The Gender Pay Gap – Please sign our Petition

University of York Staff and the Gender Pay Gap

Last November the University of York UCU branch submitted to the university management a detailed claim regarding the ending of the gender pay gap at York (which was 19.3% in 2017 – worse than the average in UK universities). It proposed a partnership between unions and management to tackle this serious injustice, and seeks to negotiate on appropriate and realisable actions to close that gap within a defined timeline. UCU’s claim, which is supported by the other campus unions, can be accessed here.

The only response by university management in nearly four months since the claim was submitted has been to tell us that they won’t agree to set up a joint working group on the gender gap because it is hard to separate work on that issue from other work on gender equality, although this has not been a problem at other universities where unions are pursuing similar claims. While there may be room for discussion of the exact format for joint working between unions representing staff and the management, UCU is clear that staff at York (whoever they are) can only benefit from properly focused work on gender pay inequity, and regards the management’s response as a tactic to delay or avoid such work, to which they claim to be committed.

UCU therefore asks any member of staff at York who cares about gender justice to sign our petition which will run until Monday 15 April and encourage all your colleagues to do likewise.

Please see the petition here:
 http://speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/university-of-york-staff-and-the-gender-pay-gap/

Four Week Marking Turnaround – Statement from the Branch

The local UCU Executive issued the following statement to coincide with the “University mental health day” on 7 March 2019.  It has gone to the Acting VC, the Registrar, and the Director of Human Resources.

Thursday 7 March has been designated University Mental Heath Day.  

With this in mind, UCU calls on University management to meet the demand of academic and administrative staff by undertaking a formal Health and Safety Assessment of the current policy dictating a four-week marking turnaround.

Mental well being is not just an individual issue–as management has often implied–but is shaped by the managerial structures and pressures in which staff work.

We have campaigned on this issue ever since the policy was imposed, responding to the anger and concern of many departments and individual staff members–union and non-union–who have raised major professional and personal concerns about unprofessional marking practices and serious stress issues resulting from the policy. The resounding consensus is that this imposed, blanket policy creates a hostile environment, which is harmful and potentially life threatening to staff. * 

Management has responded to these concerns by citing alleged student demand, the decision of a dubiously democratic Senate top-heavy with management figures, and by telling UCU ‘we need to be aligned with our competitors’.

We have said, ‘Not at the expense of our well-being, nor of the best interests of students [who consistently tell us that they want high quality assessment done under proper professional conditions], nor of our professional ethics .’  

University Mental Health Day?   We say to our management : show us that you take it seriously. Meet your duty of care to staff by subjecting your own imposed policy to a basic level of Health and Safety scrutiny.

We want a Health and Safety assessment of this ill-considered policy, and we want it now.

University of York UCU

* if anyone wants clear, if distressing evidence of how bad this can get (content warning: potentially triggering article), follow this link –  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-47296631 

Four Week Marking Motion – Action needed

Please read and act on the attached link below for the Motion on marking turnaround  which was passed overwhelmingly at our recent General Meeting on the 28th November 2018. It seeks to ensure that the issues in marking/feedback delivery is discussed at every Board of Studies by the people who really understand what is involved in actually implementing such a policy.
We are encouraging members to :-
  • meet with colleagues in your own department to discuss the motion and the issues raised by the policy
  • contact your Chair of the Board of Studies requesting that the motion be put on the agenda of the next meeting of your BofS for discussion and decision
  • let our Branch Administrator, Vicky Cattini know when you have done this and what happens (email vcattini@ucu.org.uk)

To read the motion please click on this link Motion on marking turnaround

Thank you