Motion Passed: Vote No, Call HE Sector Conference

voteAt EGMs held both in the central campus and at Kings Buildings yesterday (5th April), both resolutions in the motion below were passed.  There was a healthy debate at both which could have gone on well beyond the time available.

  • Firstly, the branch now commits itself to campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in the current ballot but fully recognises and remains sensitive to other opinions expressed.
  • Secondly, we call for the convening, at the earliest possible opportunity, of an HE Sector Conference within UCU, to debate strategy around the USS dispute.



Proposer: Grant Buttars

Seconder: Shereen Benjamin

This branch notes:

  1. the decision by the majority of UCU’s Higher Education Committee to ballot UCU members on the proposal from UUK;
  2. that a majority of UCU branches meeting on 25 and 26 March wanted to ‘Revise and Resubmit’ this proposal and many took a clear position of ‘No Detriment;
  3. employers such as Liverpool University and the Open University are already announcing redundancies

We believe that:

  1. accepting the proposal as it stands will demobilise our highly-successful campaign of strike action at a point when we are making serious gains;
  2. seeking further clarification and assurances on the ambiguities presented by the proposal does not necessarily imply taking a ‘No Detriment’ position;
  3. we need to maintain maximum momentum to defend Defined Benefit pensions, pay and jobs.

We therefore resolve:

  1. that the branch will campaign to urge a ‘No’ vote in the ballot;
  2. to call for an emergency Higher Education Sector Conference to debate strategy around the USS dispute.

For reference

Extract from UCU rule book

16.11 Special meetings of National Congress or the Sector Conferences shall be convened, by giving at least three working weeks’ notice, when it is so resolved by the National Executive Committee or in the case of the Sector Conferences, the relevant Sector Committee, or following receipt of a requisition from quorate general meetings in 20 branches/Local Associations from separate institutions across the Union, or for Sector Conferences, in the Sector, or bearing the identifiable signatures of not less than one tenth of the members of the Union. Such resolution or requisition shall specify the intended business, and only that business may be transacted at the special meeting.

16.12 Requisitioned special meetings shall take place within five working weeks of receipt of the requisition by the General Secretary. Where branches/local associations have passed motions requisitioning a meeting, but the total is not yet deemed sufficient to trigger the requisition, up-to-date information regarding progress of the requisition, including the particulars of its business and the number and names of branches/Local Associations deemed to have passed the appropriate requisition motion, will be available to all members on request.

Emergency General Meeting, 21 March

You will have received an email (in your work account) about tomorrow’s Emergency General Meeting.  Further details below.

Thank you all again for you wonderful support of the USS action: we hope to see as many of you as possible tomorrow to discuss the below:

  1. Update (and action-short-of-a-strike)
  2. UCU Scotland Congress – Motion (text below)
  3. UCU UK Congress – Manchester, 30th May-1st June
  4. Elections for Officers/Committee
  5. AOB
Proposer: Shereen Benjamin
Seconder: Sophia Woodman
This branch notes:
1) That the evidence base for the proposed cuts to USS has been widely discredited and has been rejected by a majority of University leaders;
2) The strength of the opposition to the proposed settlement (12/3/2018) across the UK.
This branch believes that it is illogical as well as detrimental to members to pursue changes to USS in the absence of a credible evidence base. 
This branch calls on UCU Scotland to:
1) Support branches in mobilising for escalation of the dispute, including further strike action and an assessment boycott; 
2) Work with national leadership to demand retention of the USS status quo pending a further valuation in which members can have confidence; 
3) Work with MSPs to use their influence with university leaders to bring UUK back to the negotiating table; and,
4) Seek out and pursue fund-raising opportunities to support the Fighting Fund/local hardship funds. 

General Meeting, 6th Dec 2017

As you might be aware, the UCU Edinburgh branch has been working hard for job security and for the rights of casualised staff for many years. In addition to local reps campaining for pay for hours worked in different areas of the university, in March 2017 the branch put in a local claim on casualisation, which has resulted in a number of meetings with HR and upcoming work scheduled in the schools LLC and ECA.

We have had a few wins which include pay for marking, moves to fractional contracts for a number of members, and a raised awareness of the problems that casualisation causes. Parallel to the anti-casualisation work, the branch has been campaigning on workload, raising this issue repeatedly with management as well as collecting material through surveys of members.

This meeting will update members on recent developments, and discuss with members ways to move forward in linking issues of workload with causalisation. We hope you can make it:

Wednesday 6 December, 5-6 pm

Room LG34, Paterson’s Land, Holyrood campus

Stand Up to Racism: Public Rally, 9th March


Come to this rally to discuss how we can confront the rise in racism and build a broad anti racist movement. We want to go onto the streets in our tens of thousands on 18 March to stand up to racism.

  • Stand up to Trump
  • Refugees and migrants welcome here
  • No to racism, Islamophobia & antisemitism
  • Defend EU workers
  • Black Lives Matter


  • Ian Murray, MP Edinburgh South, Labour
  • Safeena Rashid, Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh
  • Issa Robson, 1DayWithoutUs
  • Larry Flanagan, EIS General Secretary
  • Celia Gonzalez, organiser of No Muslim Ban demo
  • Richard Haley, Scotland Aganist Criminalising Communities
  • Monica Medina, EIS, Anti-racist sub-committee
  • Helen Martin, Scottish Trade Union Council, Assistant Secretary
  • Alison Newell, Edinburgh University Chaplaincy
  • Nick Gardner, Leith Labour Councillor

Date, Time, Venue

Thursday 9 March, 7pm

Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower
University of Edinburgh
11, Crichton Street

Flyer and Further Details

Download here (pdf)





General Meeting, 15 Nov 2016

Our next General Meeting, which will take place on:

Tuesday 15th November, 5-6 pm
Teviot Lecture Theatre, Medical School,
(Teviot Doorway 5).

The main discussion items will be
1) Pay Dispute
2) Attendance Monitoring
3) Guaranteed Hours
4) Lecture capture

We are very aware that not everyone is able to attend these meetings in person, and we would like to invite anyone who is unable to do so to email the branch if they have a specific comment on any of these items which they would like to ensure is fed into the discussion.

If you would like to do this, please send a message to

2015 AGM: 18 June, 1600

The 2015 UCU branch AGM will be held on 18th June at 1600 in the Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre – Medical School (doorway 1).

If you have nominations for the branch committee or for officer roles please complete the nomination form and return to by noon on 3rd June.

Likewise, if you have items for the agenda please send these to

We look forward to seeing you there.