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Assessment Boycott to Start April 28

This action short of a strike will begin at the end of April unless there is a resolution to the pay dispute. Full guidance, including campaign resources and briefing notes for students, is available on the UCU national website:

Working to Contract

UCU members should all be working to contract while the pay dispute continues. Do not undertake additional voluntary or 'goodwill' duties outside of your contract while the dispute continues.

If you're uncertain how to go about working to contract, please either email or see the comprehensive FAQs on the national UCU website.

Chartwells takes over catering services, Interserve take over Estates

This is sad news for all of us who fought to keep these services in house and the workers employed by the university.

Chartwells do not have a good reputation in the US. Strikes at Miami University against their proposed 20 cent pay increase have been echoed by widespread action against fast food chains.

Unacknowledged, Unanswered, Refused

These are the all too frequent outcomes of attempted union correspondence over management's outsourcing plan. In public the Registrar, John Duffy, has made much about meeting with the campus unions and keeping them 'informed', yet the lack of acknowledgement or timely or constructive responses to union emails and letters has been the overriding feature of this process. The attached is a 'work in progress' account of emails and letters to VCEG with issues still outstanding. As yet it only contains UCU correspondence and does not include UNISON and UNITE's attempts to gain information and responses from VCEG.

Cycle to Work - Sign the Petition

Despite other public and private sector employers endorsing the government's tax-break Cyclescheme, Sussex has failed to sign up to it. They have offered no valid reason for this, and no response to a number of employees who have requested they sign up to the scheme.

If you are a Sussex employee who would like to see this scheme in place, please do your bit by signing the petition and by writing to the director of Human Resources at to express your wishes.

Head of Unit Appraisals

The large number of responses to our attempted Head of Unit appraisal demonstrated the need for a thorough discussion of managerial styles at Sussex. We continue to meet with management towards a staff satisfaction survey that can be used to identify structural problems and also to demonstrate where the university functions well for its staff.

Creche Privatisation - Closure of the Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Seventeen departmental / School motions have so far been passed expressing concern at the closure of SFCC and asking for other options to be explored. Despite this, the university management did not demonstrate the essential closure of the scheme. They refused a slight delay in transferring the creche to the Co-op in order to look at other options, such as continuing a managerial role to allow for 'workplace nursery' status. This was overlooked in favour of compensating staff who are currently using the scheme and those already signed up to it.

Credit is due to the strong resistence of parents against the initial offer made by the university.  Compensation will now be grossed up so as to cover the full extent of the difference between SFCC and the childcare voucher scheme.  However this offer only applies to current and signed up parents.  It will not apply to future users of the creche, so the higher costs of childcare as a result of outsourcing - and the likely inequality of this move for female members of staff - will be felt by many in years to come.  

Is the new academic year stressing you out?

Recourse is a free advice and support service for those working in FE and HE. They offer hints, tips and advice to help deal with stress, manage time, and improve health and overall well-being.

More information is available here, or you can call Recourse (formerly CUSN) for free and in confidence on 0808 802 03 04.

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