Solent UCU ballot to defend jobs and defend education at Solent University

We ask all members to participate in this statutory postal ballot.

Solent UCU recommends that members vote YES to strike action and YES to action short of a strike


The ballot will open on Tuesday, 5 January 2021 and will close at midday on Wednesday 20 January 2021.

In solidarity, Solent UCU

Solent UCU Consultative Ballot. Vote now to stop mass redundancies at Solent University.

Dear Members,

We are writing to you regarding UCU action to defend jobs at risk of redundancy at Solent University.  The University has put 18.5% of its staff at risk of redundancy, with plans to make 109 staff redundant (9.2%) with dismissal letters planned to be sent just before Christmas.  Solent UCU regards these cuts as an existential threat to the future of the University and is fighting to defend jobs and defend education.  UCU has entered a trade dispute with Solent University regarding the proposed redundancies.

Please check for your unique ballot email: University and College Union – Vote now: mass redundancies at Solent University – sent out on Thursday, 26 November 2020.

Solent UCU encourages all UCU members at Solent University to use their vote.

This ballot closes at midday on 2 December 2020.  We will notify members of the result as soon as possible after the ballot has closed.

In Solidarity,
Solent UCU

UCU calls on vice-chancellors to move learning online – 3 November 2020

The University and College Union (UCU) has written to vice-chancellors of universities in England* calling on them to move learning online now.

This follows updated guidance for England around the four week lockdown that said universities should ‘consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible’ and after repeated calls from UCU and Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), for a move away from in-person teaching.

UCU has collated over 35,000 cases of Covid on campuses across the UK. It has also launched a legal challenge to the government’s decision to ignore advice from SAGE to move learning at universities online.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Following updated guidance from the Westminster government, we are calling on vice-chancellors in England to exercise their autonomy and move all non-essential activities online now. Universities must not risk the health and safety of staff and students by allowing non-essential in-person activities to continue.  Reducing the amount of in-person teaching and travel to and from campus will minimise the spread of Covid-19 and keep people as safe as possible.’

*Letter to VC’s in England

Dear Vice Chancellor,

Following the announcement of a four-week lockdown in England, and new government guidance stating that ‘universities and adult education settings should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible’, I am writing to ask that you exercise your autonomy as Vice Chancellor to move all non-essential in-person teaching online now as some institutions are doing, such as Sheffield Hallam, Essex and King’s.

We are all invested in lowering the R rate as quickly as possible. This virus moves when people move, and the government’s own modelling showed that in-person teaching is a key risk area. Reducing the amount of in-person teaching and travel to and from campus will minimise the spread of Covid-19 and keep people as safe as possible.

Best wishes

Dr Jo Grady
General Secretary, University and College Union

UCU Vice-President, and Representative of LGBT+ members’ hustings event

South Region will be holding a hustings event on Wednesday, 12 August 2020 at 12 noon. The event will be Chaired by Rosey Whorlow (South East Region Equalities Officer).

Welcome and Protocols
Opening Statements (3 mins per candidate)
Open Session (Q&A)
Closing Statements (2 mins per candidate)
Close meeting

Candidates for UCU Vice President (VP)
Dr Justine Mercer (University of Warwick)
Dr Gareth Brown (University of Leicester)
Stephen Desmond (Solent University)
Dr Victoria Showunmi (UCL)
Marian Mayer (Bournemouth University)

Candidates for Representative of LGBT+ members
Peter Evans (South Thames College)
Jennie Appleyard (Leeds City College)

Please feel free to invite friends and colleagues from your branch.
Hope to see you there,

Mark Farwell
Chair (Solent UCU)

Academic Career Pathways ballot result

The ballot closed on Friday, 15 May 2020, and the result was as follows:

Do you accept the agreement between UCU and Solent University on academic career pathways?

Yes: 82.6%
No: 17.4%
Turnout: 34%

The turnout was disappointing, but this should be understood in the context that we were unable to organise general meetings and other activities to support a ballot in the usual manner, due to COVID-19.
Ballot is now closed.

Posted by: Mark Farwell on Friday, 22 May 2020