Open Day Letter to Prof Gaskell

QMUCU members will leafletting the QMUL Open Day today (Fri 24th June) as part of our continuing campaign for better pay, better contracts and better gender equality.  We will providing letters for parents and prospective students to send to the QMUL Principal, Prof Gaskell.  A copy is below – please amend if and as you necessary and send to principal@qmul.ac.uk

Dear Professor Gaskell,

As a parent of a prospective student at Queen Mary University of London I am writing to you about the current dispute between the University and College Union UCU and the University employers’ organisation UCEA.

I understand that this dispute centres on three issues:

1) Insecure employment within the University sector. Across the UK, 75,000 university staff are on temporary contracts and more than 21,000 are on zero hours contracts. This is highly unsatisfactory for the higher education sector.

2) Inequality in pay between men and women in universities. On average male university staff earn 12.6% more than their female colleagues.

3) Declining value of salaries. Since 2009 the value of pay for staff has dropped by 14.5% while vice chancellors have seen their pay rise ahead of inflation year on year. Vice-chancellors are now paid 6.4 times that of the average member of university of staff.

I am dismayed that the teaching, research and support staff of QMUL should face such inequities and should be forced into such a dispute.  I note that QMUL is a University which prides itself on its links to the local community and aims to work towards the benefit of the wider society. Surely treating its most valuable resource, its own staff, fairly and equitably must be the first step towards achieving these worthy aims.

I would ask that you use your influence within UCEA to encourage them to make a serious offer to University staff and thus assist UCU in bringing about an end to this dispute. The issues which UCU are fighting for are important and need to be taken seriously by yourself and other employers, in order that QMUL and all other UK Universities are able to meet the expectations I, and all other parents, hold for them as centres of excellence for learning and education.

Yours sincerely,

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