UCU is the trade union for academic and academic related staff. QMUCU is the branch for staff at Queen Mary University of London
Started 3 petitions
Don't dock wages of staff working to keep QMUL operating during COVID-19 crisis
To President and Principal Colin Bailey: We are writing to convey our dismay that you have continued to pursue ‘business as usual’, not least with respect to making significant strike-related pay deductions from staff in the midst of a global pandemic. We understand that, in doing so, you have not only ignored protests from Queen Mary UCU but also the Heads of School in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. There is additionally a general lack of transparency over where the deductions are going and how much the process of taking these deductions is costing the university. In the context of COVID-19, staff across the university have shown and will continue to show enormous goodwill. QMUL staff have taken on unprecedented amounts of additional work under strenuous circumstances, struggling to master new software, reconfigure assessments, manage departmental crises and care for students, while their own caring responsibilities spike (made even more challenging by the continued demand for nursery fee payments). QMUL staff, including those who are hourly-paid and/or fixed term, have turned their own homes into their workplace, effectively subsidising QM by shouldering the costs of broadband, mobile phone costs, computer equipment, utilities, etc, not only without compensation but at the same time as having their pay cut. For those without permanent and full-time contracts, these financial burdens and the associated stress and anxiety, are intensified. Hundreds of colleagues have done all of this despite having just returned from 14 days of strike action, taken because their goodwill had already been stretched to breaking point by persistent real terms cuts to pay and pensions, spiralling workloads, casualisation, and inequalities. They are again working tremendously hard for QMUL, despite the fact that you have taken one of the most inflexible stances of any university leader on these issues, impeding resolution of the dispute and throwing away the good will the university relies upon to operate. Such decisions appear to demonstrate that your self-professed goodwill towards and care and consideration for the staff that you are ultimately responsible for are far from the reality. Your messages repeatedly convey gratitude for our service. Your actions speak to the contrary. Other institutions, including King’s College London, have waived strike deductions as a way of rebuilding the shattered goodwill of their employees and in recognition of the huge additional work staff are undertaking. QMUL’s refusal to do this threatens the long-term sustainability of our institution. Yours sincerely,
COVID19 EMERGENCY: CLOSE QUEEN MARY CAMPUS
The UK government plans to manage Covid-19 are based on the ‘expectation’ that 80 percent of the population will contract it, with a possible 7.9 million hospitalised. In an already overstretched NHS, this will result in many thousands of preventable deaths. The government insists their strategy is based on science, but it has been subject to widespread criticism from the scientific community.* Now that the government has adopted more stringent recommendations, it shows how out of touch is Queen Mary management. Queen Mary should lead in protecting workers and students, not wait to be forced by the law to act. We therefore call for: 1. The cancellation of all face-to-face teaching and associated activities, with immediate effect. Other universities have already made this move. Every day Queen Mary management insists on delaying this, it accepts the spread of Covid-19 on campus. 2. The closure of Queen Mary campuses, excluding essential services. Closing the campus, except for essential services needed to support resident students and perform maintenance and security functions, is necessary to protect staff. 3. All staff working from home to receive adequate support and protection. Many staff can do much of their work online, though support and training is needed to make that happen. Staff that cannot should continue to be paid. Appraisal should be abandoned this year because performance will be directly related to staff’s home circumstances rather than their willingness and ability to work. 4. Essential workers to receive appropriate support and protection. The small number of workers required to remain on campus should receive appropriate support, protection and training. 5. Include Trades Unions in the Coronavirus Response Group. All committees and groups developing plans in response to Covid-19 and groups monitoring implementation of those plans should formally include the Health and Safety representatives from the unions. * Criticism of the UK government approach to Covid19: http://maths.qmul.ac.uk/~vnicosia/UK_scientists_statement_on_coronavirus_measures.pdf https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/14/scientists-urge-government-to-enforce-social-distancing-now?fbclid=IwAR1y3MRdEjSwzwHCTRNIOnLayOKtJVwbt46X00xuTqVp8MCqWQY4qe16XfY https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/coronavirus-health-experts-fear-epidemic-will-let-rip-through-uk?fbclid=IwAR3ME9DYWiJb_iyzsX_93NJ50P6cwBi16lRleeKp_nk4SpsYfUKTZHfI878 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/epidemiologist-britain-herd-immunity-coronavirus-covid-19 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/uk-coronavirus-crisis-to-last-until-spring-2021-and-could-see-79m-hospitalised https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/uk-covid-19-strategy-questions-unanswered-coronavirus-outbreak
Demand Colin Bailey settles with UCU so that the strikes can be called off
UCU, the national trade union for academic and academic-related staff, has called another round of strikes that are scheduled to affect 14 work-days in February and March. Staff do not want to take industrial action, however, our demands for better working conditions and secure pension have not been met. As a result, we are asking the President and Principal of Queen Mary University of London, Colin Bailey, to use his influence to settle these demands so that the strike can be called off. The demands are as follows: Pay and conditions demands with UCEA Professional and Academic staff at Queen Mary University of London have been forced to take industrial action as UCEA (Universities & Colleges Employers Association), the body that negotiates pay on behalf of institutions, has refused to meet reasonable demands on: Pay - Successive below-inflation pay rises have left staff worse off, despite the university's income rising dramatically. Workload - Although student numbers keep increasing every year at QM, staff numbers have not increased. Overstretchedstaff have less time to give to students. Equality - At QMUL, there are large gender and ethnicity pay-gaps. This is not just a statistical artefact, the university's Diversity & Inclusion Manager resigned citing institutional racism. Casualisation - Far too many staff at QM are on fixed term or hourly contracts, having little to no job security. This infographic explains the demands Secure pension demand with UUK Pension justice - The strike action in February and March 2018 saved the USS pension scheme from being converted from a guaranteed benefit scheme into a defined contribution scheme (employee takes all the risk). The future of the scheme is still not certain and contributions rises are making staff poorer in addition to the below-inflation pay rises. Staff deserve a secure retirement. UUK should work to implement the recommendations from the three stages of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) and ensure that there will be no increases in contributions and no cuts to benefits. UUK (Universities UK) represent QMUL in this dispute. It is within Colin Bailey's power to put pressure on UCEA and UUK and its members to agree with the demands of UCU and avoid these strikes. Sign this petition to support staff in their fight for better working conditions and pension justice. By working together we can make universities fairer and better for all.