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May, 2024:

Branch Bulletin – May 2024

In this Bulletin:

AGM Report 1: Redundancy Prevention

AGM Report 2: Local Subscriptions

AGM Report 3: Your New Branch Committee

Unison Learning At Work Week

UCU Equality Conference

Check Your Details


AGM Report 1: Redundancy Prevention

Prior to April 2024, Redundancy Prevention Committee had been focused on Humanities, but had been suspended as a plan was in place to resolve the issues there. UCU were seeking to negotiate a conditional agreement that for a rolling period of at least three years there will be no compulsory redundancies that would result in loss of livelihood. Management indicated their willingness to enter into negotiations on this matter, but the negotiations remained at a very early stage. In April 2024, Management announced that the financial outlook was far worse than predicted, and that UCLan was facing a £25m deficit for 2024-25. UCU HQ’s financial expert will check over UCLan’s figures (when they’re given to us properly), but the problems are sector-wide so we have no real reason to doubt the financial picture being painted, and the danger has been on the horizon for a long-time.

* If any members have financial/accounting expertise and could help us scrutinise the data when it comes, please email

UCLan Management’s recovery plan is to try to cut costs by £15m next year, to reduce the deficit to £10m. Approx £5m can come from non-staffing costs, leaving £10m to be cut from the staffing budget. This equates to approximately 160 jobs. UCU have secured a Management commitment that Phase 1 (under way now) is to be confined to genuinely voluntary redundancies, and that any future process that might culminate in CRs would be begun anew.

UCU’s overriding aim is to secure members’ livelihoods. There’s a good chance we can continue to achieve this aim. Nevertheless, we must be ready for resolute industrial action if further persuasion is necessary. The following motion was passed overwhelmingly, with 99% in favour, only one vote against and one abstention:

This branch is resolutely committed to defending its members’ livelihoods. In the event that Management initiate a process that could culminate in a member compulsorily losing their livelihood, the branch will ballot its members to seek a mandate for industrial action.


AGM Report 2: Local Subscriptions

At the previous Branch General Meeting, we voted to institute a hardship fund. In order to build this fund up to useful levels, we proposed at the AGM to institute a local branch subscription, to be hypothecated to meet the level of expenditure regularly needed by the branch, and to support industrial action in local disputes, such that criteria for disbursement from the hardship fund would be agreed by future quorate branch meetings, based on the conditions at the time. This motion was passed overwhelmingly, with 95% in favour, only four votes against and one abstention. This subscription will be automatically deducted, along with the national subscription, from the usual direct debit.

A further motion was proposed, that (i) In the event that local subs are low, and the local hardship fund does not contain enough money to allow at that time the disbursements that branch policy at the time would dictate, the branch will maintain a record of the payments that branch disbursement policy required but which could not be made. (ii) In this event, at the earliest AGM the branch will vote on whether to increase local subs to a level that will allow the recorded unpaid disbursements to be paid retrospectively. (iii) In passing this motion, the branch affirms its hope and wish that in the event of such a vote at a future AGM, the branch will vote to increase local subs to a level that will allow the recorded unpaid disbursements to be paid retrospectively. This motion was also passed overwhelmingly, with 94% in favour, only three votes against and five abstentions.

A series of motions followed in which we decided the level of the local subscription. Three possibilities were available: a minimal figure, a medium figure, and a high level figure (meaning that it is at the top of the range of subscriptions charged by other UCU branches detailed here:

The AGM chose the following local subscription rates:

Salary £60k+   £15.00

Salary £40k+   £10.00

Salary £30k+   £ 7.50

Salary £22k+    £ 5.50

Salary £15k+    £ 3.75

Salary £ 5k+     £ 1.25

Salary below £5k    £0.00

Retired members    £0.00

Attached members (not employed by UCLan) £0

We have reported this decision to Regional Office, but have not heard yet when the additional deductions will start. The rate can only be changed at an AGM and will be reviewed annually.


AGM Report 3: Your New Branch Committee

There had been no new nominations for the Branch Committee, so the following slate was elected nem con:

  • Aina Mir Fons [Branch Officer]
  • And Rosta [Branch Secretary]
  • Andrew Baron [Union Learning Rep]
  • Cath Sullivan [Membership Secretary/Health & Safety Rep]
  • Danila Datti [Green Rep]
  • Mike Eslea [Treasurer/Assistant Branch Secretary]
  • Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel [Branch Officer]
  • Tara Styles-Lightowlers [Branch Chair/Equality Officer]
  • Douglas Martin [Health & Safety Rep – Not on Branch Committee]

It was noted that two Branch Committee stalwarts, Mick McKrell and Peter Lucas, were standing down from the BC and leaving UCLan after many years of devoted service. Both have played a huge role in sustaining and developing the branch, in negotiating with Management and supporting members through casework. Mick also did a huge amount of work in Regional and National UCU, having been on the NEC and serving as NW Regional Secretary, and in liaison with other unions via the local Trades Councils. Both will be difficult to replace, and we wish them well for the future. The AGM heard several heartfelt tributes from fellow officers, and we will miss them both enormously.


Unison Learning At Work Week

Members may be interested in a series of events being run by our sister union, Unison, for this year’s “Learning At Work Week”:

All the events are free to all UCLan colleagues, and there are some very interesting topics available.


UCU Equality Research Conference

Similarly, members should also be aware of the forthcoming UCU Equality Research Conference. This is a one-day hybrid event for academics and activists conducting research in equality. The conference will explore how people across (and within) equality groups have experienced or are experiencing actions and discourse around discrimination and equality. The conference is free of charge and open to members and non-members. It will take place on Friday 17 May (10:30-16:30) at the University of Manchester and online. Click here to register: The registration deadline has passed but we are told that new registrations will still be accepted.

One of the speakers at the conference will be our own Andrew Baron, giving a paper on stress and gender in HE, so it would be great if some UCLan members were to go along and show him support.


Check Your Details

Finally, all members please be on the lookout for an email from UCU Head Office (subject line “Help us to help you”) asking you to check your details on the MyUCU website:

It is extremely important that these details are accurate. It is even possible that a successful ballot for industrial action could be ruled invalid if member details were wrong, so it is worth taking a few minutes every year to make sure it is all correct and that you are paying the correct subs.

Please pay particular attention to the “Employment” tab, which shows which School you are in, and which building is your main place of work. If your particular combination of School and building does not appear in the drop-down list, please email Membership Secretary Cath Sullivan:


UCLan UCU Branch Committee

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