Pay / Transformation / Exeter Release Scheme.

A full Agenda will be available at the meeting, however, I have attached a copy of the poster advertising the Branch Meeting to this email. Please print off and circulate widely please. The meeting is scheduled for an hour from 1230 to 1330. However, we have the room until 1400 if you need to discuss items after the meeting.

Any items for the Agenda / Questions / Comments / Suggestions / Apologies to David Childs, Branch Secretary at D.J.Childs@exeter.ac.uk or Brett Crane on x3478 / b.crane@exeter.ac.uk

Got a colleague who is not a member, please ask them to join at:- www.unitetheunion.org/

** Shape your Union, come along, share your views & give yourselves a voice!**

Please alert other members who may not have access to emails

Unite at Exeter University Emergency Branch Meeting 19/06/2015

Your Branch has been in a state of flux since our AGM in February as we didn’t have enough Branch Officers come forward to continue as functioning Branch. These changes were communicated by email at the time.

We have had an emergency committee meeting recently to try and find a way forward. The Branch has until the 30th June to try and fill some of the vacant posts so it can continue as a functioning workplace branch. Some committee members have come forward for some of the unfilled posts and these will need ratifying at the upcoming emergency general meeting (details below)

We still have a couple of posts that need filling, so it was felt that an emergency general meeting was the best way forward.

There has been enormous change in recent times at the University and this will continue and gather pace, especially in the next 12 to 18 months. Every area, every job, every benefit is being scrutinised in an effort to make savings and this will impact us all! We can hope it doesn’t affect us personally or we can stand up and try and influence these changes.

We especially need people from Cleaning, Porters, Grounds, Catering, Retail, and Security to consider becoming more involved.

Your branch needs more people to get active. We are a Union, a collective; people all working together to improve their working lives.

Therefore there will be an Emergency General Branch Meeting on the 19th June 2015 in LT6 1230 to 1330, Lecture Theatre 6 in the Laver Building. A poster is attached for you to put up in your workplace uniteemergencymeeting19062015poster

I urge all members to consider stepping forward and becoming more active in your Union.

Best wishes on behalf of the Unite committee

Unite Branch Annual General Meeting – Wednesday 4th February 2015, 12:30, Laver Lecture Theatre 6 (Look for the Unite Banner)

It is 3 years since the combined Unite Branch was voted into being. As per Unites’ Rule Book, every 3 years Branch Officers must stand for re-election. Obviously if the incumbent wishes to stay in post and no-one else comes forward then the Branch can vote them back in. If more than 1 person wishes to stand for a post then they will each have a short time to address the meeting before we have a paper ballot.

The Branch according to the rules needs a minimum of the following Officers to be able to function as a stand-alone Branch:-

  • Branch Chair (Current Chair is retiring so this post will be vacant)
  • Branch Secretary (Current Secretary is standing down so this post will be vacant)
  • Treasurer
  • Equalities Officer

The above are the minimum the rules allow, if the Branch agrees then Secretary and Treasurer can be a joint role. Also other roles such as Women’s Officer, Youth Officer etc can be added by agreement of the Branch.

Workplace and Health and Safety reps are also due for re-election and the same rules as mentioned earlier can be applied. Existing Reps please indicate if you wish to continue please? If you are currently not a rep but would like to be then please let us know? We particularly need reps in the following areas:
Grounds, Cleaning, Porters, Security and Hospitality, however wherever you work if you’d like to be a rep or become active let us know?

Dependent on enough people coming forward we also need to ratify the Branch Standing Orders.

We will also not neglect at this meeting an opportunity to discuss other Issues such as Voluntary Severance, Pay etc!

A full Agenda will be available at the meeting, however, I have attached the Unite Branch Annual General Meeting Poster. Please print off and circulate widely please. The meeting is scheduled for an hour from 1230 to 1330. However, we have the room until 1400 if you need to discuss items after the meeting.

Any items for the Agenda / Questions / Comments / Suggestions / Apologies to the Branch Secretary, Brett Crane x3478 b.crane@exeter.ac.uk

Got a colleague who is not a member, please ask them to join at:- www.unitetheunion.org/

** Shape your Union, come along, share your views & give yourselves a voice!**

Please alert other members who may not have access to emails

Unite Branch Meeting 20/11/2014 Forum Exploration Lab 2 at 1230

We have an Unite Branch Meeting next week to replace the one that was cancelled recently, details below.

Unite at Exeter University Branch Meeting on Thursday 20th November 2014, at 1230, Forum Exploration Lab 2 (Look for the Unite Banner)

We have a lot of important issues to discuss and need your feedback. Some of the items on the Agenda:-

Professional Services / Technical review / restructuring
Voluntary severance
Updates from Branch Officers
USS pension scheme dispute
Branch reorganisation / reinvigoration
AOB

A full Agenda will be available at the meeting, however, I have attached a copy of the poster advertising the Branch Meeting unitebranch20112014poster. Please print off and circulate widely please. The meeting is scheduled for an hour from 1230 to 1330. However, we have the room until 1400 if you need to discuss items after the meeting.

Any items for the Agenda / Questions / Comments / Suggestions / Apologies to the Branch Secretary, Brett Crane x3478 b.crane@exeter.ac.uk

Got a colleague who is not a member, please ask them to join at:-  www.unitetheunion.org/

** Shape your Union, come along, share your views & give yourselves a voice!**

Please alert other members who may not have access to emails

Free will writing service – one of the benefits of Unite membership

Unite does free wills for members and full details can be found here:- Free will writing service

Our local Unite office is for your information is:-

Plymouth
New Union House, 2 Harbour Avenue, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth PL4 0BJ
T: 01752 424 129

Dave Springbett – regional officer
Rob Miguel – regional officer
Mark Richards – regional officer
Tracy Wakeham – membership services administrator
Julie Heath – membership services administrator
Beverly Stoneman – membership services administrator

Email the Unite office in Plymouth

Union Membership

It has to be said here that the fact that we are even talking about 2% is as a direct consequence of our industrial action, in particular, the fact that all campus unions acted together. Unite’s scope for creating an impact is limited but UCU (the academic union) and their continued marking boycott has focussed the employer’s side. Such is the anger over the inequalities in pay that during the dispute UCU at Exeter have recruited many new members. We need to try to match this: the more members we have, the better we’re placed to fight for fairness. If current members recruited just one more each, what a great place we’d be in!

100% recruitment campaign

The Branch has signed up to a membership recruitment campaign and whilst 100% may be unachievable, numbers do matter. I attach a form here from our Regional Officer which I would ask you to complete to better inform our recruitment strategy. Please return it to me (Sean) or Brett to compile the results.

I’ve never felt particularly comfortable about being a union missionary: selling the merits of collective bargaining has always been obvious to me but others may need persuading. If you don’t feel able to recruit personally, then members of the committee or Regional Officers would be happy to meet with your colleagues. Or you could point potential members at the Unite web site: https://www.unitetheunion.org/join-unite/