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Thursday
May312012

Notice of branch annual general meeting

Wedneday 27 June 2012
12.30 - 13.30
Students Union - Room S13

Agenda and nomination form (pdf)

Sandwich lunch provided.

Tuesday
May292012

Branch meeting

At our meeting on 16 May we addressed these agenda items.

1) Estates and Facilities
We heard from branch reps about their consultation with management over the proposed restructuring of the department. We heard how our branch reps are preparing a joint response with UNISON branch reps. Members were invited to comment on management's claim that understaffing of the support services team over the past 3 years has not adversely affected the level of service delivered. [See Response (pdf), Appendix (pdf), Poster (jpeg) for details].

2) IT Services
We heard from branch reps about their consultation with management over the new IT Services strategy. We heard that: (a) management have agreed to resume support for Mac users (b) management have registered members' concerns about the impact of contracting out core IT services and (c) there has been an exodus of technical staff from the department in the past 6 months.

3) Workload management system (WMS)
We heard from branch reps about their consultation with management over the implementation of the new IOE workload management system. Members were invited to give feedback to inform the next meeting with management in October.

3) Research Excellence Framework (REF)
We heard from branch reps about their consultation with management over the implementation of the REF. Questions had been asked about how personal data relating to "scores" would be protected in the IOE's research database (aka PURE).

4) Joint negotiating committee (JC)
We heard from branch reps about the most recent of their termly meetings (May) with management. Their report covered these topics: (a) the conduct of the recent senior academic recruitment drive (b) the implications for research staff of the IOE's new EU Excellence in Research Award (c) the role of ARK as sponsor of the London Festival of Education at the IOE (d) the IOE's involvement in the government's University Training Schools initiative and (e) the proposed open plan office on Level 5.

5) Working in Palestine/Israel
A member shared his experience of being obstructed when travelling from Tel Aviv airport to appointments with Palestinian colleagues, by Israeli security staff. He said that he was not the only IOE academic who'd been subjected to this sort of harrassment. And he sought the branch's support in campaigning against it.

Wednesday
Mar142012

Branch meeting

At today's meeting we addressed these agenda items.

1) USS pension dispute
We passed a resolution, to continue to oppose the huge and unwarranted cuts to USS pensions, and to call on UCU HE Conference in July to consider resuming industrial action.

2) Joint negotiating committee (JC)
We heard that at the last of our termly meetings (January) with management, reps from the branch executive submitted two papers on: (a) the REF and (b) contract research staff. These appear at the bottom of the Agenda (pdf). A report on management's response will be given at the next branch meeting.

3) Workload mangement system (WMS)
We heard how reps from the branch executive are monitoring the implementation of the new WMS. And how they are tackling local problems, for example to do with: (a) micro management of workloads and (b) insufficient scholarship time for junior academics. Members shared their experiences. We agreed to send an email out to all branch members inviting them to share their experiences with branch reps in time for their next meeting with management on 20 April.

4) Richmond College
We agreed to send a message of solidarity to UCU members taking 3 days of strike action in defence of jobs and the future of the college.

5) General Secretary's Survey
We agreed to circulate a letter (pdf) to branch members about the anti-democratic nature of the poll. Our branch president explained why he would be voting "no" to all three questions.

6) IT Services strategy
We heard that reps from the branch executive had been in discussion with management over the content of the strategy document and the lack of consultation during its preparation.

Sunday
Feb192012

Meetings about defending higher education

After the HE Bill: where next in the fight for Higher Education?

Date: 21 Feb 2012
Venue: King’s College London (Strand) WC2R 2LS, Room S-1.27
Time: 6:30pm
Organiser: Education Activists Network

Speakers: 
UCU speaker (tba), John Holmwood,co-author The Alternative White Paper; Andrew McGettigan, journalist and blogger @Critical Education, Jim Wolfreys, author of Universities for Hire; Kate Tunstall, No Confidence in WillettsCampaign; JohnMcDonnell MP; Howard Hotson, London Review of Books, Liam Burns NUS President. More information

What are universities for?

Date: 29 Feb 2012
Venue: London Review of Books bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL
Time: 7:00pm
Organiser: LRB

Speaker: Howard Hotson. More information

Tuesday
Jan312012

Branch in solidarity with Unilever pension strikers

This week, we sent a letter (pdf) of solidarity to Unite workers on strike in defence of their pensions, plus a contribution of £106 to their hardship fund.