You are invited to attend an open meeting on the topic of anticasualisation hosted by Loughborough UCU on Thursday 30th September at 1-2pm. The meeting will be held on Microsoft Teams.
What: This meeting will discuss UCU’s campaign against casualisation at Loughborough, and provide updates on agreements made through the Casualisation Task and Finish Group. It will explore how to ensure gains made are properly implemented, and discuss where the campaign against casualisation at Loughborough and Loughborough London might go next. It will also be a chance for those concerned about casualisation to ask questions, offer suggestions and meet others.
Who for: Anyone concerned about casualisation in higher education, whether or not they are a member of UCU. You don’t need to be an experienced campaigner or knowledgeable about casual employment.
This might include:
· Hourly paid workers
· Employees on fixed-term contracts
· Those who have previously undertaken, or would like to undertake work at Loughborough
· PhD students concerned about employment during and after their PhD
Staff on open-ended contracts are also encouraged to attend to hear about why casualisation affects all staff, and how they can support anticasualisation efforts.
As we start a new academic year, LUCU is responding to the ongoing difficulties associated with the Covid pandemic and new threats to our pensions following UUK’s latest actions.
Representatives from LUCU continue to meet with the other campus unions and representatives from HR and University Health and Safety on a weekly basis. Plans remain fluid as we continue to monitor case rates locally, nationally, and internationally, though a general plan for the beginning of the semester has been put together.
For large lectures, teaching will initially be blended, with half of a class attending in person and half attending via MS Teams, with the halves switching on a weekly basis. This policy will be reviewed on a two-weekly basis. Seminars are expected to be 100% in-person using rooms that have a normal (i.e. pre-Covid) capacity of approximately twice that of the class size. In some instances, this may not be possible to accommodate, and in those cases the seminar will either take place completely online, or in a room of as great a capacity as possible which also has additional ventilation. Social distancing will remain at 2m for staff/student interactions, but it will almost certainly be completely relaxed for students themselves (except in labs which will remain at 1m+ because it has received positive feedback).
The University is strongly encouraging students to test before they travel. However, all students staying in on-campus accommodation will be required to have a Lateral Flow Test upon arrival. Anyone with a positive result will be denied access to their accommodation and asked to return home; it is accepted that this will not be possible in all cases so alternative plans are being drawn up to house students in this situation. It is the intention that a similar test-to-access scheme will be in place for students who are resident in the town centre and third-party halls of residence, but these plans are not fully formed yet. Our on-campus test facilities are currently guaranteed to be in place until the end of September, and the University is pushing DfE and PHE to extend this to at least the end of October.
The University is conducting wastewater monitoring in all but two halls of residence on campus (the two which aren’t subject to testing are because of issues about the locations of sampling points). This has already detected a positive case where an individual was self-isolating due to a positive result, so it demonstrates that even with small case numbers it can prove useful. A vaccination hub will be created on campus that will operate for five days from late September into early October to encourage and help students to get vaccinated. International students will also be able to get vaccinated on campus.
Staff and students will be expected to wear face coverings when moving around indoor spaces. Students won’t be expected to wear face coverings when sitting in lectures or study spaces. The University position is that face coverings are not needed where there is social distancing of 2m between staff and students as well as additional ventilation. Notwithstanding, staff should still feel empowered to politely request the use of face coverings (unless someone is exempt), but you should be aware that individuals have the right to refuse the request. LUCU and the other campus trade unions have argued that management should robustly enforce the use of face coverings on campus indoors, as they have the right to do.
Office spaces will remain at reduced occupancy levels, although where there is a need for increased staffing local mitigations (such as carefully placed perspex screens) will be used where appropriate and subject to suitable risk assessments and monitoring. The University is also increasing the use of CO2 monitors to check ventilation levels in areas of concern.
If you have any concerns about the safety of your workplace relevant to Covid (or any other H&S issue), please contact your UCU Rep, or committee at UCU@lboro.ac.uk.
USS Pensions – Update
You will have received an important email from Jo Grady, UCU’s General Secretary, with the subject line ‘Important Update on Today’s USS Negotiations.’
Unfortunately, UUK has pushed through their proposal to significantly cut our benefits, even though they consider the 2020 valuation unjustified: they propose to reduce the salary cap for defined benefits from £60,000 to £40,000 per annum, cap indexation at 2.5 per cent per annum, and reduce the accrual rate from 1/75th of salary to 1/85th of salary.
At the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), UCU put forward a compromise position, which would have involved sharing the cost of the unreasonable USS valuation between employers and employees. Unfortunately, UUK effectively blocked this proposal from being considered by refusing to provide any ‘covenant support’ (the commitment that employers make to pension schemes) if the UCU proposals were implemented. The net result is that UUK want employees to bear the full cost of USS’s flawed valuation.
On September 3, UCU held a members’ briefing that addressed USS, as well as Covid and the Four Fights campaign. If you like more detail about pensions negotiations and how UCU proposes to respond to the JNC decision, you can watch the recording here: UCU higher education briefing, 03 September 2021 – YouTube
How much will this cost you?
You can see how much pension you will lose if the UUK proposals come into force by using the First Actuarial modeller at: http://ucu.org.uk/ussmodeller.
Please Check Your Details
Assuming the JNC’s recommendation is approved by the USS trustees, a 60-day consultation will follow with scheme members. This means that industrial action will likely be needed if UUK are to revisit their position. Because the law requires that industrial action ballots are conducted by post, it is extremely important that UCU has an up-to-date postal address for you thatyou check regularly (i.e. if you are mostly working from home at the moment, it would be better to receive your ballot paper at home).
Recently, Cambridge UCU and Oxford UCU branches published a joint statement with their universities calling for reform of the USS scheme. The proposed new design would involve conditional indexation – a form of member risk-and-reward-sharing. This would not solve the problem of the 2020 valuation, but it could offer a long-term solution to funding USS that would ensure members receive a good pension. LUCU and Lboro management share the belief that conditional indexation is a viable option for pension scheme redesign, and we will be joining several other institutions in issuing a joint statement to this effect. Although the USS pension dispute cannot be resolved at a local level, LUCU committee will work with Lboro management to protect pension benefits wherever possible.
Joint Union Activity
Over the past year LUCU has worked closely with the other campus trade unions to increase our leverage in negotiations, and we will continue to collaborate with Unite and UNISON where this enables us to best serve members’ interests. Currently, we are working together on issues of pay, restructures, the reform of grievance procedures and disciplinary procedures, as well as workplace health and safety.
A combined trades union meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 14, 2021, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm on Teams. You can join the meeting via this link: Click here to join the meeting
The purpose of this EGM is two-fold:
1) to canvass members’ opinions on the health and safety measures that the University has planned for the start of term in October;
2) to update members on decisions reached at the UCU Special HE Sector Conference (September 9th) where USS will be a key agenda item.
The LUCU committee recently discussed UCU’s new Decarbonise & Decolonise 2030 campaign and feel this should be supported by the branch. With this in mind and a campaign on the topic to come, we wish to encourage members interested in the topic (and potentially being involved in the local campaign) to attend the Decarbonise and Decolonise Webinar for UCU members in the East Midlands region on Wednesday 8th September starting at 2pm. For more information on the campaign please click this link where you can find a quick guide pdf for download and further resources.
What to expect from the webinar:
Decarbonise and decolonise is the third in a series of our webinars on the climate crisis, and how we can play our part in resisting it. Building on existing CPD workshops ‘Introduction to climate education’ and ‘Embedding climate education in the curriculum’, SOS-UK have developed for UCU a ‘Decarbonise and decolonise‘ workshop to introduce members to the interconnectivity of these two agendas and identify opportunities to take action.
To take part in this webinar you do not need to have completed the previous sessions. This workshop will give an overview of climate justice, and how this links to the concepts of decolonising and decarbonising as the structural and systemic roots of the human-induced climate crisis. We will explore examples of climate injustice, and how this often intersects with issues like race, gender, class and indigeneity. We will also look at examples of when sustainability actions and initiatives have not taken an intersectional approach, with discussions on how we can avoid this in education to create sustainability activities that recognise and work to challenge the harmful legacies of colonialism and imperialism.
Learning Aims – The full aims of the interactive workshop are to:
provide an introductory understanding of climate justice and its connection with decolonising and decarbonising
support participants to identify opportunities to apply decolonising and decarbonising for climate justice to the education sector
encourage participants to develop their own practice to consider climate justice and intersectionality
explore the role of UCU branches and members in mobilising action for decolonising and decarbonising.
How UCU CPD webinars work
The taught session will last for about 75 minutes, after which time we take 15-20 minutes to discuss the issues raised. The total time commitment will be around an hour and a half.
You will need to find a quiet space, away from distractions (like telephone and email!), and you may prefer to use headphones for the session. UCU would also recommend that you check that you can use zoom before the session if you are unfamiliar with it.
Once registered you will be sent a meeting number and password for the webinar using zoom. You will be able to join the session from about 10 minutes before the stated start time. UCU would also recommend that you do join 5 to 10 minutes early as you will need to be admitted to the session, and of course there can be technical problems. Live transcription will be available.
LUCU Health and Safety officers continue to meet weekly with management to inform and monitor how the University is responding to the pandemic. We are pleased that the University is planning to retain the use of masks, social distancing, and increased ventilation, as well as the testing, track and trace regime.
While returning to work on campus is currently permitted, it is not mandatory at present: decisions about returning to campus working are devolved to individual schools and services to manage on a justifiable as-required basis. If you have a significant concern about being required to come back to campus that you feel is not being handled appropriately by your line management, contact your LUCU area Rep or committee at UCU@lboro.ac.uk.
The fall-out from the flawed March 2020 valuation of the USS pension scheme continues. Following a consultation with employers, including Loughborough, we now know that Universities UK (UUK) intends to propose ~25% cuts to the value of your pension. LUCU strongly encourages you to use the UCU modeller to calculate how much annual income in retirement you personally stand to lose if UUK is able to force through these cuts. The modeller has been produced by First Actuarial (a professional firm of actuaries), is easy to use, and is available here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/ussmodeller.
The next important stage in the process is the August meeting of the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), when it is expected that UUK plans to formally propose these cuts to your pension. The JNC is made up of equal numbers of representatives from UUK and UCU, plus an independent chair. If the independent chair decides to vote with the UUK representatives then, unfortunately, it is likely that industrial action will be required to protect our pensions.
For background on the dispute, and details of why UUK’s proposed cuts are unjustified, two helpful
We have reported before in the newsletter on the personal casework undertaken by members of the Branch. At this point in the academic cycle, with the year heading to a close, it might be helpful to provide an update on our recent casework activity. Since October 2020, we have supported 24 members who approached us seeking advice and representation. These cases have ranged from grievances to disciplinary hearings, and from workload issues to restructures and redundancies. The number also includes several colleagues whom we have assisted in securing exemption from in-person teaching at the height of the pandemic.
Many of these cases are complex, involving caseworkers in significant preparation and multiple meetings. Some of them are ongoing and not to be resolved until the next academic year (by which time other members seeking our support will doubtless have come forward). In each instance, however, we hope that we have been able to offer colleagues facing difficult circumstances both practical guidance and emotional support.
We should say a word about the place of casework in the Branch’s activity at large. Although each case is inevitably individual in its focus, supporting a particular colleague, it is far from true that casework is cut off from our broader campaigning. Regular meetings of the casework team identify patterns and tendencies – how the University is managing restructures, for example – and this then informs our negotiations with the institution. What seems to be a narrowly personal activity is thus always collective in its implications.
As members know, our caseworkers are all volunteers, taking on this task in addition to their day jobs in the institution. Currently we have an excellent team of dedicated people – but more caseworkers are always very welcome. A short training session, delivered either on campus or online by the Union’s regional office, will be arranged for the early autumn – so, if you think you might be interested in becoming a caseworker, do look out for details in due course. In the meantime, if anyone would like to talk about what the role entails, or would like casework support, please contact our Personal Casework Co-ordinator Andrew Dix (A.Dix@lboro.ac.uk).
UCU National Campaign: Building Power in the Workplace
Committee has been discussing how best to use the newsletter to communicate with members. We are moving away from lengthy newsletters issued every two months in favour of a shorter newsletter that we will send out during the first week of each month. We will continue to send email briefings about urgent matters as they occur.
Matters of interest going forward that were reported on/discussed are as follows: ongoing negotiations with management have resulted in a formal review of the PDR process, promotions process, and Grievance process being initiated this year – these reviews will conclude at different points through 2021-22. A Charter to improve and protect the working terms and conditions of Casual Staff is in the final stages of negotiation following the work of the Anti-Casualisation Task and Finish Group, and we will report back when this has been adopted.
Three motions were debated: 1) Rule Change Motion (Annual General Meeting) – passed; 2) Rule Change Motion (Rules for Local Motions) – withdrawn; 3) Local Subs Motion 2021 – passed.
Local Subs Motion 2021
The majority of our local branch income pays for our excellent administrative support, without which the branch would not be able to achieve all it does. Branch officers would spend much more time doing administrative tasks and would have far less time to spend negotiating with the University and supporting members through casework. UCU staff are members of the USS pension scheme alongside us.
This motion had two aims:
We needed to stem a current deficit in the branch finances and allow for expected staffing cost increases, especially due to USS;
We hoped to move from a regressive flat-fee structure to a progressive tiered structure.
As a result of this motion passing, local subscription rates will move from a flat fee paid by all members (whose earnings vary enormously) to a tiered structure based on the pay bands used for your national UCU subscriptions. This does mean a small increase for our highest earners but allows for a decrease for those earning less. Our very lowest earners (under £5,000 per year), typically employed part time and often on precarious contracts, will no longer pay local subscriptions. Previously they paid over three times more for their local subscription than their national subscription.
The changes are as follows:
£60,000 & above (F0)
£40,000 – £59,999 (F1)
£30,000 – £39,999 (F2)
£22,000 – £29,999 (F3)
£15,000 – £21,999 (F4)
£5,000 – £14,999 (F5)
Below £5,000 (F6)
Changes to contributions rates
77 of our lowest paid, often most precariously employed, members have their subscriptions reduced 84 pay roughly the same 319 pay just over £1 more 66 highest paid members pay £3.37 more – to use a now somewhat hackneyed phrase, “the price of a coffee”.
I’m grateful to all of the members who voted in favour of the progressive option which makes our subscription model much fairer.
David Wilson, Branch Treasurer
The composition of the LUCU Committee for 2021-22 was announced:
Chair – Mary Brewer
Negotiating Secretary – Marc Gibson
Casework Coordinator – Andrew Dix
Health and Safety Officer – Alec Edworthy
Equalities Officer – Sue Hignett
Pensions Rep – Matthew Inglis
Treasurer – David Wilson
Membership Secretary – Marie Hanlon
Ordinary member – Joanna Boehnert
EGM on Workload – Report
Our most recent EGM addressed how workload for next year is being managed across departments/schools.
There was some good news from members in SDCA, where SMT is taking a more progressive approach to workload, which involves open discussions at school meetings where staff (and our LUCU Reps) can raise the question of tariffs, un-costed work, EDI, and other issues of concern. This effort at genuine consultation, transparency, and inclusion is welcome! We are also pleased to report that the Dean of Loughborough London responded immediately and positively to working with us on workload and EDI related issues as part of the planning for next year’s workload.
While these are hopeful developments, members in other schools reported limited or no consultation on workload, tariff reductions to make staff appear to be working within the 1598 agreed workload, tariffs that bear scant relation to the time needed for tasks, stress from overwork, a lack of transparency/fairness relevant to workload, and uncertainty regarding the appropriate consideration of EDI and workload. LUCU will be running a workload campaign in 2021-22, with the aim addressing the problems with workload that have been highlighted by members.
In response to issues raised by the Workload Task and Finish group (which is ongoing), the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor is preparing a paper on the new workload model that will be presented at the next ARSNC, and we will report back to members about this in due course.
If you would like a copy of the minutes from the AGM and/or EGM, please write to UCU@lboro.ac.uk.
LUCU continue to work closely alongside the other campus unions, HR, and Health and Safety to monitor the situation surrounding Covid-19.
Loughborough still has the highest student testing compliance rates in HE, and it is because of this that cases remain very low. We have seen a slight increase in cases recently, reflecting the national situation, but with the prompt action from Connect and Protect the numbers are being kept low and full contact tracing is taking place (no links between the cases have been identified suggesting that they are community acquired rather than University related). With the likelihood of further relaxation of the restrictions, we’re anticipating campus getting busier and more people returning to the office. As and when this happens, we will work to ensure that our members’ working environments are managed safely and appropriately.
LUCU would like to remind our members that we must not get complacent – social distancing, face coverings (except where exempt), regular hand washing and plenty of ventilation are still essential. If you feel comfortable, please do politely challenge others where you see these rules not being observed, or, if you prefer, please alert the relevant Health and Safety contact in your area so that they may ensure compliance with Covid safety rules. And please continue to let us know of any concerns you may have about health and safety in your area of work.
Alec Edworthy, Branch Health and Safety Officer
We would like to remind members to use the UCU modeller that has been developed, which will show how your pension will be affected if the changes to USS advocated by UUK become a reality: UCU – UUK pension proposal modeller.
The modeller may be used by non-members as well, so please share widely with colleagues.
We are sending this email as we have received requests from several members about the terms of “dynamic working” and for further information.
As you may be aware, the Dynamic Working group has been looking at what they have learned from the Pandemic in terms of hybrid ways of working, and what practices might be kept as we move forward from Covid-19 and lockdown. The University have run some targeted Drop-in sessions and would now like to gather additional feedback from other University staff.
If you would like to feedback on this topic please complete this form by the end of Wednesday 16th June.
Dynamic Working Project: Proposed Terms of Reference
The dynamic working group will make recommendations around hybrid working that are rooted in a pragmatic desire to achieve:
Operational effectiveness utilising the lessons learned around remote working following the pivot on-line
A good colleague and student experience
Preserving and enhancing the sense of community that defines the University’s culture
Support for the overall University strategy
Explore jobs and tasks, employee preferences, projects and workflows and inclusion and fairness implications of dynamic work practices.
Identify options with respect to future working practices including variations in both location of work (place) and patterns of working (time).
Evaluate the potential impacts of different potential working practices on;
University culture / community
Equality of opportunity
Develop a framework of optimal future working practices that balances the considerations of the University and its employees for approval by University’s senior leadership team.
Identify the support needed to enable changes in working practices (e.g. Advice to staff on effective home working, IT infrastructure, Training for managers in relation to facilitating remote working etc.)
Benchmark our proposals against the approaches taken by our competitors to ensure that our offering is competitive.
Out of Scope
Developing the support mechanisms for proposed changes
Dean ABCE – Chair
Director, HROD – Project sponsor
Planning officer – Member
Ops Manager SDCA – Member
School Registrar LUIL – Member
Antuala Anthi Tako
Reader SBE – Member
Reader AACME – Member
Head of Corporate Communications – Member
Senior Assistant Registrar – Member
Head of Programme Management Office, E&FM – Member
Laboratory Assistant SSEHS – Member
Change Team – Secretary
The Board will report, through the Chair and other Members, to the Change Portfolio Board and where appropriate to the University’s Senior Leadership team.
We hope the above information helps clarify things.
You may have already received this information from your UCU department rep, due to its importance we are sending again to all members. Please share this email with any non-members that also may not have received the message through department reps.
Proposed Changes to Your USS Pension
As you know, Universities UK (UUK) – the body which speaks on behalf of universities such as Loughborough – is currently consulting universities about changes to the USS pension scheme. Because these proposed changes are complex, it is not straightforward to understand from the headline proposals how they will affect you.
To help, UCU’s actuarial advisors, First Actuarial, have produced an online modeller which allows you to calculate how UUK’s proposals would affect your income in retirement. For example, the modeller reveals that I personally would have a £5068/year reduction to my income in retirement under these proposals.
If you have a USS pension you are welcome to use this tool, regardless of whether you are a member of UCU:
(Note: the modeller appears to work best when using Google Chrome.)
Loughborough UCU strongly encourages you to take this opportunity to understand the implications of the current proposals for you personally.
UUK’s proposals are a result of USS’s 2020 valuation, which was published in March this year. Both UUK and UCU agree that this valuation is flawed. For example, UUK has described USS’s approach as “unreasonable”, “unrealistic”, “incredibly conservative” and “unjustifiable”. Unfortunately, UUK has not persuaded USS to change their valuation method, and instead is proposing to pass the cost onto scheme members in the form of reduced benefits. UCU believes that this is approach is not reasonable.
UCU Novus members working in prison education have been on strike Tuesday 11 May, and Wednesday 12 May in a dispute over health and safety. This covers 49 prisons and young offenders’ institutions and is the first time a prison education branch has taken industrial action.
The row centres on the employer Novus’s failure to meaningfully engage with UCU over Covid health and safety concerns and on-site provision. Also, Novus has refused to drop complaints and investigations against staff who have raised safety concerns – unfounded allegations and without reference to any formal procedures and against natural justice. As these staff are UCU’s health and safety representatives, UCU believes it is impossible for the employer to meaningfully engage in health and safety discussions until this intimidation stops.
Please support your colleagues. If ever there was a time to stand up and support your union colleagues, now is the time. Due to members’ fear of reprisals, there will be limited social media use. However you can fill this gap by taking the following actions:
please Tweet messages of support and share Tweets using #prisonedstrike
UCU, Unite and UNISON: Professional Services Workload Survey Results
Please see below for the results summary for the UCU, Unite and UNISON Professional Services Workload Survey conducted in March.
We thank those of you who took the time to complete the survey and assure you that the results will be extremely valuable in providing direction for the Professional Services Workload Task and Finish Group. To drill deeper into the workload issues raised in the survey, the Task and Finish Group will set up staff focus groups. These groups will be open for all Professional Services staff to join (union members and non-members), and a communication will be sent out shortly to invite participation.
Unite, UNISON and UCU Professional Services Workload Survey – Results
Respondents are Professional Services staff who are union members (UNISON, Unite, UCU), 55% of whom worked from home.
In the year January 2020-Jaunary 2021, 81% of participants experienced an increase in their workload. Some participants are able to complete this additional work within their working hours, whereas others are unable to.
Working hours 32% are able to complete their work in their normal working hours. 30% are able to complete their work about 50% of the time in their normal working hours. 38% are rarely or never able to complete their work in their normal working hours.
Impact of additional workload on hours worked In addition to their normal weekly working hours: 31% are working 9 or more hours. 44% are working between 3 and 9 hours. 18% are working between 1 and 3 hours. 7% are not working any additional hours.
Tasks left uncompleted to avoid excessive working hours 54% are leaving tasks uncompleted because they are unable to find the time to do them. Potential Causes for increased workload
Impact of Technology & Processes 51% respondents’ workload has been impacted by the University’s technological systems and/or processes. 49% of respondents’ workload has not been impacted by the University’s technological systems and/or processes.
Impact of the Severance Scheme 40% of respondents’ workload has been impacted by the Severance Scheme 60% of respondents’ workload has not been impacted by the Severance Scheme
Impact of restructure in the last 12 months 49% experienced increased workload 51% did not experience a workload impact
Impact of workload on stress over the past 12 months 96% have experienced increased stress due to workload over the past year, with 19% reporting consistently feeling stressed.
Impact of workload on morale over the past 12 months 91% have felt demoralised, with 23% reporting feeling consistently demoralised.
Impact of workload on quality of service 78% reported an impact the quality of service delivered.
Workload management 9% reported regular workload reviews with their manager. 19% reported frequent workload reviews with their manager. 50% reported occasional workload reviews with their manager. 22% reported no workload reviews with their manager.
Summary of Discursive Comments
Inadequate IT training for new tasks
Lack of MS Teams training
Wide range of systems and processes not linked, hence additional work required
New technological systems have increased workload
Learning to use and then find work arounds for functionality limitations
Unachievable increased workload requiring work over contract hours
Completing tasks above pay scale
Driven to seek alternative employment
Increased workload, but supported by manager
Loss of expertise and ability to provide a quality service
Programme at crisis point – lack of planning for the future
Loss of vital experience and expertise with no plan to replace
Work-life balance seriously impacted
OTHER REASONS FOR WORKING OVER CONTRACTED HOURS
Working from home
Recruitment freeze/non replacement of leavers
Additional responsibility, tasks or duties due to loss of expertise
COVID-related University initiative
Staff absence and/or furlough
NON-COST SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING WORKLOAD
Improve leadership and strategic task prioritisation: sharing tasks equitably; avoiding favouritism; ‘just do what you can manage’ isn’t helpful
Greater consultation on new activities
Streamline activity to focus on ‘need to do’ tasks all the way down from top to bottom
Reduce last minute decision making through improved planning and notice for changes to complex systems
Lower expectations from senior management
Call on alumni to help out as the NHS have done with retired staff
Review and update job descriptions – greater transparency over role expectations
Distribute workload from those heavily impacted by Covid to those with no/limited additional workload
Increase online meetings
Introduce a culture of administration that consistently tests each procedure for the burdens it places on staff and continually aim for redesign to reduce burden
Better communication between admin and teaching staff
Better communication between management, team leaders and staff
Reduce the amount of assessments and move more online
Reduce bureaucracy around PDR
Reduce bureaucracy around form filling
Better Agresso reporting
Spread online labs over more days
Remove the need for manual workarounds for dysfunctional online systems
Increase staff confidence and proactivity to take on responsibilities
Cut the services we offer to students and better manage their expectations
Change student menus to make them less labour intensive
It can happen to men, women and people of any gender identity or sexual orientation, and it can be carried out by anyone of the same sex, a different sex or anyone of any gender identity. See ACAS definition.
Sexual harassment is usually directed at an individual, but not always. Sometimes there can be a culture of sexual harassment in a workplace which is called ‘joking’ and ‘banter’. Sexual harassment can include:
flirting, gesturing, or making sexual remarks about someone’s body, clothing, or appearance
asking questions about someone’s sex life
telling sexually offensive jokes
making sexual comments or jokes about someone’s sexual orientation or gender reassignment
displaying or sharing pornographic or sexual images, or other sexual content
touching someone against their will, for example hugging them
sexual assault or rape
Every day, people across the UK are sexually harassed at work. Our current laws put the onus on individuals to report such incidents but the TUC report that 4 out of 5 don’t feel able to tell their employer.
Local Points of Contact for Staff with Sexual Harassment Concerns
Two members of the local branch committee have agreed to be points of contact for staff with sexual harassment concerns. Marie Hanlon (primarily for staff in professional services) and Sue Hignett (primarily for staff in academic departments). Their contact details can be found here. Please do get in touch with either of the contacts if you have any concerns regarding sexual harassment.
Campaign for 16 days in 16 ways
From the 25th Nov until the 10th Dec UCU are contributing to a campaign run by The Centre for Women’s Global Leadership, a feminist human rights organisation. For more information please see the UCU website here. Members who wish to get involved in organising and contributing to this campaign on a local level please get in touch with the branch by clicking here.
Continuing Professional Development
We are offering members a webinar course “Challenging Sexual Harassment and Violence” at a date TBC. Our branch Equality Officer has recently completed the pilot session for this webinar and reported back “It was an excellent session lasting just under 1.5 hours”. The course aims to help you; identify what we mean by sexual harassment and violence, understand how polices can protect staff and explore how we can all challenge sexual harassment and violence in the workplace. At this point we are requesting Expressions of Interest, please click here to send an EoI to the branch.