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Further Education trade unions’ webinar on safe returns to onsite working

FAO: UCU FE England branch officers | cc: FEC, regions & staff

Dear colleague

UCU will be hosting an FE England joint trade unions open webinar, to which employer representatives will also be invited, titled ‘Working together to make any return to onsite working safe in FE, ACE and prisons.’

The webinar will be held at 5 pm on Monday 8 June 2020. Register here.

https://ucu.wufoo.com/forms/fe-england-joint-trades-unions-webinar/

Unite and UCU health and safety lead officials will set out the joint trade unions’ expectations on the conduct of risk assessments and consultation around agreeing what a safe to any return to onsite working looks like.

We believe it is important for employers to hear clearly our expectations on what any safe return to work looks like before racing for a particular date.

Please find below further details. A live chat window will be open during the event however due to numbers please restrict your use to questions and be aware that employers will be in the same room.

Best regards

Andrew Harden

Head of further education

University and College Union

________________________________________

FE England joint trades unions open webinar: ‘Working together to make any return to onsite working safe in FE, ACE and prisons’

5 pm, Monday 8 June, 2020

Register here: https://ucu.wufoo.com/forms/fe-england-joint-trades-unions-webinar/

Unite and UCU health and safety lead officials will set out the joint trade unions’ expectations on the conduct of risk assessments and consultation around agreeing what a safe to any return to onsite working looks like.

  • Chair: Janet Farrar, UCU vice-president
  • Unite: Bud Hudspith, national H&S advisor
  • UCU: Alex Lancaster, bargaining and negations official (health and safety lead)

Due to high numbers of registrations to this webinar we will be asking for questions to be suggested in advance. We will try to keep an eye on the live chat box but this may be difficult answer live questions on the evening but we will do our best.

Registrations will close at 12 noon Monday 8 June.

Colleagues,

This webinar is being hosted by UCU on behalf of the FE England joint trade unions and is open to trade union representatives from all of the FE trade unions together with college, adult and community education and prison education management representatives. Officials from the Association of Colleges, Holex, Department for Education and Ministry of Justice will also be invited.

As joint trade unions we recognise there are many challenges to any safe return to on site working, both on campus but also in the other learning environments that staff work in, including work based learning and prisons. We believe that only by working together can we address these adequately.

A key barrier to any return to onsite learning and working is the confidence of students and staff that it is safe to do so.

Some confidence issues will relate to matters outside of employers’ control and are covered by the first three of the joint trade unions five tests which can be found here. While largely outside of employers’ control, we regard these first three tests as valid for any return to occur.

The last two tests are solely within employers’ control. On these we believe student and staff confidence will only be achieved when managers and trade union representatives work together to agree what any safe return looks like. To assist those discussions at a local level the Joint Trade Unions have produced a guide for local discussion which has 5W’s and can be found here.

The FE joint trade unions welcome and invite representatives from all of the trade unions and employers to join this important webinar.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Harden
Leigh Powell

UCU head of further education
National official Unison

 

 

Advice on return to work in FE – Risk assessments

Dear Colleagues

We know that partial  return to the workplace is now one of the biggest issues you are facing. We recently sent you the UCU 5 step approach and we  copied you into the letter that had been sent to all Principals and CEOs by the Head of FE.

Colleges in the main are sticking to the 15th June as being the very earliest start date for some vulnerable learners and for some students requiring to complete practical work associated with  licence to practice qualifications . We should stress that the numbers of students and staff  returning to college premises should be kept to absolute minimums and only happen where we are persuaded that this is essential and safe  . We anticipate that most students and staff  will continue to learn and work  from home .

However,  even this partial return requires thorough risk assessments to be carried out by employers which clearly identify  Hazards and Control measures.

To support branches in monitoring the risk assessments carried out by your employer please find attached UCU guidance published today . This advice should allow you to compare the risk assessments produced by your employer with the considerations identified by the union and to challenge the employer where their Risk assessments fall short.  There is also a set of general questions that you should ask the employer which are set out at the end of the document .

It is absolutely essential that we do not allow members to return to any  workplace based on inadequate risk assessments so please use the attached as your template .

As always contact your regional officials for any further advice  you may need

Keep safe and well

Nick, Catriona and Philippa

https://southwestregion.web.ucu.org.uk/covid19-hazards-controls-considerations-fe/

 

SWIRE Online – Thursday April 23 – Edition 03

 

South West Industrial Relations Exchange Online – 23rd April 2020  – Edition 03

NB – You can share this information in social media using the short URL https://tinyurl.com/swireol03

National Advice and Guidance

All COVID 19 related issues can be found in one place at https://www.ucu.org.uk/covid19  ​

Regional Virtual Drop-in Meetings for Officers

Officers have said how much they get from discussing and listening to other experiences. Whilst physical meet ups are impossible, we can still use the technology for this. Look out in your INBOXES for regular invitations to online SWIRE meetings.  Your regional team is going to try and hold these on a regular basis, probably only for an hour a time and at different times in the week. The first one will be held on Tuesday 28th April at 4 PM and will last for a maximum of one hour. It will be sent to officers as invitation to a SKYPE meeting. If you can accept or decline the invitation when you receive it that would help us know how many participants to expect. ​

Furloughing (laying off staff)

Please note the recently published specific advice for our sectors.   ​See attachments

Officials have now been successful in ensuring that our positioning on this as set out below has been achieved in the vast majority of workplaces within our region

​a. should facilitate working at home wherever possible.

b. should agree to pay 100% of wages throughout the furlough period ​

c. should agree to pay all employer contributions to all occupational pension schemes (individuals will remain liable for their employee contribution – through PAYE) ​

d. should confirm in writing that individuals will suffer no detriment by agreeing to be furloughed including: ​continuity of employment, sick pay, maternity leave and pay, and redundancy rights, continued accrual of annual leave during furlough, access to progression, promotion, and training & development opportunities  ​

e. that employment is guaranteed following furlough ​

f. if on a variable hours or FTC contract, that wages during furlough will be calculated in a fair and transparent manner, taking into account any previous assurances of hours ​

We still await a couple of workplaces confirmation of 100 percent pay. For example, City of Bristol College initially proposed only committing to 100% pay for a period of one month, after which that would be reviewed. UCU made clear that this would be unacceptable, and the College has now revised their position and will be paying the full 100%. ​

Case Work ​

Morin is planning to present a brief online training session for new case workers at the Exeter University branch on handling case work. This might be a good opportunity for other branches to try and recruit new caseworkers as support required for individual case work is likely to increase in the coming weeks. If other branches are interested in Morin conducting an online session with them, then please do get in touch with her at madesanwo@ucu.org.uk

Please note – this is not intended to replace the usual Introduction to Casework course scheduled to take place in December at our office.  ​

Working From Home

Although we all hope that we will return to our normal workplaces ASAP as we move into the second month of lockdown we are hearing about members who are really feeling stressed and isolated. Please remind yourself of the UCU working from home  policy and our guidance on self care.  See attachments  ​

Anti-casualisation Work

UCU is seeking to ensure that this work still moves at a pace, albeit through online and virtual negotiations. In HE we are hearing some worrying whispers re employers looking to kick out casually employed staff first should a storm of cuts be proposed following this lockdown, and it is vital that all branches do all they can to make as many members as possible as secure as possible as soon as possible! ​

Extension of the Academic Year

​A number of universities have reported that due to the lockdown, extensions have been given to students to complete coursework and assessments.  Some institutions have a large number of clinical NHS degrees and additional training. Releases to NHS front-line roles and extensions to deadlines will also extend the academic year. This means that members will have to complete marking later and be available for (or arrange cover) for teaching and tutorials. This is on top of the work members have been doing at home to ensure students are taught and supported on line, teaching is converted to on line methods of delivery and preparations for next term and the next academic year are completed.

Members are rightly concerned that they will not be able to take their annual leave because management have agreed to extensions or increased deadlines, without consulting and negotiating on the effects they will have. We would like to establish what the position is in the South West and also across sectors, as we are sure there will be issues in FE and Adult Education as well. Please could branches report any concerns and information to exeter@ucu.org.uk ​

Annual Leave ​

We have seen a number of institutions attempt to change annual leave policies, without negotiation. This has ranged from not allowing any leave to be carried over, to not being able to take 3 weeks consecutive leave in July and August. ​UCU have always been clear that annual leave should be taken in year and management should not make it impossible for the full complement of annual leave to be taken. However, there will be circumstances where it is not possible to take leave and policies have been negotiated to reflect that.

If your management are trying to impose changes to policies or to custom and practice please tell us exeter@ucu.org.uk  ​

Organising Support

Please remember that during this difficult time it is important to let your members know what the latest developments in your branch are. It is also a good idea to ask members for their feedback and impressions. To this end I am always available to help with newsletters and communications. Officers are reminded that branches have access to their membership lists via a simple browser-based system called eServices. If you need this setting up, or training in it, please contact me. dotoole@ucu.org.uk

​Keep safe everyone  ​

Best wishes

 Nick, Catriona, Philippa, Dave, Morin and Rebecca

 

SWIRE Online – Friday March 27 – Edition 02

South West Industrial Relations Exchange Online – Friday March 27 – Edition 02

Distribution: Officers of the South West and Extended Region

Working from Home and online teaching

We are receiving some messages from members anxious about their ability to deliver online. Please refer them to the national UCU guidance (link below) sent out from the regional office on Wednesday. Remember that your employer has a duty to support you and advise; you should not be left isolated. It might be also be a good idea to set up a WhatsApp group with colleagues delivering similar parts of the curriculum so that you can share ideas and experiences.

https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/10830/UCU-guidance-on-working-from-home-and-teaching-online/pdf/ucu_workfromhome_guide_mar20.pdf

Staff Unable to Work from Home

Where staff are able to work from home, they should obviously be paid as normal. Where staff can’t work from home – due, for example, to the nature of their work – but are currently prevented from carrying out their work, UCU is obviously anxious that they remain in employment – and continue to be paid – during any period for which they are effectively ‘laid-off’ (we refuse to use the term ‘furloughed’). Clearer details of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme are emerging now, and all employers should have been waiting for that rather than rushing to push out communications saying that they will simply stop paying certain groups of staff where they believe that the nature of the contract allows them to.

One college decided to give all its part time AE tutors 2 weeks’ notice of dismissal …unbelievable . The UCU were all over this and the notice has been withdrawn.

If it helps the AOC has sent this to all its member colleges in regard to the staff retention scheme “Staff on the DfE helpline have already advised college finance directors that colleges will be eligible to apply for support on account of their private sector status.” This may be helpful when challenging colleges that are moving quickly to lay people off.

UCEA COVID 19 statement

You may be aware of a joint statement issued by UCEA on Tuesday and signed-up to by the four other HE unions nationally (Unison, Unite, GMB, and EIS) but not UCU.

This is a note to outline why UCU felt unable to sign-up to the joint statement.  The statement as proposed was too weak, and the final version remains so, as it fails to address three areas of concern for UCU, on which UCEA were not prepared to move:

The closure of all non-essential core face to face functions (in terms of teaching this had largely been done but libraries and other non-essential face to face functions were/are still operating;

A pause to negotiate and agree with trade unions arrangements for alternative ways of working including online and home working;

Agreement to ensure all staff working for /delivering services to universities continue to be paid and retained including casualised staff and those employed by contractors, where necessary making use of the government’s Covid-19 wage subsidy offer.

Holidays

Whilst it is understandable that Institutions will try and ensure that staff do not save entitlements until later in the year it is equally unfair for them to force the front loading of holidays. Please refer to your contracts and policies and insist that they are adhered to and not arbitrarily ignored. Contact you officials if you need support re this.

Business as normal

The Swindon Colleges still insist on ploughing ahead with a merger despite our tying to halt it for the time being. Apparently, the Olympics can be postponed but not this!! Comment from member below representative of views

‘I’m sure that I am not the only one but with unprecedented crisis, caring and supporting my family which includes my wife who is a front line NHS worker working in Corvid wards. She has elderly grandparents and children at home as well as attempting to teach and support students. TUPE consultation is at the very bottom of my priorities. I think the college needs to take a reality check.’

City of Bristol College is currently refusing to pause a management restructure/redundancy process. Ploughing ahead with this in the context of the crisis is ridiculous, and the additional stress and anxiety this creates for those potentially facing redundancy is, in the union’s view not only unnecessary but also heartless.

Other employers are taking a much more humane approach though such as Bristol University who , after requests form UCU have paused their restructuring programme for Professional service staff,

Redundancy Consultations Paused

Cornwall College and South Devon have paused all redundancy consultations.

Casual and precarious staff

In the first edition of SWIROL, we shared some examples of good practice, where employers are providing assurances that, for example, hourly-paid teaching staff will continue to be paid for work that has been scheduled even if it doesn’t take place (through no fault of the lecturer). However, we still have a number of gaps in our information about what employers are doing to support casual and precariously-employed staff. Please keep feeding information to us via exeter@ucu.org.uk

Strike Pay Deductions

Exeter University have agreed to suspend all strike pay deductions until May and then deductions would be taken in May, June and July. UCU have requested that deductions are rescinded but have been told that within the Russell Group, very few were doing so. UCU will continue to press for no deductions to be made.

Prison Education Staff

Although the majority of Prison Education staff are no longer required to attend the workplace, we still have a number of issues we are trying to resolve with the employer and the Government. It is unclear whether Weston College will take advantage of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and lay off their Agency Workers or simply lay them off, with no pay. UCU are pressing for the college to access the scheme and protect their agency staff. UCU has also produced guidance for Prison Education members if they are instructed to attend the workplace and this can be accessed here.

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10735/Education-provision-during-Covid-19-lockdown

Video Conferencing

Further to Morin’s piece in SWIRE online’s first edition, distributed on Wednesday, and following updated legal advice we would like to give further clarification on her piece on Video Conferencing:

Individual members should be entitled to seek that a formal internal hearing is conducted in person rather than remotely. If an employer refuses then as a Trade Union we will express concern but given the unprecedented times we all are faced employers are being given leniency in this regard.

Whether an employer’s actions are unreasonable is ultimately up to an Employment Tribunal. We should however argue that refusing a member’s request for an in-person hearing would be unreasonable particularly if the sanction is punitive. This involves a balancing exercise. For example where a case is document heavy and complex the representative could  be significantly disadvantaged in putting forward the member’s case.

Additionally, If a member is disabled then there would be the additional considerations of reasonable adjustments and the member may want to request an in-person hearing, when it is safe to do so, as a reasonable adjustment.

We are now hearing of both good and bad practice but after UCU lobbying at least we are reaching agreements that allow for methodology of meetings to be taken on a case by case basis

Communicating with Members

Please remember at this time it is important for branch officers to keep in touch with their members to update them with the latest advice and to reassure them. I can see no reason why these communications cannot be shared with potential members to remind them the we are the organisation that has staff interests as our highest priority. Please encourage your members, where appropriate to share UCU’s communications with their colleagues and non-members and remind and encourage them to join before they need help.

If anyone needs help with communications please contact dotoole@ucu.org.uk

Your Regional Team

UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE UNION
TELEPHONE 01392 412525
Twitter  @UCUSOUTH WEST

SWIRE Online – March 25 2020

South West

Industrial Relations Exchange Online – Wednesday March 25 – Edition 01

Distribution: Officers of the South West and Extended Region, HE and FE

Dear Colleagues

Firstly, we hope you are keeping safe and well in these extraordinary times. This is the first edition of SWIREOL ( South West Industrial Relations Exchange Online ). The purpose is to keep you updated on a regular basis with best COVID 19 practice across the region plus from time to time shaming some of our institutions.

These newsletters are for local SW regional UCU news. For detailed  general guidance please keep checking the national UCU website on a daily basis. As this is to be the start of an exchange please feed in any  notable practice from your institutions to exeter@ucu.org.uk.

The updates will be very brief to allow for versions across all formats. For more detailed information regarding any item contact  either Nick Catriona or Philippa directly  or if related to dealing with case work Morin. Dave has the responsibility for editing the news and Becca will ensure it gets out to all of you.

University of Bristol has a decent statement on Working From Home (WFH) and the challenges of childcare.

Working from home with young children or other caring responsibilities

“If you have young children at home because the schools are closed or have other caring responsibilities and are working at home, we know that you may be unable to commit to a full day of work. We understand that and thank you for your best efforts. Do what you can, ask for help and take care of your family.  Please talk to your line manager to agree a shared approach to your working practices over the coming weeks.”

Petroc one of the better statements re continued payment of HPLs

Petroc College in Devon told TES that it is paying casual staff for the hours they would have worked if the college was operating normally. It is also paying them full sick pay if they are in self-isolation.

The college’s director of human resources and organisational development, Sheena Murphy-Collett, said: “At Petroc, we value all of our workforce and the contribution they make to the success of the college. We are supporting the workforce during this unprecedented situation we find ourselves in and our part-time hourly paid staff, often referred to as casual staff, are being treated fairly and appropriately. If they are in self-isolation, we are paying them sick pay. If they are fit for work, we are paying them for the hours they would have worked if the college was operating normally.

“We have extended the sick pay entitlement for colleagues who ordinarily would only receive SSP [Statutory Sick Pay] within their first six months of employment.”

Precarious and casual

A number of institutions have agreed to pay their hourly paid, associate lecturers and casual staff for any scheduled teaching. Your institution may give them another name but these are staff who have no open ended contract and may have a schedule of work for the year, a guarantee of a number of hours or something similar to this. Some examples; Swindon College, Wiltshire College, Bridgwater and Taunton College, South Devon College, University of the West of England and Plymouth University are all paying these staff groups. There are others. Weymouth College has also given a commitment that variable hours HPLs will continue to be paid, based on their previous and currently planned hours.

Redundancy consultations have been suspended at South Devon College and Cornwall College.

Cornwall College have been able to close all of their sites by working with the Local Authority, families and other providers.

In terms of sick pay and recording sickness absence, Weston College have confirmed Covid-19 absence will not be included in sickness absence monitoring and South Devon College have suspended the use of the Bradford Factor. Petroc has also confirmed that coronavirus-related sickness absence will not be ‘counted’ towards triggering any formal sickness absence procedure.

Prison Ed

It wasn’t until yesterday that our Prison Education colleagues were finally told they would not be required to attend the workplace. Marianne Quick the Negotiating and Bargaining Officer covering Prison Education has been working tirelessly collating information, lobbying MP’s and negotiating with employers. The union had called for face-to-face provision to be stopped after members raised concerns about health and safety. A survey of prison education staff highlighted widespread concerns about a lack of basic handwashing facilities, classrooms not being cleaned between lessons and equipment being shared between prisoners and staff. Work will now continue to ensure these staff are still paid and the Government continues to pay colleges for the contracts.

Advice from Morin re Individual ​Casework

To Video Conference or Not?

With the Government’s emergency shutdown in response to Covid-19 and its advice about social distancing many of you will be thinking whether conducting a grievance, capability or disciplinary process via Skype, Zoom is advisable. To assist with this I have produced some information for you when advising members in this regard.

The first thing I would say is that it is ultimately up to the individual concerned. However, where the process is likely to lead to a severe sanction such as a Warning or Dismissal then our advice would be to have a face to face hearing when it is safe to do so which obviously means there would be a significant delay given the current pandemic crisis. The reasons for this are essentially three-fold:

1. You won’t get a second chance at it.

2. Conducting a disciplinary hearing, for example, via video conferencing would put both the individual member concerned and you as the representative at a disadvantage as you would not be able to properly gauge non-verbal communication.

3. Your union rep will be restricted with the amount of support that they can provide you as they will not be in the same room as you.

The individual member has the right to opt for a face to face hearing particularly when the sanction of the process is punitive. To not allow this would be unreasonable on the part of the employer. I do not envisage this being an issue but if you come across an employer who insists on going ahead via video conferencing against the individual’s wishes then I would suggest that you contact the regional office immediately at exeter@ucu.org.uk

NB: If an individual member does opt to go for a video conference then we shall support and represent them as best we can.

STOP PRESS

We are getting news from others in England that some managers are being instructed to  access online teaching and calling them ‘virtual walks ‘. Contact your official if any of  your institutions try this.

And Finally…

 

 

 

 

Bath Spa Teach Outs

For more information go to www.ucuatbsu.com

Strike Up! Conversations 2020 schedule v5 Full PDF (print version)

 

UKs biggest ever university strikes

UK’s biggest ever university strikes as staff begin 14 days of walkouts on Thursday

UCU members at 74 universities will begin 14 days of strikes on Thursday (20 February) in the largest wave of strikes ever seen on UK campuses.

The full strike dates are:

Week one – Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
Week two – Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February
Week three – Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March
Week four – Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March

The disputes centre on the sustainability of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and rising costs for members, and on universities’ failure to make significant improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

see more here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10643/UKs-biggest-ever-university-strikes-as-staff-begin-14-days-of-walkouts-on-Thursday

UCU members will strike at the following locations in the South West

Bath Spa

Picket locations/times, teach outs/rallies

Newton Park, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BD, 8am to 12pm on every strike day

Locksbrook Campus, Locksbrook Road, Bath, BA1 3EL, 8am to 12pm on every strike day

Corsham Court, Corsham Court, Church St, Wiltshire, Corsham SN13 0BZ, 8am to 12pm on every strike day

1st teach-out at The Globe on the first strike day, Thursday 20th, at 1-3pm.
Pennyquick, Newton St Loe, Bath BA2 9BB

Subsequent teach outs still being arranged.

Bath

Picket locations/times, teach outs/rallies

Virgil Building Manvers Street 8-11 am
5 Manvers St, Bath BA1 1JQ

Main Entrance 7:30-9:30 am
Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY

North Road 7:30-9:30 am

South Building 7:30-11:30 am

Exeter

Picket locations/times, teach outs/rallies

Streatham Drive / Stocker Road Junction Entrance (EX4 4PX), 8-10am.
Prince of Wales Rd Entrance (EX4 4SB), 8-10am.
Thornlea Entrance, New North Rd (Exeter EX4 4LA), 8-10am.
St Luke’s Entrance, Magdelene Rd (Exeter EX1 2LU), 8-10am.
Penryn Site, Main gate (Penryn TR10 9FE).

Bristol

Picket locations/times, teach outs/rallies

Main entrance on Woodland Road, 8:30am
Main Entrance on Priory Road, 8:30 am

At 10.30am on Thursday, 20 February 2020 UCU members will gather outside the Victoria Rooms for a rally before marching to College Green.

Call for Solidarity – Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Bath Spa begin 14 days of strike action from Thursday 20th (2020)

Colleagues,

In our region Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Bath Spa begin 14 days of strike action from next Thursday 20th.  Please send messages of support/attend local picket lines and donate to fighting fund (see details below).

Donate to the fighting fund.  Please support your colleagues.

UCU uses its fighting fund to support members involved in disputes, including the provision of strike pay where appropriate.  At the 2011 Congress, delegates recognised the current economic situation and the likelihood that this would mean more disputes to save jobs and services and protect conditions and recommended that members who could afford to do so, should make an annual donation to the fighting fund to support others.

 Need to claim or donate?  Please go to: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10452/Fighting-fund-donations-and-claims

Congress suggested that an appropriate donation would be £25, depending upon members’ circumstances but any donation to support colleagues in struggle is greatly appreciated and will be used directly to help members on strike.

How to donate:

Go to: https://www.ucu.org.uk/fightingfund

Securely online by credit card via the PayPal website:

Make a direct bank transfer, or set up a regular standing order, to:

Account name: UCU Fighting Fund
Sort code: 60-83-01
Account no: 20179432
Reference: ‘Fighting Fund Voluntary Levy’

or send a cheque (payable to ‘University and College Union’) to:

Fighting Fund donation
Finance Dept
University and College Union
Carlow Street
London
NW1 7LH

Please also send message of support.  These are always welcome and can be more widely disseminated.

Exeter –  Sharon Strawbridge (s.m.strawbridge@exeter.ac.uk)
Bath – David Moon (d.s.moon@bath.ac.uk)
Bath Spa – Beth Wright  e.wright@bathspa.ac.uk
Bristol  – James Thompson – Bristol Uni (james.thompson@bristol.ac.uk)

Please, show your support.

Thank you
NickVarney
Regional Official

HE Universities USS Strike November 2019

 

 

 

Call to All branches in the UCU SW region

You will know that Bristol, Exeter and Bath University members have smashed though the anti union ballot legislation and that members have voted overwhelmingly to take 8 continuous days of strike action from Monday November 25th right through to Wednesday 4th December.  They are leading the fight against worsening of pensions, year on year pay cuts, increased casualisation, unequal pay and excessive workloads.

These are issues in every part of HE, FE  Prison Education and AE.  Their action is part of the battle we are all fighting.  DO ALL YOU CAN TO SUPPORT.  Turn up on picket lines, send messages of support and contribute to the fighting fund.

Bristol University – (Bristol, BS8 1TH)

There will be pickets from 7.30 am to 10.00 am on Monday 25, Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 November.

On Monday 25 there was a rally outside the Victoria Rooms At 10:00 am (UCU head of higher education, Paul Bridge spoke) followed by a march to College Green (Bristol, BS1 5TJ)

Updated: Thanks once more for all your support. On Wednesday Nov 27, we will be picketing from 7.30 am to 10.00 am. We will have a rally at 10.00 am outside the Victoria Rooms, ( 88 Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1SA ) and then march down to College Green.

Picket locations for Wednesday are here: https://www.ucubristol.org.uk/picket-locations/

Teach Outs: https://bristolucu.blogs.bristol.ac.uk/files/2019/11/BSSSG-Teach-Out-e1574859854763.jpeg

Local picket leaders at each location will be clad in yellow tabards.

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

On Friday the 29th we will meet our students at 10.30am at Senate House (Bristol BS8 1TH) to walk down to join the Climate Strike march.

Please send messages of support to President, James Thompson care of ucu-office@bristol.ac.uk

University of Bath (Bath, BA2 7AY)

Striking staff will be on picket lines at the main University entrance, the North Entrance, at the North Road entrance, and in front of the Virgil Building on Manvers Street

Pickets are starting at 7am.

The University of Bath have organised “Strike On: Teach Out” events.  All are welcome.  See what a real university can be.

More details here: Facebook.com/StrikeOnTeachOut

Bath Teach Out Locations

Monday: 2pm-7pm (The Bell Inn, Bath 103 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BW)
Tuesday: 2pm-7pm (The Bell Inn, Bath 103 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BW)
Wednesday: 2pm-7pm (Widcombe Social Club, Bath Widcombe Hill, Bath BA2 6AA)
Thursday: 2pm-7pm (The Bell Inn, Bath 103 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BW) the Students’ Union will be joining us at 11am at the South (pedestrian) entrance and encouraging students to come along.

Friday: 10am-12:00 Climate 2pm-7pm (The Bell, Bath 103 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BW)
On Friday, finish at 10:30am in order to head down to the climate strike in the city centre.

Please send messages of support to President, Fran Amery: f.c.amery@bath.ac.uk

University of Exeter (Exeter, EX4 4PY)

There will be pickets from 7.30 am from Monday 25 – Wednesday 4 December

Exeter Picket locations

Streatham Drive / Stocker Road Junction Entrance
Prince of Wales Rd Entrance
Thornlea Entrance, New North Rd (Exeter EX4 4LA)
St Luke’s Entrance, Magdelene Rd (Exeter EX1 2LU)
Penryn Site, Main gate (Penryn TR10 9FE)

Teach-Out, St David’s Church, Queen’s Terrace, Exeter EX4 4HR, Friday 29, 12-4pm.  Line-up TBA.

Rally on the final day – Wednesday 4 December details TBC

Please send messages of support to President, Sharon Strawbridge s.m.strawbridge@exeter.ac.uk

Donations to fighting fund can be made by:

Making a direct bank transfer, or set up a regular standing order, to:

Account name: UCU Fighting Fund
Sort code: 60-83-01
Account no: 20179432
Reference: ‘Fighting Fund Voluntary Levy’

or send a cheque (payable to ‘University and College Union’) to:

Fighting Fund donation
Finance Dept
University and College Union
Carlow Street
London
NW1 7LH

Please follow @ucu and https://twitter.com/UCUSOUTHWEST

for latest details

Tiny URL to this page https://tinyurl.com/heuss2019

Nick Varney

 

 

Regional Official

UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE UNION
1ST FLOOR
BRITTANY HOUSE
NEW NORTH ROAD
EXETER EX4 4EP

TELEPHONE 01392 412525

 

South West Reps Training Calendar – 2019/2020

New Courses have been scheduled for the South West Region. Please read on to find out details!

All the courses are from 9.30am-4.30pm with registration from 9.15am. You are required to attend the full day during the training.

UCU Reps

Rep 1: Induction – 19th, 20th and 21st November 2019, Exeter Regional Office

Who is the course for?
This course is aimed at:

All new UCU reps and officers regardless of role
Existing UCU reps and officers regardless of role
This is a three day module. The course will help you to:
• understand the key structures, processes and support mechanisms within UCU and the ways in which they can interact with these
• understand the role of the UCU representative and other UCU union roles within the branch
• gain confidence to exercise your rights as a rep
• understand the links between organising and campaigning, member involvement, sustainability and the overall health of the branch
• get up to speed with the latest equality legislation
You will need to register through this link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/8379/Rep-1-UCU-Rep-Induction-19-21-November-2019-Exeter

Rep 2: Representing UCU members – 10th, 11th and 12th March 2020, Exeter Regional Office

Who is the course for?
This course is aimed at:

UCU reps and caseworkers who have attended the rep 1 induction module. We cannot accept you on the course if you have not completed Rep 1 already.
This is a three day module. The course will help you to:
• develop an understanding of the ACAS code and your own policies on disciplinary and grievance
• identify and progress individual issues into collective action
• practice essential skills and deepen knowledge when representing members cases from initial interview through to the hearing stage with management
• begin to develop a strategic overview of how casework should be managed to take back to your branch
You will need to register through this link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/8372/Rep-2-Representing-UCU-members—10-12-March-2020-Exeter

Health and Safety Reps – Safety Reps 1: Induction – 8th, 9th and 10th October 2019 – Exeter Regional Office

This 3 day module forms the first part of a 6 day training programme organised into 2 modules.
• the role and functions of a safety rep
• obtaining facilities and time off to carry out the safety rep’s function
• using the Safety Reps and Safety Committee Regulations
• organising UCU members around hazards at work
• applying a trade union and equal opportunities approach to health and safety
• identifying employers’ duties under health and safety legislation
• using the Health and Safety at Work Act and key regulation
• developing the skills needed to be an effective safety rep

You will need to register through this link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/4800/HS-1-Induction-Health–safety-reps-role-and-functions-8-10-October-2019-Exeter

H&S 2: Organising and bargaining for health and safety 28th, 29th and 30th January 2020– Exeter Regional Office

This 3 day module forms the second part of a 6 day training programme organised into 2 modules.
• building union organisation around health and safety issues
• introduction to risk assessments
• analysing symptoms of ill health by using body mapping and other techniques
• preparing for, and involving, members in inspections at work
• carrying out inspections at work
• using a systematic approach to tackling health and safety problems
• safety reps and the risk assessment process
• the role of safety reps in investigating injuries, incidents and ill health
• developing the skills needed to be an effective safety rep
You will need to register through this link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/6191/HS-2-Organising-and-bargaining-for-health-and-safety-28-30-January-2020-Exeter

Representing individual members: an introduction to casework, 4th December 2019, Exeter

This is a course for reps who are new to representing individual members or those who are considering becoming more involved in the direct representation of individual members. This course is designed as an introduction and you should look to completing the Rep 1: Induction post this course. More experienced reps may find this course useful in order to update their skills and look at current best practice. These one day courses are only available in the area they are advertised.
This course is for the South West area only – if you require this course in your area you should contact your regional office in the first instance.
This course will enable you to:
• Understand the UCU legal support scheme and Recourse
• Understand the role of the rep
• Understand how to communicate effectively with members seeking advice and represent them in meetings with management
• Identify sources of support and information for members seeking representation
• Understand the importance of using individual cases for collective organisation and describe the circumstances and ways in which this can be done
• Develop a collaborative approach with the member and manage their expectations
• Maintain confidentiality and conflicts of interest
• Assert your own rights and take care of your own well-being when handling personal cases
• Increase your understanding of procedures and processes related to individual representation
• Outline systems for dealing with individual casework in your branch.

You need to register through this link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10161/Representing-individual-members—an-introduction-to-casework

Trade unions and the environment – Green Reps role, function & influence 5th February 2020

This one day course is designed as an introduction to the role and functions of the UCU Environment/Green Rep. The course is open to all new and existing Green Reps who have not previously had training in this area, along with any rep who has an interest in environmental issues at work.
This one day introductory course is the ideal starting point for new and existing Environment/Green Reps who have not yet received training for the role. The course is also open to any other branch reps who have an interest in environmental issues at work.
The course will cover the outline below, but we will also look at how the role can influence the bargaining agenda of the branch.
This course will cover the following:
• The role and function of a Green Rep
• How the role integrates with branch structure
• How to progress issues with the employer
• Organising and involving members
• Campaigning around local and national priorities

You will need to register through this link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/7796/Trade-unions-and-the-environment—Green-Reps-role-function–influence

Registration

Due to new funding cuts UCU will be charged up to £150 per learner, for course with fewer than 15 participants. Please ensure you have the time off agreed and calendared before applying for the course. Please also make sure that you do not book anything else once the course booking has been confirmed. It places considerable pressure on the office in trying to replace a delegate when one has cancelled at the last minute, due to time off not being agreed or something else has come up. It could also mean that the course is cancelled if the numbers go below a certain amount which is disappointing and an inconvenience to other delegates who are all set to go.

Time Off for Training

This is something I get asked about regularly i.e. Reps are finding it hard to get the time off for training, either their Line Manager is being difficult, or they don’t want to request the time off as they are busy etc. It is YOUR LEGAL RIGHT as a Rep to have this time off to attend training. Here is a link to the UCU website with regards to this http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=4903 – this link contains sample letters that you and your Branch can use to get time off for training. If all else fails and you still encounter difficulties then please contact this office where your Official will be able to intervene.

ACAS code of practice

The new version of the ACAS code of practice on time off and facilities for union reps came into force on 1st Jan 2010. To access the code of practice, please click here: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2391

Overnight Accommodation, Expenses and Transport

Overnight stays are available for the night/s in between the course if you have to set out to travel to the venue before 6.30am in the morning.

Please note you are unable to book your own accommodation and claim this back through UCU.
Once you are registered please use the most cost effective form of transport available. UCU will cover the cost of any expenses incurred at the end of the course. You are not entitled to subsidence unless you are booked in for overnight accommodation and will require dinner. The cost of dinner should not exceed £15 per night. If you do require sight of an expense form before the course please let me know.

There is also an FAQ page relating to training: https://www.ucu.org.uk/trainingfaqs