LUCU News November 2021
GTVO – USS & Four Fights
We are very grateful to our Reps and members who volunteered their time to get the vote out! And thanks to all our members who endured with such good grace the many communications about returning your ballots. We are quietly confident that we are over the 50% threshold, and we will be writing to you again next week with the formal results for each ballot.
How You Can Help Build Support
Members have produced the following graphics that explain succinctly what is at stake regarding USS, workload, pay, and casualisation. We would appreciate members using the graphic as an email footer, sharing it on social media, and/or printing and displaying it on their office doors.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to watch the videos by our Pensions Rep Matthew Inglis and our Negotiating Secretary Marc Gibson, you can find them on the LUCU YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIx1LVG6eg71sYj_RwLIxnQ
The Dispute Process
We can confirm that the agreement reached with management last year following the dispute process remains in place. The dispute resolution process comprises a pro-active response from SMTs. Managers are asked to identify as early as possible staff who may be concerned about providing in-person teaching. Requests to teach online rather than in-person should be treated sympathetically, and HR business partners are available to assist in determining what action is most appropriate to help staff, without necessarily triggering an OH consultation.
The resolution process has been very successful, but we continue to hear of a few isolated cases across campus where members are being unduly pressured to teach in-person. These individuals are being supported by our caseworkers. If you are facing pressure to teach in-person, please let us know at UCU@lboro.ac.uk, or contact our Casework Coordinator Andrew Dix – A.firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will raise the case as a matter of urgency with HR.
Health and Safety on Campus
We continue to meet regularly with management to monitor how the University is responding to the pandemic and the health and safety measures it is putting in place to protect staff and students. We are hearing reports from members who are increasingly concerned about people not wearing masks while moving around buildings or in teaching spaces, students being unresponsive when asked to wear masks in teaching spaces, students complaining about requests to wear masks, overcrowding in some hallways and teaching spaces, and requests to work on campus when people could perform their duties from home.
We have lobbied management to implement the following:
- To make mask-wearing mandatory as it is within their legal right to do;
- To make public ventilation figures for every teaching space;
- To provide CO2 monitors in shared enclosed spaces, including teaching rooms;
- To allow home-working wherever possible (following SAGE guidance).
To be fair and transparent, we have offered management the opportunity to explain to members their reasons for declining these requests, and you will find their response attached to this newsletter.
LUCU will continue to lobby management to agree to the above requests, because we believe that decisions should be based on scientific guidance rather than government guidance where the two may be in conflict, and our Health and Safety Officers believe the above measures would result in a safer campus environment. Further, in relation to mask-wearing, we do not agree that it is appropriate to place the burden of enforcement on staff. We would like the University to resource a plan for enforcement as they did last year.
We will also lobby management to provide appropriate support for staff whose requests for students to wear masks is being ignored and work to ensure that our members experience no detriment due to student complaints about reasonable requests to wear masks. Please let us know if you have any concerns about Covid safety measures, especially concerning mask-wearing, in your work area: UCU@lboro.ac.uk.