Tag Archives: UCU

Branch Negotiators’ Update

At our Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee (JCNC) last week, the University’s senior team signalled that they wished to discuss pay at the University of Bristol, as part of the institutional response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Campus union negotiators – UCU, Unite, Unison – have not agreed to any proposals on pay – either a freeze or a cut – or to changes to contracted terms and conditions. As of yet, no proposals have been put to campus unions.

Formally, Joint Union negotiators have requested a ‘data pack’ spelling out the rationale for any proposals. We anticipate having sight of the University’s emergency budget for 2020/21, with its assumptions and proposals, next week at Tuesday’s JCNC. UCU negotiators will report back at the General Meeting on 20th May. Our branch Executive Committee met yesterday to discuss anticipated proposals and a range of possible branch responses.

Bristol UCU negotiators have been keen to establish the financial rationale for current policy and future proposals. Precarious contract staff are already currently facing the cost of the institutional approach to risk. Any discussion about their future and the future of all staff must take into active account alternatives to contracts not being extended and workload simply being added to the already excessive workloads of substantive staff.

Our main priority has been to look to secure members’ jobs, their existing terms and conditions and question the grounds for profound institutional decisions made before the true institutional balance sheet of COVID-19 is known.

As negotiators and a branch, we are faced with choices. Do we enter further ‘scoping’ discussions now before any firm proposals are made? Do we rule out all potential detrimental changes? Do we now look for certain guarantees as a condition of entering further talks? These questions will and should be determined by members. It is imperative (if unfair given current workload) members start discussing among themselves the policy and position of the branch, and feed this back to negotiators and Branch Reps.

Pathway 2 and 3 colleagues have already begun to do so, proposing a branch ‘Motion from Academic Staff on Fixed-Term Contracts from Pathways 2 and 3 regarding the University of Bristol’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic’, demanding ‘the University adopts a ‘jobs first’ response to the current crisis. Securing ongoing employment of existing University staff should be the institutional priority, and the priority of Universities UK (UUK)’ [link].

Staff ‘Furloughing’ at Bristol – Branch Negotiators’ Update

Bristol UCU reps along with Unite and Unison reps continue to negotiate over the University’s response to and use of the new Job Retention Scheme which ‘provides a grant to reimburse employers for 80 per cent of an employee’s wage of up to £2,500 per month for those designated as “furloughed”’.

As a priority, we continue to push for the Scheme to cover Temporary Service Staff out of work from 9th April, and to call for an update on whether this Scheme will cover fixed-term contract research and teaching staff.

From the University’s point of view, there is a good deal of uncertainty around the scheme, not least because of the public element of universities funding: ‘where employers receive public funding for staff costs and that funding is continuing, they expect employers to use that money in the normal way to meet staffing costs’. Universities UK and UCU are lobbying the government to clarify the Scheme for Higher Education employers

One thing is clear: the introduction of any University of Bristol Job Retention ‘furloughing’ Scheme is a matter of collective bargaining at the University, and requires the active involvement of UCU, Unison and Unite negotiators, and the formal consent of their respective branches. Staff cannot be furloughed without their agreement.

Lecture Capture Policy – Online Learning

As the University of Bristol transitions to online learning, the concern among lecturing UCU members is that their Re/Play lecture recordings, currently being used and adapted as material in alternative teaching provision for 2019/20, will be used as an institutional online archive from which material can be drawn to substitute for future lectures.

Having spoken to those leading the University’s COVID-19 Education response, we do not believe that is likely, as long as current policy and practice regarding the recording of lectures is maintained. Our understanding is that there are no plans to use lecture recordings as a substitute for lectures in the future, but we would welcome clarity on this. Lecture recordings have been used thus far as a supplement to, not a replacement for, University of Bristol teaching.

For Bristol UCU and the University, the policy is that lectures should

a) be asked before any use of their lecturer recordings i.e. Re/Play lectures

b) should give their explicit consent to that use

c) make sure that the use of their lecture recording is time-limited e.g. for this extended academic year by making that clear in the permission communication (e.g. email)

d) In the case of using lecture recordings to replace lectures that were not given in the strike, the lecturer can and should refuse permission if asked

Members are, as always, highly committed to supporting students, Fundamentally, it should simply be a matter of courtesy for lecturers to be asked if their lecture recordings can be used in these extraordinary circumstances.

Message From the Branch President

1) Message From The Branch President

Dear Colleagues,

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks for the branch (!). Like many others, I’m in the second week of family isolation with two small children after our three-year old developed a cough (he’s now on the mend, and seriously noisy). In recent days, branch officers have been working closely with our fantastic colleagues in UNISON and UNITE to safeguard members. We’ve been discussing a range of issues with the university from building access to the transition to online teaching.

As always, the solidarity of colleagues has been very apparent, as has a deep concern for the most vulnerable members of our community.

All best,

James

2) Branch Priorities – COVID-19 Institutional Response

The main points of branch negotiating currently are

Strike Pay Deductions. We have formally asked the University to cancel strike pay deductions. The University could also consider postponing future deductions, or adopt other mitigating measures. Other universities – Kings College London, Southampton, St Andrews and Sheffield – have adopted such measures in response to the current exceptional demands placed on their staff.

Dependent’s Leave. Branch reps are currently waiting for the University’s latest proposal.
Restructurings. UCU and Unison reps are in talks with HR to discuss whether a ‘pause’ on restructurings, particularly if in the very early stages, is feasible.

Online Transition and Workload. We are discussing with the University the demands of transitioning to online teaching provision and the changes to assessment and quality assurance.

Lecture Recordings. We are in communication with the University on the use of lecture recordings. Fundamentally, any use of recordings should continue to require the lecturer’s explicit consent.

Securing Jobs. The recruitment freeze has meant fixed-term UCU members are concerned about their future reemployment. Branch reps are continuing to press for, in the case of research staff, the use of grant monies saved during this period to extend the grant period. In the case of fixed-term teaching staff, these colleagues are integral to the institution’s teaching provision, and are needed more than ever.

3) Going Forward

Bristol UCU branch reps have been at pains to stress the exceptional nature of the current situation, and to note the hard work being carried out across the University by all staff.

There have also been some excellent steps taken, for example, the decision by the University to pay a merit payment, starting at £250, to frontline essential member of staff such as cleaners and estates staff. This was unanimously agreed by joint trade union reps – Unite, Unison and UCU. UCU reps welcomed this step as recognizing the work of staff who do not have the option of remote working.

UCU nationally and locally welcomes the putting on hold of REF2021. We trust that this allows Bristol and other institutions to introduce and enforce the necessary workload adjustment to prioritise the provision of teaching. Staff with teaching and research responsibilities, pathway 1 lecturers, should see a different tone and approach to research performance management and internal audit deadlines in this respect.

The University has also guaranteed Hourly-Paid Teachers payment for the hours they are scheduled to deliver this year.

UCU branch reps are keen to work closely with the University to address the local issues highlighted above.

4) Claiming From Local Hardship Fund

HPT? Fixed-Term? Grade J and below? Don’t forget: you can still claim from our Hardship Fund, if you haven’t already done so.

Details:

Guidance note – claiming from the Bristol Hardship Fund

Bristol UCU: COVID-19 Update, Notifying HR of Strike Action, Hardship Fund Applications

Dear Bristol UCU Members,

COVID-19 Update

You will have seen the email from UCU General Secretary Jo Grady on Monday, 16th March, and the email from the University management team yesterday, both responding to the increased precautions around social distancing set out by the Prime Minister.

As branch negotiators, we are already in discussion with University of Bristol Senior Management, and with our sister campus unions Unite and Unison, about the workplace health and safety issues for all staff arising from this crisis. Our main priority is that all staff having to come into work, working from home and reporting sickness absence ‘do not suffer any detriments in their pay or working conditions as a result of the outbreak’.

Please note:

  • All staff with an underlying health condition (or those living with someone with one) should inform their line manager of their increased risk to coronavirus. If you feel that the duties you are being asked to undertake put you at risk , then you should immediately raise this with line management.
  • If at that point your manager asks you to continue with your duties you should request a formal health and safety risk assessment (Employers have a legal obligation to protect their health and safety and that of their workforce. Regulation 3, of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, requires, among other things, that all employers assess the risks to the health and safety of their employees while they are at work)
  • Ultimately if you really feel that your safety and welfare is at risk and that your concerns are being ignored, then you can withdraw from working (there is a provision for this in Section 100 (1)(e) of the Employment Rights Act 1996). However, this is a last resort and you should contact UCU for further advice before implementing this right
  • We would like to assure our members in Professional Services, and other members who are not doing front-line teaching (such as research-focused staff), that we are continuing discussions about what the end of term will mean for them. We are seeking assurances and guarantees on issues such as leave reporting, sick pay, working from home, deadlines, protecting vulnerable and precarious staff, and resourcing home working.

We will continue to update members as these discussions progress. We have a Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee meeting on Friday, for example.

Notifying HR of Strike Action

Remember that you need to report all strike days to HR via industrial-action-response@bristol.ac.uk by Friday 3 April. A reminder of how to report and guidance for part-timers is in this blog post [link].

Hardship Fund Applications

We are still happy to receive applications for funds from both the local [link] and national hardship funds [link]for the second tranche of pay deductions from the November/December action. HPTs can continue to claim for contact hours lost during the last fourteen days of action.

Sending solidarity to all our members during this difficult time.

Bristol UCU – Thanks and Return to Work

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for another amazing day on the picket line. Thanks to our General Secretary and to all the speakers at our rally. It was great to welcome members from other branches in the South West for our rally and march.

Return to work … action short of a strike

We return to work tomorrow for two days before taking action again from next Monday.

Remember that we should all be participating in action short of a strike (ASOS). HQ have produced guidance on ASOS for both Professional Services staff [link] and academic staff [link].

Please take a moment to remind yourself of what you shouldn’t be doing!

It’s important to remember to observe the digital picket line [link] whilst taking strike action.

Notifying HR of Strike Action

As mentioned previously – to avoid pay deductions in one amount – we suggest that members follow HR’s guidance and notify their February strike days this week or on Friday 6 March at the latest. A reminder of how to report and guidance for part-timers is in this blog post [link].

Hardship Fund Applications

February pay slips are now on MyERP [link] so applications can be made to both the local [link] and national hardship funds [link] for the second tranche of pay deductions from the November/December action.

HPTs can claim now for contact hours lost during the last five days of action.

Weeks 3 and 4 of Action

Action continues for the next two weeks. Strike days are:

  • week three: Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March
  • week four: Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March.

We’ll be in touch later this week with further details of plans for weeks 3 and 4.

With best wishes

James and your branch officer team

Thanks

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for today. The turnout was magnificent, especially given the weather, and the singing was superb! A big thank you also to our wonderful speakers. Please find some details of future events and guidance on reporting absence below.

Events/Diary

  • Tomorrow – Friday, 21 February – Pickets, 08:30 to 10:30 – Picketing only

Week 2

  • Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 February – Stay at home. And don’t work.
  • Wednesday 26th February – Pickets and Rally with UCU General Secretary. Picketing will start at 8.30 am – UCU Office will be open from 8.00 for collection of placards and materials.

The General Secretary Jo Grady (tbc) will also be our main speaker at Wednesday’s Rally.

Strike deductions

Following representations HR have agreed to deduct pay over three months. They have said:

We won’t deduct more than 5 days’ pay from your monthly pay packet as long as you inform us (industrial-action-response@bristol.ac.uk) by Friday 6 March of the strike action taken in February and by Friday 3 April of any strike action taken in March. We will take up to 5 days in March, up to 5 days in April with any remaining days taken in May 2020. Please note if you don’t tell us of strike action taken by the dates requested, we will deduct the whole amount in the next available payroll.

Branch suggestions for reporting absence

It is entirely up to members when you report your absence due to strike action, but wherever possible you should report on your return to work and not on strike days or non-working days to avoid breaking ASOS.

Week 1 and week 2 reporting (February strike days)

Thursday 27, Friday 28 February and Friday 6 March are normal working days. In order to avoid pay deductions in a single amount you should report your week 1 and week 2 absence by HR’s deadline of Friday 6 March.

Week 3 and week 4 reporting (March strike days)

We suggest that you report week 3 and week 4 action on return to work from Monday 16 March (noting HR’s reporting deadline of Friday 3 April).

How to notify

The University will be paying the employer pension contributions for deducted pay but members must inform HR if they wish to pay the employee contribution for deducted days. You should email industrial-action-response@bristol.ac.uk making clear:

your name and School/Division;

the date(s)/hours that you took action

confirmation that you wish to maintain your pension contributions for pay lost to strike action.

You will be deducted pay at the rate of 1/365 per full day of action taken. A full day’s pay (pro-rata for part-time staff) will be deducted for each strike day.

Part-time staff reporting

Part-time staff will be deducted:

Total salary x 1/365 for each day of action taken.

If you are part-time, we suggest that you say something like:

Week 1 – Thursday 20 February – Friday 21 February

I took strike action on Thursday 27 February and Friday 28 February for a total of 14 hours. I work 0.6 FTE (21 hours per week)

Week 2 – Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 February

I took strike action on Monday 2 December (7 hours). I work 0.6 FTE (21 hours per week).

Hourly paid tutors – please notify HR in the same way but please also look at our local guidance [link https://www.ucubristol.org.uk/guidance-note-claiming-from-the-bristol-hardship-fund-for-hourly-paid-teachers-hpts/%5D. This is what HR has told us about rescheduling/payment of prep and assessment hours:

We encourage hourly-paid teachers to reschedule their teaching. The University will pay in full for all teaching that is delivered (contact hours, preparation and assessment). If staff are unable to reschedule teaching for reasons beyond their control then they will nonetheless be paid for preparation (and assessment if applicable) but they will not be paid for contact hours.

With best wishes

James and the Branch Officer team

Guidance and Update – Bristol UCU Strike Action

Dear Colleagues,

As trailed last week, here is further branch guidance on our upcoming 14 days of industrial action, starting this Thursday, 20th February.

Our days of strike action are:

  • week one: Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February
  • week two: Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February
  • week three: Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March
  • week four: Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March.

This email a) covers planned events/dates for the diary, b) gives local advice and guidance and c) answers some key strike-related questions.

Please note: on strike days where there are no planned events, please stay at home. And don’t work. This is subject to change as events are proposed and planned.

a) Events/Diary

Week 1

  • Tomorrow – Wednesday, 19th February – Placard Making, 13:00-16:00, UCU Office, 1D Priory Road. All members welcome.
  • Thursday, 20th February – Pickets and Rally, from 08:30, Picketing will start at 8.30 am – UCU Office will be open from 8.00 for collection of placards and materials.

For picket line information:

https://www.ucubristol.org.uk/picket-locations/

Colleagues are asked to congregate for a rally at the Victoria Rooms at 10.30 am, followed by a march to College Green.

Please note: Thursday is also a Graduation Day. Colleagues are encouraged to focus on informing students and parents the reasons as to why we are taking this course of industrial action.

  • Friday, 21 February – Pickets, 08:30 to 10:30

Picketing only

Week 2

Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 February – Stay at home. And don’t work.

Wednesday 26th February – Pickets and Rally with UCU General Secretary. Picketing will start at 8.30 am – UCU Office will be open from 8.00 for collection of placards and materials.

The General Secretary Jo Grady (tbc) will also be our main speaker at Wednesday’s Rally.

General Picket Line Information

  • Branch officers will be acting as official picket supervisors, resplendent in their high-vis jackets and pink UCU beanies.
  • Local picket contacts at each location will be also be clad in yellow tabards.
  • If you are unsure where to picket, get in touch with your local rep or ucu-office@bristol.ac.uk

The main picket for Professional Services staff will be at the Victoria Rooms, and anyone is welcome to join that picket.

b) Advice and Guidance

National Resources

Please make use of UCU national resources [link].

This includes information about why we are striking, FAQs, guidance on working to contract, leaflets, posters and much else.

For a list of FAQs:

https://www.ucu.org.uk/he-action-faqs

There is, for instance, an answer to the FAQ ‘I am a head of department, line manager or in another senior academic/related role. How can I best support the action?’, along with further carefully lawyered advice.

Claiming Strike Pay – National Fighting Fund & Local Hardship Fund

Members may claim strike pay from both our national Fighting Fund and Bristol UCU branch Local Hardship Fund.

  • For details on the national Fighting Fund:

https://ucu.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/429/~/ucu-fighting-fund?utm_source=Lyris&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=reps&utm_term=&utm_content=

  • For details on the branch Local Hardship Fund

Guidance note – claiming from the Bristol Hardship Fund

In brief:

  • UCU HQ have confirmed that – as this action continues from the November action – the national hardship fund will be available to members from their first day of action, if they have struck for one or two days in the 2019 wave.
  • The cap on payments has been increased.
  • The local hardship fund will cover the strike deductions of hourly-paid teachers in full and the first day for any first-time strikers on grade J or below, and those on higher grades in part-time roles who earn £30,000 per annum or less.

Donations to the local hardship fund will be gratefully received.

Strike Deductions

Bristol UCU has requested that any strike deductions from salary are spread out over four months. We expect the university to notify staff of its decision on this shortly.

Can staff join and take action?

Yes, our membership is growing every day and heading towards 1800 members.

Please encourage your colleagues to join. Postgrads who teach can join for free and can take part in the action. As soon as someone’s application has been submitted on our website, they are eligible to take part in the action.

I’m not going to strike because …

UCU’s position is that union members – in all roles – have voted strongly in favour of striking, and so we encourage everyone to strike on every day of industrial action. To do otherwise weakens our position. Through national and local hardship funds, there is more financial support than ever before for those taking industrial action.

Notifying HR of Strike Action Taken

DO NOT notify HR in advance of striking that you will be taking strike action or Action Short of a Strike (ASOS).

The University has agreed to pay employer pension contributions for days struck but you must let HR know when notifying that you wish to maintain your employee contributions. We will remind you about this closer to the time.

Deductions will be made at total salary x 1/365 and a full day’s pay (or pro-rata) will be deducted even if the member returns to work that day.

Part-timers should make sure they specify exactly how many hours they have taken as strike action each week and specify your total hours to ensure you’re only deducted for the hours struck. We will provide examples again closer to the time.

What do Hourly Paid Tutors do about their fee claims? How will HPTs strike deductions work?

HR have made the following statement:

We encourage hourly-paid teachers to reschedule their teaching. The University will pay in full for all teaching that is delivered (contact hours, preparation and assessment). If staff are unable to reschedule teaching for reasons beyond their control then they will nonetheless be paid for preparation (and assessment if applicable), but they will not be paid for contact hours.

HPTs should submit ERP claims as per the above HR statement. All lost contact hours can be claimed from the local hardship fund [link].

Out of Office Message

We encourage staff to use an email out-of-office once the action begins, for example:

I am a UCU member and taking industrial action in defence of a fair pension, pay and conditions. Please follow this link to find out more about our dispute.

When to notify of Action short of a strike (ASOS)

The university has said that in their view two of the strands of ASOS do not constitute partial performance and cannot attract pay deductions – these are working to contract and not undertaking voluntary duties.

These do not need to be notified, though we recommend that you create out-of-office and signature files to say that you are working to contract and that emails will take longer to be answered.

The university has advised us that two areas of ASOS can be deemed partial performance, these are not covering for absent colleagues and not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action.

The university has advised us that, as in 2018, its policy is that colleagues cannot be required to reschedule teaching cancelled due to strike action.

If you are advised that you are going to face a deduction for participation in the ASOS, please let your departmental or divisional rep know.

There is guidance on ASOS [link] for members in professional services.

What to tell students

Please start “trailing” the action with your students and encourage them to support us by writing to the VC and joining us at our rallies. Make sure that students understand that we are losing pay for every day that we strike.

Note: you are under no obligation to inform students in advance that you are taking strike action.

There is a range of material produced by UCU to help you explain the issues to students:

https://www.ucu.org.uk/studentvoice

Putting Materials on Blackboard

As far as we are aware the requirement to put materials up on Blackboard 48 hours before a lecture is a DDA requirement, so only applies if you have students with disability adjustments in the class. We believe that you can meet that requirement by emailing those specific students the materials in advance.

I’m due to be on leave – what do I do?

If your leave is already booked and essential, consider taking your leave and donating to the strike fund. If you are able please cancel your leave and join the strike! Even if you are away, you can still be counted in the ‘absentee’ numbers which helps our position.

Teach-Outs

The branch is happy to help facilitate these.

We can provide information on possible venues, pay for venue hire, and help publicize events.

For example, ‘The Harms of the Neoliberal University, Thursday, 20th February, 1-2.30pm, Folk House, Park Street,

Please get in touch with your branch officer team: ucu-office@bristol.ac.uk

c) Key Strike-Related Questions

Tier 2 Visa Staff

Bristol UCU members on Tier 2 visas are understandably concerned about the impact of taking strike action. UCU’s advice is clear: taking strike action if you on a Tier 2 visa will not count as an unauthorized absence, and the University of Bristol as sponsor employer will not be reporting Tier 2 staff.

We will ask the University to reiterate this point.

Protection from Dismissal after 12-Week Period

Colleagues may be aware:

  • some of the legal protections available to workers who are on strike expire 12 weeks after the first day that strike action is taken (the 12-week period would commence from 25th November).
  • After this period, if the employer decides to dismiss any employee for taking strike action, this would not be considered “automatically unfair” for the purposes for bringing an unfair dismissal claim.
  • There would still be some protection from selective dismissals. The employer would need to dismiss all striking employees.

UCU is clear that ‘this kind of dismissal has never happened in higher education’. It would constitute a major unprecedented breach in industrial relations. We will again seek assurances from the University, but stress that this is something we simply do not envisage occurring.

Thank you all so much for your support.With best wishes

James and the Branch Officer team

 

Gender Pay Gap: Collective Agreement

Dear Bristol UCU Members,

Our General Meeting on Wednesday presents an opportunity to accept and endorse the very first Collective Agreement on Gender Pay in the UK HE Sector. This agreement is the culmination of 18 months of negotiation between Bristol UCU and the University, and comes with a unanimous recommendation to members to accept it from the Branch Executive Committee.

Our original Gender Pay claim was submitted on International Women’s Day 2018, during our last action, and negotiations began in earnest in late summer 2018. This follows long-standing national UCU policy, which encourages branches to submit local claims on equality issues and initiate bargaining at a local level. The claim is attached here [link] for reference. The first milestone was the agreement of a joint statement. A regular timetable of negotiations followed, with progress continually tested against the original claim and referred to our branch executive, and now we are ready to put the results to the membership.

Negotiators would like to highlight the following areas of the agreement as representing significant progress:

  • The pilot of a transfer to core  funding  process to support the movement of staff to a core funded contract (including the potential for a change in pathway)
  • The pilot of a bridging funding scheme as a means of retaining Pathway 2 staff between grants
  • The sharing of detailed data on flexible and part-time working arrangements, and a commitment to further work to properly understand and address the issues that this data might reveal
  • The move to make all advertised posts open to a discussion of flexible working or job share, and review recruitment training for managers

The fact that all this work has been incorporated into a new Academic Career Programme Board at which UCU has two representatives who can remain close to the implementation.

That the agreement will be monitored via our Joint Negotiating Committee

Many of these strands of work relate to staff on insecure contracts, acknowledging the way in which the Gender Pay Gap manifests itself here at Bristol, with women overrepresented on pathways 2 and 3. The agreement also recognises where these negotiations have intersected more broadly with UCU and University work on anti-casualisation, and documents the move to include PW3 progressability into regular workforce planning via the Integrated Planning Process, and a holistic review of the use of fixed term contracts.

In recognition of the above, Bristol UCU Branch Executive is recommending acceptance of the Collective Agreement to members, and there will a member vote at Wednesday’s meeting on a motion to this effect. Negotiators will be on hand to provide further context and information.

This is an important moment for our branch. The support of our membership outside the door of the negotiating room has been an enormous part of what has made this possible. Please come and use your vote.

Suzy Cheek

Vice President, University of Bristol UCU & Gender Pay Gap Claim Negotiator

Further UCU Industrial Action & UoB/UCU Gender Pay Gap Collective Agreement – Bristol UCU GM, Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 13:00-14:00, LT3, Arts Complex

Dear colleague,

There are two pressing items of University of Bristol UCU branch business, both of which are on the agenda of our branch General Meeting Wednesday next week– a meeting open to all Bristol UCU members. These items are:

Please click on the link below for a copy of the GM agenda:

https://tinyurl.com/ucuGM-22Jan

Branches have been asked to consult members on the current proposal for 14-days of strike action, a resolution of the Special Higher Education Sector Conference on 4th December [link].

UCU’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) – the UCU body that can call industrial action – meets on 30th January to vote on the proposal, and branches are being encouraged to feedback as regards members’ appetite for further strike action.

Members are encouraged to attend the General Meeting next Wednesday to discuss these next steps. The meeting also sees the launch of a branch eBallot to consult members on their appetite to take further industrial action.

The General Meeting will also be asked to approve the ‘University of Bristol Collective Agreement To Address The Gender Pay Gap’, as recommended by the Bristol UCU Branch Executive [link].

Gender Pay Gap Claim Lead Negotiator and Vice President Suzy Cheeke will be emailing members Friday this week with further information and commentary on the Collective Agreement.