Thursday 21 April 2016

UCU members in Aberdeen University win STUC Organising Award

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has presented this year’s STUC Organising Award are the University and College Union (UCU) Aberdeen Branch.

The efforts of University and College Union (UCU) members at Aberdeen University to fight against compulsory redundancies, while growing trade union membership were recognised by the STUC at their Congress on Tuesday 19th April.

UCU received the STUC Organising Award for their work in developing trade union organisation and structures within the academic staff at Aberdeen University that have the left the branch better placed to resist attacks on their members and at the same time raise the profile of UCU within the local trade union movement.

STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said, “The work of UCU Aberdeen is remarkable given the financial pressures the higher education sector is under and the University management’s approach to handling these pressures.

“Avoiding a substantial number of compulsory redundancies in favour of voluntary severance while retaining membership levels displays confidence in the branch by staff at the university and they are continuing to grow their membership by mapping departments across the university and targeting areas with low membership.

“UCU Aberdeen remains committed to fighting for its membership and working with other unions on campus, the Aberdeen University Student’s Association and Aberdeen TUC to challenge the impact of austerity cuts and the Trade Union Bill on their members.

“Their next challenge is to fight against removal of facility time to allow UCU to represent their members, a fight the STUC will fully support. Trade union facility time works for employers as well as unions; it delivers more harmonious industrial relations, allows for early dispute resolution and potentially avoids costly litigation for employers as well as unions.

“We have no doubt that UCU Aberdeen will challenge this attack all the way and through their continued hard work make Aberdeen University a better and fairer place for their members to work”.

Patrick McGuire from Thompsons Solicitors said, “This award shows the importance of trade unions in protecting the livelihoods of their members and their families. In this case the work of UCU Aberdeen goes further than that by helping to maintain and improve the standards of student’s higher education at Aberdeen University and challenge austerity cuts in the institution”.