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

Joint HE trade union national claim 2015/16

Please see attached pay claim for this year. It was submitted in two parts, the main claim and a supporting one dealing with pay equality in the sector. The first meeting between the sides was positive and took place on the 26th March. The next meeting is scheduled for the 14th April 2015. I will update you once we get to the stage of an actual offer being made by the employer.

Joint Higher Education Trade Union Pay Claim

Joint Higher Education Trade Union Pay Equality Claim

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

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

Falling wages dividing Britain as Big Society gives way to Greedy Pig Society

Disastrous economic policies are dividing Britain and destroying hopes of recovery, the leader of the country’s biggest union stated today (Monday 8 September 2014).

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, called for collective bargaining to be reintroduced to arrest the decades long fall in the value of wages, and give workers a fairer share of the wealth they create.

He warned that over the past forty years collective bargaining has fallen from covering 80 per cent of the workforce to just twenty per cent today, leaving millions of workers at the mercy of employers who are only prepared to pay poverty wages.

Speaking in the debate on the new economy at the Trades Union Congress in Liverpool, Len McCluskey said:

“It was a Tory – Benjamin Disraeli – who said that Britain was two nations.  He would certainly feel right at home today.

“Workers in our country are today facing the longest drop in their living standards since the 1870s when Disraeli was Prime Minister. But to be fair to him – he saw the class divisions in Britain as a problem to be solved.  His Conservative successor in Number Ten seems to rejoice in them.

“Because every measure David Cameron and George Osborne take is designed to increase the squeeze on workers’ living standards and widen the already scandalous inequality gap.

“David Cameron used to talk of the Big Society. The truth is he’s created Two Societies – a society of Bullingdon Bullies, country suppers with Rebekah Brooks, tax cuts for the rich, a society which is a happy home for the hedge fund managers who fund the Tory Party.

“That’s not so much the Big Society, more like the Greedy Pig Society.

“On the other hand there’s a society of people in fear – fear of losing their jobs or their homes, fear of paying the heating bills, fear over the future of the National Health Service, where the government strips away any protection the poorest can still cling to.

“The Tories will tell you that it’s all going to come right – that after six lost years for the economy we will all feel the benefits soon. But the truth is that trickle down has dried up.

“For the first time in anyone’s memory we have an economy which is apparently growing – while living standards for ordinary people are still falling.

“To misquote another famous Tory: `Never, in the field of human economics, has so much been produced by so many to the benefit of so few’.

“We need a social rebalancing and only trade unions can deliver that – because all the power is on one side of the negotiating table.

“Most economists now recognise that this is the biggest structural obstacle to sustainable growth in a modern economy.

“Collective bargaining can ensure that workers get back more of the wealth they produce. Trade unions stand for the productive economy and the people who are the real wealth-creators. In Downing Street they represent only the parasites.”

Britain needs a pay rise – 18 October, London

There is going to be a major march in London on the 18th October. All the Trade Unions as well as community groups, charities and anyone who believes that we all deserve a decent pay rise will be there. The only people who appear to be doing well out of this so called recovery are the bankers and super rich! Therefore Unite will have a large presence at this March. Your local Plymouth Office is organising free coach transport and will pick up in Exeter. Email plymouthstaff@unitetheunion.org to book a place/s, just quote you are a member at Exeter University.

Unite has the following web page with more information and resources to download:-
Britain needs a pay rise | Join the rally 18 October London

My partner is a PCS Union activist, so I will be travelling with her on their transport. So look out for me in London. My experience of previous such marches are that they are good fun! You feel like you are getting your voice out there and it’s nice to be surrounded by so many good people who are trying to change Britain to benefit the many and not the few.

If you need any information at all, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Unity is strength

Brett Crane
Unite Branch Secretary /Unite Equality & Diversity Officer
Stores Assistant, Biosciences Stores
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Geoffrey Pope Building
Stocker Road
01392 723478 Work
07813 107061 Mobile
brett.crane@unitetheunion.org Union E-mail

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:-

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

Consultative Ballot on pay result

Dear Unite members

Thanks for all of the replies I have received. The result is as follows and I will notify our National Officer this afternoon:-
Votes cast:- 101
Votes For:- 92
Votes Against:- 9
% in favour of acceptance:- 91.09%
% against acceptance:- 8.91%
Turnout approx.:- 41%

Therefore we have by a large margin voted to accept, as soon as I get the National result, I will let you have it.

Best wishes


The COO Talk

For those of you able to get to any of Geoff Pringle’s talks will know there have been a number of new proposals made.

Voluntary redundancy/early retirement deals
Over the next 12 months, there will be a concerted effort to restructure the University for efficiencies and part of this strategy is to offer those close to retirement an incentive to take voluntary severance or early retirement deals. Details of these packages have yet to be announced. The ongoing professional services review will inform the restructuring process. They haven’t ruled out the possibility of compulsory redundancy.

Financial Headroom
Despite having commitments to large capital projects, the University also wants to start raising what has been described as £25M of ‘financial headroom’ (=spare cash). This will happen over an undeclared timeframe, and to which professional services is to contribute £10M.

Reward strategy
There is currently a review of Reward, Retention and Performance. No real details have been released yet but the worry is how changes will impact on our members. There is a real danger that changes are likely to be a divisive unless there is real transparency in the implementation and operation of any changes.

Annualized hours
This was mentioned very briefly and is about creating flexible working to overcome pinch points and reduce (eliminate) overtime. ACAS has a good explanation here:

Again, the subject was touched on only briefly and is another potentially contentious issue.  What Geoff Pringle did say, however, was that they might even consider bringing some services back in-house if existing outsourcing had failed to deliver savings.