Huge Job Cuts At Welsh Universities linked to Brexit

Staff at Aberystwyth University are facing potential job losses as it tries to make £11.4m of cuts by April 2019.

The university has blamed increasing competition for students, rising costs, and Brexit uncertainty for needing to make the savings.  They are not alone, two other Welsh Universities (USW and UWTSD) are also considering making big job cuts.

Read full report here

This is very worrying news for the whole of the HE sector.

National Protest against Driver only trains, April 26th, Old Palace Yard, Westminster

April 26th marks a year of the RMT Southern Guards determined industrial action against driver Only operation (DOO) with over 30 strike days taken so far and more days planned until they can reach a joint settlement. The DOO dispute is about safety, security and accessibility on the railways , and is one which puts passengers before profit.

To mark that anniversary, and the threats they face elsewhere in the country by its threatened extension, they will be holding a protest at noon outside Parliament followed by a rally in Central Hall at 2.00pm.

 This will be their last opportunity to make some noise outside parliament until after the election and it would be great to have as much support as possible so please come along and show support if you can.


National Executive Council Elections 2017

It’s time to choose who speaks for you. Elections are being held for all seats on UNISON’s National Executive Council (NEC), the governing body of the union.


A ballot paper will be sent to every eligible member at their home address, together with information on the candidates. The ballot opens on 3 April 2017 and closes on 28 April 2017.

If you have not received your ballot paper by 11 April, please call 0800 0857 857. Lines open 6am to midnight, Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturday.

University of Brighton Branch nominated the following candidates.

For Higher Education, our branch nominated Kath Owen and Sandy Nicoll.

They stand for:

  • A fighting and democratic union
  • Active campaigning branches
  • A decent pay rise
  • No to privatisation and outsourcing
  • Defend migrant staff, students & refugees
  • For free education

We support their candidacy as we believe our union needs to:

  • End austerity, defend public services
  • Defend all our communities from bigotry
  • End poverty pay, Living Wage now
  • Celebrate our international campus communities
  • Stop Trump, oppose racism
  • Defend the NHS

We also nominated the following candidates:

Jacqui Berry, Diana Leach and Dan Sartin for South East Regional Seats

Josie Runswick for the Young Members’ Seat

April Ashley for a Black Members’ Seat

Roger Lewis for a Disabled Members’ Seat

We want our NEC to reflect the democracy of our union, so please make sure you use your vote!

UNISON Statement on the UCU Dispute, March 2017

The UNISON branch fully supports UCU in taking whatever action it feels is necessary to defend the terms and conditions of its members.

What is at stake here is not just the three issues identified – jobs in Arts and Humanities, academic promotions and fundamental changes to contracts, but also the rights of all staff to work at an institution which maintains an effective working relationship between senior managers and the trade unions.

Working people do not take strike action lightly, but the overwhelming result of UCU’s ballot for action demonstrates the depth of feeling of UCU members. As many UNISON members are telling us, the current leadership of the University are drifting to a position where confrontation and non-negotiable announcements are the norm rather than the spirit of constructive discussion, which had been the tradition at Brighton for many years.

Senior managers will say that this is necessary to deal with the challenges faced by the University as a result of government policies, student numbers and funding changes. We argue that turning this institution into an education factory with more casualisation and fewer employment rights is precisely what students are not in favour of. There is an opportunity to demonstrate that Brighton can be different and can show current and potential students that its workforce is less stressed, properly rewarded and highly motivated.

The anti-trade union laws, specifically designed to prevent trade-unionists from effective campaigning to support the rights of their members may have postponed the planned action, but we will do whatever we legally can to support UCU members later in the month.

If UNISON members have any questions, any of our officers, stewards and reps will be happy to answer them.

As always, we would encourage all members of staff who have not yet joined a union to seriously consider doing so. It is only by sticking together, and organising on a democratic basis that we can make sure that our rights at work are protected.