Simon Choat

Branch meeting – Nov 2014

Time: Meeting 1 -2pm, sandwiches from 12:30pm

Date: Thursday 27 November

Venue: KPTK402, Knights Park campus

Agenda to include:

  • Proposed Business and Law Performance Points scheme
  • Students Not Suspects – Tier 4 register practice in FASS
  • TOMs in IT and Finance
  • UCU Survey
  • Points brought up by members

Come and have a say in your union: all members and prospective members welcome!


Branch motion on monitoring students

KU UCU Branch notes that:

a)      FASS has issued a circular directing academic staff to keep and report attendance registers on the grounds that as an institution KU is obliged to monitor Tier 4 visa immigrant students;

b)      implementing the procedure would entail extra work on academic staff with no educational benefit.


KU UCU believes that:

a)      asking staff to monitor specific groups of students undermines staff-student relationships;

b)      it is not appropriate for academic staff to be involved in signed registers or other forms of internal immigration control;

c)       the University has already put in place administrative arrangements compliant with legislation that were in operation last academic year.


KU UCU recommends that:

a)      KU UCU presses management to end the policy of Tier 4 visa monitoring;

b)      members do not implement the signed class register procedure;

c)       the University should continue to keep non-signing tick registers and use them to chase non-attending students for pedagogic and pastoral reasons irrespective of their visa status.


KU UCU resolves to:

a)      support all academic staff carrying out this policy;

b)      open a broad debate with UNISON, students and staff on this topic.


Do you think there’s room for discussion about the direction of Kingston University? The come to our Annual General Meeting!

Time: 12 – 2pm

Date: Wednesday 7 May 2014

Venue:  JG1007, Penrhyn Road


School closures — where next?

Building YOUR Union


Motions to the Branch

Open Forum — Have your say!

Guest Speaker: Feyzi Ismail from the Democratise SOAS and Fractionals For Fair Play campaigns


Solidarity for Lambeth College staff

UCU members at Lambeth College have voted unanimously to take indefinite strike action from Thursday 1 May against new contracts which have been imposed.

On Thursday 1 May, in addition to picket lines at the Brixton and Vauxhall Centres, there will be a Mass Picket at 7am outside the Clapham Centre, 45 Clapham Common Southside (Clapham Common tube station, Northern Line) to which we invite all trade unions.

There will be a solidarity strike rally at 6pm in the evening, at the Karibu Centre, Gresham Road, Brixton, called by Lambeth College UCU, Lambeth College Unison and London Region UCU. We’ll be serving hot food, and there’ll be placard-painting activities for children. All donations welcome!
Lambeth College Unison are currently balloting for strike action and hope to be joining us when their ballot closes.

The new contracts affect new staff, current staff who are promoted or wish to change their fraction and will also affect current hourly-paid staff. In addition management documents state that the new contract of employment may be rolled out across the board for all existing staff.

New contracts include:

  • increased working hours
  • extended working week
  • annual leave cut by 2 weeks
  • increased contact hour time by 1 hour
  • additional duties for no remuneration
  • a link between pay increments and capability
  • reduced notice of redundancy
  • drastically reduced sick pay

Please send messages of support to Branch Secretary, Mandy Brown, at

Cops Off Campus demo and rally: Wednesday 9 December

Last week students (including some from Kingston) protesting against the working conditions of University of London staff and the closure of the University of London Union (ULU) were arrested or violently evicted from peaceful occupations. UoL is seeking to ban all student protests on its campuses for six months.

Please join us at the Cops Off Campus rally this Wednesday 9 December at ULU (Malet St, Bloomsbury) from 2pm.

Staff and students from KU will be meeting at 1pm at the Penrhyn Rd main entrance to make their way to central London for the rally.

Details on the rally here.

Read the statement of support from academics here.

STRIKE 3 December

What you can do



Join us for leafleting to raise awareness of the strike: meet at Penrhyn Rd main entrance:

  • TODAY 12pm
  • Monday 2 December 12pm 


    Join us on the picket lines: don’t worry if you’ve never been on a picket line – there will be plenty of other people there. Details:

  • Join us at Knights Park from 11:30 


    Why we are on strike


    The main issue is pay: London lecturers’ salaries have fallen 15% since 2009. There are however many related issues:

  • Casualisation: Over 1000 zero-hours contract workers at Kingston
  • Stress
  • Privatisation
  • Job cuts
  • Gender inequality

Working To Contract

From 1 November, UCU members have been undertaking action short of a strike by working to contract. Comprehensive advice on what you should be doing is available on the UCU website:

To help make the action more effective, we are also asking members to:

1. Send this email to our Director of HR Dean Morley ( requesting all documents relating to your contractual obligations:

Dear Dean Morley,

As a member of UCU who urges UCEA to reopen meaningful negotiations over the pay award, I am participating in ‘Work to Contract’ action.

To ensure that I meet my contractual obligations I would be grateful if you could forward to me all documents relevant to my employment with the University (e.g. letters of appointment, terms and conditions, contracts, and HERA assessments).  As you will understand, it is important that I receive these documents urgently to ensure that I am not in breach of my obligations.

In instances where these documents do not stipulate specific duties I may seek written clarification from my line manager to ensure there is no misunderstanding.  I will share this information with UCU who may use it both to advise me during the ‘work to contract’ action and to conduct an equalities audit across UCU members.

Yours sincerely,


Please cc us and you line manager when you do so.


2. Set your email to auto-respond with the following message: ‘PLEASE NOTE: There may be a delay in dealing with your email as I am participating in UCU industrial action by “working to contract” in support of the union’s campaign for fair pay in higher education.’


3. Put the attached poster on your office door.


Remember that the university cannot deduct your pay for working to contract. Deductions of pay for partial performance of your contract might be lawful, depending on the precise circumstances, but would be open to contest.