Wednesday, February 21Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Tag: UUK

Principal Layzell Concedes to #RHOccupy’s Demands
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Principal Layzell Concedes to #RHOccupy’s Demands

Students known as #RHOccupy have now vacated the Principal’s Corridor after 5 days in position there. They made the decision to leave at 12pm today, March 20, after Chief Operating Officer (COO) David Ashton approached them with a copy of Principal Paul Layzell’s staff newsletter as well his official letter to to Alastair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK (UUK), and Sally Hunt, chair of the University and College Union. The letter to UUK and UCU called for a return to a Defined Benefit Scheme as well as supporting an indepedent evaluation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). These were two of #RHOccupy’s demands, along with an apology for the way staff were treated in regards to strikes and, in particular, pay deductions with action short of a strike (ASOS). All thr...
Students Occupy Principal’s Corridor
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Students Occupy Principal’s Corridor

Students occupied the Principal’s Corridor, a section of Founder’s Building, on Friday March 16 just after 12pm. They have taken up position in the corridor, just outside Principal Paul Layzell’s office and are planning to occupy until their demands are met. Their demands include: A full statement to be delivered by Paul Layzell in support of the UCU strike aims which include a defined benefit scheme and an indepedent evaluation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). Paul Layzell to come out and support members of staff and students and apologise for the hard-line approach taken so far. Paul Layzell to publically back any future developments that may arise in relation to preserving the current scheme. Paul Layzell to read and take into account the letter written ...
College Accused of Planting Questions for Principal’s Staff Open Meeting to “Drown Out Questions From UCU Members”
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College Accused of Planting Questions for Principal’s Staff Open Meeting to “Drown Out Questions From UCU Members”

In an email sent to Royal Holloway line managers on Wednesday 7 March, which Orbital Magazine has seen, the College Communications team have asked for line managers to select "two trusted people" to ask a question at the Principal's next Staff Open Meeting on 12 March. The email stated: Dear [Line Manager], The next staff open meeting is on Monday afternoon at 4pm and earlier this week we changed the topic to address the pensions and the wider higher education landscape. We know we are going to receive a lot of questions from UCU representatives which Paul and the senior team will answer. As well as addressing questions about pensions we’d also like to make sure that other areas that staff have questions on are addressed. To do this we’d like to have some people in the audience prime...
Strike Action: Week One
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Strike Action: Week One

Strikes over the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) occurred yesterday (Thursday February 22) and today (Friday February 23) at universities all over the country. These two days of strike action ended the first week of a planned four weeks of strike action, called for by the Universities and College Union (UCU) as a result of lecturers and academics losing their defined contribution scheme to their pensions. Thursday’s strike saw a large turnout of lecturers from several departments that contributed to the atmosphere of the entire event. The strike leader, a designated representative of the UCU donning a high-visibility jacket and coordinating the picket line, was quick to discuss the picketing situation with security guards from RHUL. The security guards cited an official law tha...
Royal Holloway Slammed as “Most Hardline University Employer in UK” Over Strikes
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Royal Holloway Slammed as “Most Hardline University Employer in UK” Over Strikes

Royal Holloway UCU (University College Union) have claimed that no other university in the UK has made such extensive threats to staff over strike action and have called for academics to not be "intimidated" by the College's "short-sighted approach" to the strikes. Letters that academics have received are encouraging staff to give advance notice of strike action - a move that the UCU claim will undermine the principle of the strikes. Academics are also being told that they must give 5 days notice for action short of a strike (ASOS). The notification forms that have been sent to staff suggest that 'working to contract', 'not undertaking voluntary activities', 'not covering for absent colleagues' and 'not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action' may be counted a...