Newsletter December 2012

Wolverhampton City & Walsall Branch
December 2012

Dear member,
UCU would like to provide you with an update of what we have been up to during the first semester of the academic year 2012-13, and to request your comments for some on-going matters at University level. Remember that your first port of call is your school rep: the new list is available below, as elections were carried out in October. You may want to contact officers from your Branch or the Negotiating Committee if you prefer.

The UCU Negotiating Committee, Branch officers and School reps hope that you will have a relaxing festive break, and would like to wish you all a rewarding and fruitful year in 2013.

Who are your School reps?
John Clementson
Callum Ives
Ruth Fairclough
Sue Gill
James Vickers
Rachel Clarke
Mike Cunningham (sem. 2)
Cécile Hatier (sem. 1)
Jennifer Hulme
Gill Outterside
Frank Wilson
Lee Crofts
Barry Whitehouse
Mandy French
Anne-Marie Beaumont

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)
Gill Outterside (LSSC)
Penny Welch (LSSC)

UCU City Branch Committee members
Chair: Mike Cunningham
Vice Chair: Mike Haynes
Secretary: Aidan Byrne
Treasurer: Gill Outterside
Membership: Karin Dannehl
Equal Ops: Penny Welch
Health and Safety: Gill Outterside
Auditors: 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)

What’s happening nationally?
We have arranged for one of the 2 national UCU pensions advisors, Chris Mason, to provide members with information and guidance about the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). There will be sessions, on Wednesday 9th January, from 12pm till 1pm and 1pm till 2pm, WP003, SHaW Building, Walsall Campus. It is for members only. If you have specific questions you would like addressed please send them in advance to

UCAS have published their end-of-year report which shows a drop of 53,900 in student numbers. UCU have commented that the report shows the failure of the government’s higher education policies.

What’s happening at Wolverhampton Uni?
Safeguarding: Children on Campus: This policy has been discussed with but not agreed by UCU. It is however being implemented. Please ensure you understand what the implications are for you and pass your concerns to your UCU rep.

Academic Calendar Review: members’ various concerns about the academic calendar have been relayed by UCU, and the Corporate Management Team have now made recommendations to be discussed at Academic Board in January 2013. They are: an alignment of UG and PG calendars for first two semesters, with a third semester for PG courses; removing the requirement of long thin modules; move end of sem. 1 assessments to the start of January; allow 3 weeks for marking before beginning of sem. 2 or exam boards. UCU think it’s a major improvement, but it may entail some extra work for staff if they have to redesign year-long modules or revalidate PG modules.

University-wide attendance policy: Schools currently have their own attendance policy, and various ways of monitoring students’ absences. The Vice Chancellor has tasked his offices to design a university-wide policy which should be introduced in the second semester. UCU have voiced concerns about the new academic practices that may
result from this.

New STEM School: Following UCU’s queries, the VC stated that there are no planned redundancies following the creation of the new School and that the vast majority of staff will not have to reapply for their job. The new School can include non-STEM subjects, and there is no planned change to curriculum provision. The aim is to grow this area, not to shrink it. UCU made the VC aware that the perceptions of members were not so positive.

Major work to MB building:the building should be emptied by the end of March 2013 to allow major work for the creation of science labs for the new STEM School. The work is due to be completed for the Summer 2014. This will cause disruption and noise on City Campus South. Staff currently working in MB have been informed of their planned move, with RIILP moving to MC, whilst most parts of the International Centre and Gateway Services are transferred to a new “Student Hub” at the bottom of MX building. UCU will ask for details about the new student hub at our CUC meeting with the VC in January.

Move of Psychology to SHaW: In order to accommodate psychology staff in MH building the existing clinical skills labs will be moved to MC basement.

Review of ILE (Institute for Learning Enhancement): the review is led by Jane Nelson, and is due to be completed in March 2013, when Glynis Cousin, the director of ILE, will be retiring. It is unclear yet what will become of this unit. If members are concerned, they should be able to voice their views and get back to UCU if they feel they are not given a chance to make suggestions.

Review of CIDT (Centre for International Development): the review is led by Sir Geoff Hampton. It is unclear yet what will become of this unit. If members are concerned, they should be able to voice their views and get back to UCU if they feel they are not given a chance to make suggestions.

Staff survey: UCU contributed to the construction of the survey, and we should be involved in the action plan following the results of the survey in the New Year, as part of the People Strategy. Each school will also be requested to have an action plan.

Room use policing: You would have spotted earlier in the semester that Registry sent students with iPads to monitor room use. UCU complained about the disruption caused and was given guarantees that doors should not be opened during the class. The Deputy VC also stated that, despite threats of fines to school, no money changed hands at this level last academic year, though Schools were told what they could have been asked to pay. The rooming system is due to change next academic year, with the rooms being allocated to specific Schools.
UCU Negotiating Committee, December 2012.

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.




UCU members at Wolverhampton University will take strike action on Thursday 30 June in protest at government attacks on our pension rights. Together with hundreds of thousands of other lecturers, teachers and civil servants, we will be participating in a nationwide day of action to defend public sector pensions.

Cecile Hatier, Secretary of the UCU Negotiating Committee at Wolverhampton University said ‘The level of unity between public sector trades unions in Britain will make 30 June 2011 an historic occasion. All the unions are determined to change the pension policy of our employers and the government’.

UCU members in post 1992 universities like Wolverhampton are members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). The government and our employers want us to work for more years, pay higher contributions and receive significantly lower pensions. If they succeed in their plans, a typical Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton will have to pay £90 a month more and will get between £4,000 and £5000 less for each year of retirement. Younger members will lose proportionately more. This is a major attack on our living standards by a government hell-bent on forcing through swingeing cuts to make workers pay for the failures of the banking system.

UCU members of both City and Walsall branches will be picketing and leafleting outside Wolverhampton University from 7am on Thursday 30 June. From 10-45am to 11-15am we will be joining the local rally of PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union), NUT (National Union of Teachers), ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) and UCU members and supporters outside Metro ONE (by the tram stop, opposite police station) in Wolverhampton centre. Then we will travel to Birmingham for a midday march and rally, assembling at 12 noon in Victoria Square with the march setting off at 12.30.

Sally Hunt, General Secretary of UCU said on 27 June 2011 ‘We remain committed to a negotiated solution to the pensions row. However, it is incredibly disappointing that the government does not seem to share that desire….. The real truth is that while ordinary people suffer huge cuts in their standard of living, the richest 1,000 people in Britain saw their collective wealth rise by 18% last year’. (UCU national press release)


Cecile Hatier, Secretary of the UCU Negotiating Committee ( 079 66 5333 67)

Aidan Byrne, Secretary of the City campus UCU branch ( 07887 803380)

Ben Andrews, Secretary of the Walsall campus UCU branch ( 07770515613)