Newsletter 2012/13


Dear member,Welcome to the first UCU Newsletter of the academic year 2012-13 from both the City and Walsall Branches. Our aim is to give you some basic information about UCU at the University, what we do and how you can volunteer to help.UCU is the recognised trade union for all academics and academic-related staff at the university. As a Trade Union we act as a Collective in representing the professional concerns of members to our employer. University members have a City Branch covering six schools and a Walsall Branch which covers three. Each Branch has a Branch committee which brings together school representatives to enable them to meet and discuss members’ concerns as well as act as a vehicle for links with UCU nationally. Each Branch also organises Branch meetings when all members are invited to come to discuss and give their view on pressing issues at local and national level. We do encourage you to attend to have your voice heard and make us aware of matters that need our collective attention.

The Branches are linked by a Negotiating Committee, which meets every three weeks. It is the Negotiating Committee that is the main vehicle for talking to the University management as a whole, but also with other unions (Student Union, UNISON).


In each school, we have School reps who are usually your first point of contact if you want to raise a matter. We are currently looking for new reps in some schools, so please volunteer to give us a hand, and we will organise elections shortly! You will be given advice from more experienced reps and training from UCU.


In addition to informal contacts, UCU School reps hold school meetings to discuss issues that affect Schools as a whole. These meetings are then intended to feed into Branch Committee meetings arranged towards the start of each term to take up concerns and inform the Negotiating Committee of bigger issues.


Who are your school reps?For contact information please visit the School Reps page on this website
SADJohn Clementson Callum Ives STechRuth Fairclough, Lynda Holland, Sue Gill
SASVolunteers needed! SHaW Rachel ClarkeVolunteer needed for Walsall!
LSSCMike Cunningham (sem. 2 only)Cécile HatierFrank Wilson, Gill Outterside, Jennifer Hulme UWBSLee Crofts Barry Whitehouse
SEF Mandy French SSPAL Anne-Marie Beaumont
Who are the members of the UCU Negotiating Committee?
Chair:Jim Davis (SAD)Vice Chair:Ben Andrews (SEF, ILE & Academic Related)Secretary: Cécile Hatier (LSSC) Pauline Anderson (LSSC)John Bergin (SAS)Aidan Byrne (LSSC)John Chorley (SEF)Pauline Corbett (STech)Lee Crofts (WBS)Mike Cunningham (LSSC)Ruth Fairclough (STech) Amanda French (SEF)Jane Harvey (SHaW)Mike Haynes (WBS)Manuel Hernandez (LSSC)Catherine Lamond (SEF)Moira Owens (SAS)Penny Welch (LSSC) 
UCU City Branch Committee members
Chair: Mike CunninghamVice Chair: Mike HaynesSecretary: Aidan ByrneTreasurer: Gill Outterside Membership: Karin DannehlEqual Ops: Meena DhandaHealth and Safety: Catherine DukeAuditors: Chris Fullwood and John Dale
UCU Walsall Branch Committee members
Chair: John Chorley (SEF)
Secretary and Membership: Ben Andrews (SEF)
Equality Rep: Catherine Lamond (SEF)
Women’s Rep: Julie Hughes (SEF)


UCU Meetings with University Management


On behalf of our members, UCU attend a series of scheduled meetings with the university executive. Our planned schedule for this year is:

–          Joint Consultative Committee (with Sir Geoff Hampton): 2nd November 2012, 15th March 2013, 7th June 2012.

–          Combined Unions Committee (with either the DVC or the VC), along with UNISON: 19th October 2012, 23rd November 2012, 18th January 2013, 1st March 2013, 10th May 2013


We also take part in a series of committees as well as ad hoc meetings, such as the People Strategy Group, divided into subgroups: review of transactional processes and functions; reward and recognition, staff engagement motivation and communication, building leadership; workforce planning and information; well-being agenda.

Other committees are the Policy Group, Equality and Diversity Committee, the Health and Safety subcommittee, etc.


If you want us to report a specific matter to either of these committees, please let your school rep know about it!



What’s happening nationally?

– Please vote! UCU are currently balloting their members on possible strike action after failure of employers to acceptably respond to the union’s national pay claim. Have your say! Please vote and return your ballot paper by 10th October 2012.
– Mobilise locally against cuts! On Sunday October 7th, 2012, the Conservative Party Conference will be in Birmingham. The Midlands TUC have organised a march and demonstration. Please meet up on HIGH STREET in the city centre from 11.00 am. UCU will meet outside Marks&Spencer. The march will culminate in a rally at St Marks Open Space. Details are available online at
– Mobilise nationally against the cuts! In London on Saturday October 20th, 2012, the TUC is organising the March for a Future That Works. Details are available online at Coaches are organised from several cities in the Midlands, including Wolverhampton.

What’s happening at Wolverhampton Uni?

– Merging of STech and most of SAS: the proposal to create a new STEM school was ratified at Academic Board on 17th September, and the university is now working towards a new School for August 2013, with the transformation of MB building into science labs for September 2014. UCU will be asking questions about the costs plan, market surveys and others. Feel free to relay your queries to us, or cc us to the suggestions you can send to the VC at
– Psychology: the review of this subject is now complete, and Psychology will be moved to the School of Health and Well-Being next year. Let us know what your views are about it, and whether you want to us to query anything.
– Future of WOLF and Pebble Pad: the potential threat to the two in-house VLEs has resulted in substantial mobilisation from members. It was agreed at Academic Board on 17th September that a review of the ‘functionality’ of Moodle would be carried out, involving large consultation of academic staff and students. UCU will keep the mobilisation going by making sure that such consultation is carried out in great depth.
– Online tutor booking system via E-vision: Following overwhelming concern amongst members over the implications of using this new piece of software, we are seeking clarification from the Offices of the Vice Chancellor. At present, our advice to members is not to engage with this booking system until that consultation has taken place.
– Future of ILE: With the forthcoming retirement of the Director, the university has decided it is an opportune time to review ILE which will be led by Jane Nelson. If you have views about this, please let your UCU rep know.

UCU Negotiating Committee, September 2012.