Thanks from your reps

Dear members,

Your UCU Representatives wanted to thank you for your efforts over the last couple days of strike action. The withdrawal of labour is always the last port of call in industrial relationships and we understand the sometimes difficult decision it is to do. The two days were bitterly cold and many of you braved the weather and stood on picket lines, others saved on travel costs and avoided work spending the time with friends and family claiming back lost quality time. While members were on picket lines, your representatives went on radio and television to make the case for Fair Pay in FE and lots of photographs were taken of the two days, and below are links for you to review and share. Feel free to share this email with your non-member colleagues and encourage them to join us in the campaign for Fair Pay in FE by visiting https://ucu.org.uk/join.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/167968928@N03/A0aZU0

The above link has photographs from the two days, a massive shout out to Sara Brown at Hastings who did a Chemistry Teach Out which was attended by students. It was great to watch and highlights this action is not about removing the education of the students.

https://youtu.be/DXR7Di4-JJc

The above link is a Radio interview with Justin Wynne, Branch Secretary at Hastings, and Dan Shelley the Executive Director ESCG. In this interview Dan Shelley is challenged on any pay increases he may have received.

https://youtu.be/WbZwCFor1ro

The above link is the BBC South East news broadcast from 30th Jan 2019 where the Strike Action headlines, Marcus Abel, UCU Representative of Eastbourne is interviewed along with Dan Shelley.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPXHuzdjpvs

The above link is a video submitted in support of UCUs action over the last couple of days.

Needless to say your representatives will push for negotiations to improve your pay at ESCG. Further information regarding the issues around pay will be sent out to you all to ensure you are all aware of the issues we are fighting.

In solidarity, and a massive thank you from your representatives.

UCU Statement on merger

UCU Statement on merger

Background to the merger
The Union has been told the merger of Sussex Coast College (SCC) and Sussex Downs College (SDC), was to be one, as consistently told to us by management at both institutions, born of the ‘Sussex Area Review.’ As a result the merger was put in place to:

  1. Ensure the financial stability of both institutions ensuring provision of courses in the East Sussex area
  2. Make savings made through restructuring management and other support services
  3. Not impact upon the curriculum offer at either predecessor college
  4. Not be a takeover.

There is no doubt that since the announcement of the Area Reviews this has been an unsettling time for all members of staff. This has been exacerbated by the decision to merge institutions. The formal merger of the college will give the opportunity for the new management to give certainty to staff and the chance to rebuild trust and the goodwill of staff for the new institution. Therefore, it is important for the Union to set out the expectations of the Union and its members after the formal merger on 29 March 2018.

Union expectations

The Union therefore expects:

Pay:

  1. Although the Union was instructed in a SDC meeting with management that there were no plans for harmonisation of pay the new management structure is on the SCC pay scale. Clearly, we expected this at some time in the future; however, the information provided and the decision making process has been vague and at times opaque. When harmonisation takes place we will expect it to follow best practice. To clarify the Union believes best practice to be staff are harmonised up to the most optimal conditions of each predecessor college – pay, holiday and teaching time. Let us be clear when we say ‘best’ this does not necessarily mean what is best from a management perspective. This is what happened when Eastbourne College of Art and Technology merged with Lewes College in 2006 – as experienced by many staff who remain in SDC
  2. The recent news of the end of the public service pay freeze and announcement of such pay deals as announced for NHS staff this month should augur well for a return to annual pay increases. Teachers and Lecturers at both institutions have received no, or negligible pay rises, in the last 7 years having seen a dramatic fall in wages in real terms. This is a scandal that any decent management must address if they are to have the goodwill of the staff which carries out the core business of the institution
  3. The institution should also seek to redress the difference in pay between the new institution and competing institutions such as BHASVIC and Bexhill where Lecturers can earn up to £38k. As the new institution re-brands itself it must also consider the retention of staff and its ability to attract the best teachers to the institution. This can be achieved by simply addressing the start and end points of pay scales
  4. The institution should also seek to redress the unequal balance in the SCC pay scale, which appears to have been adopted in the current restructure, where employees who are not on the Leadership and Management pay scale receive on average 50% less in their annual incremental rise on their pay scale. Every member of staff must receive an increase of at least 60p per hour
  5. The institution should also seek to address the Gender Pay Gap where the median difference between male and female workers is 15% per hour at SCC and 17% at SDC
  6. The institution should also seek to become a Foundation Living Wage employer and remove the lower points on their pay scale to eliminate in-work poverty.

Conditions

The union believes that stress within the workplace has had a massive impact on

  1. staff absences
  2. staff turnover
  3. staff’s ability to effectively perform their role, increasing Performance Management activity

The Union therefore expects that the new institution will implement the newly agreed Workload Committee at SCC across the whole institution. The role of the Committee will be to monitor workload and address the burgeoning workload that has been placed upon Teachers/Lecturers.

Join us
The post-16 sector is undergoing rapid change. Your colleagues in the old University sector are taking on, and winning, their battle to protect their pensions. Membership and activity have exponentially risen in a very short period. The same can happen in FE.

UCU is the largest post-school union in the world: a force working for education that your employer and the government cannot ignore. It understands the work you do, and the problems you face. And, of course, the more members UCU has, the more effective the support and protection we offer will be.

Whether you are an academic, lecturer, trainer, instructor, researcher, administrator, manager, computer staff or librarian UCU is the union for you. You can join from as little as £1 and for some there is an offer of free membership. Visit www.ucu.org.uk/join for more information.

Best wishes,
Michael Moran
UCU Regional Official

Meeting

Dear UCU members,

Friday 17th April 2015, Mike Moran the regional rep for UCU will be in the building meeting with SLT. Mike has asked for a meeting to be held where he can address questions from members regarding the current situation at Sussex Coast College Hastings.

As a result a meeting will be held in room 3083 SP at 3pm. If you intend to attend please arrange a cover task for any classes you may be teaching and advise your LSM of your attendance.

If you are not currently a member of UCU and feel now is the time to join please sign up online at https://join.ucu.org.uk/.

Kind regards

Justin Wynne

Justin Wynne

Head of History & Classics
UCU Branch Secretary
Sussex Coast College
Hastings
TN34 1BA
Tel: 01424 442 222 ext. 8319
Email: jwynne@sussexcoast.ac.uk