Sent to members 20th December 2023.
Dear UCU member
On behalf UCU Branch Officers I am writing to thank you for your commitment to the union, locally and nationally through 2023.
It has been a very tough year, with ballot campaigns and industrial action, including the Marking and Assessment Boycott. We have not achieved all that we hoped for, and on some key issues we will have to maintain our campaigns and pressure. But it is important to acknowledge the scale of the victory on USS. In two weeks time every members of USS will be paying lower contributions, and by April we will have our pensions back (with uprating for the lost years). You can see the immediate impact on your contributions here.
Make no mistake, it was our action that has achieved this win. Every member of USS will benefit, but it was our solidarity and financial sacrifice that secured this outcome. Collective action works.
In the year ahead your local branch will be focusing relentlessly on working in our own institution to improve the quality of our working lives – defending jobs, demanding equality and fighting for secure contracts and sustainable workloads. The branch committee has been busy developing a plan to take this work forward next year, and there will be lots of opportunities to be involved in different ways. Watch this space.
Nationally the union will need to consider how its campaigns move forward. Much of this debate will take place through the election process for General Secretary (starting in earnest in the New Year). As with all such developments, locally we will be working to provide members with the maximum opportunity to engage in debates and participate in decision-making.
Finally, as a branch we will continue to play our role in the wider trade union movement – whether that is defending public services in our own community in Nottingham City or standing in solidarity with those elsewhere in the world, for example in Ukraine and Gaza, who currently face unspeakable hardship.
There will be much to do in 2024, and there is much happening now that is a source of great anxiety, but we hope all our members get to enjoy a well earned break over the holiday period and that it will be possible to enjoy a genuine rest in the company of family and friends. Enjoy the time.
With best wishes, and in solidarity,
Howard and UoN UCU branch officers