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March, 2020:

Branch Update 30/03/20

The UCU Executive and Regional Officers send best wishes to all staff and at this difficult time for us all.

Recent UCU CCCU efforts have been focused on:

  1. Gaining assurances for all workers at CCCU that all work scheduled prior to the CV19 crisis will be paid by CCCU. We have been given assurances on this verbally but we are not sure these have reached all parts of the University and we have experienced situations in which staff have been told by managers they are not required and with no further details

      2. Negotiating a pause in review and redundancy processes at CCCU.

There has been no movement on pausing the implementation plan for FAH. 

Regarding the FAH FEd merger the following has been offered by SMT but falls short of our full aims.

Here is the VC’s latest position and communication regarding the FAH Review:

 

  • We have extended the deadline to 30 April – this recognises that staff need time to transition to the new world of day-to-day work from home as well as responding to the consultation.  There are also lots of 1:1 and other technology facilitated engagements as set out in LT’s email.

 

  • We want SMT to consider the consultation responses and come to a decision by 12 May – this responds to staff feedback that they would like certainty about the new structure of the merged faculty asap

 

  • Any SMT decision would then lead to the implementation stage.  We need to move to this to enable us to slot and match many people where there is a 1:1 match – this then means certainty for the vast majority of colleagues by end May/early June

 

  • However a handful of colleagues may still be ‘technically’ at risk but we will not place them formally at risk or issue notices of redundancy until the Covid -19 crisis has calmed down – in the mean time we will use this time to see whether the EVR scheme or redeployment within other parts of the University can be effected.
 

3. Assuring UCU CCCU representation in the SMT CV19 crisis decision making structures.  

 UCU CCCU reps Bryan Hawkins, Antonio Sama (Change and Review) Chris Biela (Health  and Safety) have joined the Operational Delivery Group. However no invitation has been received to the Strategic Group. We are aware of groups being set up with Student Union representation but no UCU CCCU representation and there has been a resistance to the principle of UCU representation in crisis management groups. UCU CCCU are in regular contact with the VC and Head of HR and this will continue.

PLEASE SEND ME YOUR COMMENTS VIEWS QUESTIONS ETC RELATING TO THE NEGOTIATIONS  ABOVE.

A NEW UCU CCCU INITIATIVE 

Whilst we continue these efforts above we are setting up a new initiative  based on members perspectives concerns and priorities  We are asking for your questions for the VC and SMT.

This we hope and with your help will become an important way we can monitor, influence support engage with and where necessary challenge current policy and decision making during the crisis.

HOW IT WILL WORK

Send us your questions e.g.

How will SMT ensure all managers and staff are aware of the assurance and procedures so that all work scheduled before the CV 19 crisis will be paid ?

How can staff apply for IT equipment vital to support home working? 

What additional resources to ensure the mental health of staff will CCCU be providing ? 

Policy Workplace Questions to: bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk

Health and Safety related questions to; christopher.biela@canterbury.ac.uk and bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk

           

The questions fully anonymised will be raised in the Operational Group and will additionally be sent to the VC and SMT on a weekly basis.  UCU CCCU  will communicate the questions and answers and with UCU CCU Exec comments and Regional UCU comments to UCU CCCU members and attempt to communicate answers to all staff.

In this way UCU CCCU will seek to represent members and staff at CCCU .

BUT this initiative depends on YOUR  involvement. 

We need to work together on this and be assured UCU CCCU will follow up on any insufficient incomplete or inappropriate answers to your questions.

PLEASE SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS AT ANY TIME these will be brought to the OPERATIONAL GROUP MEETINGS Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and collated for sending ton the VC and SMY every Wednesday. 

All Best Wishes,

Bryan Hawkins Chair UCU CCCU

Branch Update 23/03/20

Dear UCU Members,
These are odd and difficult times. The pace of change in relation to our lives and workplace has been extraordinary and fast.
UCU CCCU have been involved in working positively  in supporting our members and in working closely with SMT.
Last week we were focused on engaging with the decision making groups set up by the University, securing assurances and agreement on key issues and on setting up alternative arrangements for communication within UCU CCCU as we move online.
UCU is represented on the Operational Delivery Group and as Chair of UCU CCCU I have had and will continue to have direct communication with Rama and Margaret Ayers head of HR. We have been seeking to work positively and supportively in line with PHE and Government guidance, UCU communications and communications from members.
During last week UCU CCCU negotiated  with SMT CCCU that no posts at risk would be announced or considered until the end of June this year. Additionally SMT have agreed that all  workers employed at CCCU (regardless of type of contract) will be paid for all work that would have been undertaken prior to the current emergency. UCU CCCU  expect that these  agreements as clear assurances will be sent to to all staff in the next few days. UCU CCCU will continue to monitor this situation.
These negotiated assurances are very significant and some Universities have not taken the positive stance adopted at our University. However UCU CCCU recognise that negotiations on behalf of our members will be an important element of our work over the coming months.
At the moment and for this week UCU CCCU contacts are:
workplace and Policy
health and safety
We will be setting up a Teams site for the executive and one for members and testing these during the week.
The University Online is an ambitious project and will effect all our lives.
Please continue to communicate with us and contribute to your UCU CCCU. There will be important aspects of UCU CCCU work such as information gathering, collecting of opinion and the monitoring of University actions and processes that will need to be supported by help from members.
Together we are continuing to make a difference.
Our best wishes to you, keep safe
Bryan Hawkins
Chair UCU CCCU
Exec UCU CCCU

Branch update 17/03/20

Dear UCU CCCU member,

 

My main aim over the last few days has been to get UCU CCCU more fully recognised and represented and active within the structures of decision making that have emerged in response to CV 19.

 

We have made progress – UCU are currently  represented in Operational Group one of the two University groups overseeing the current situation .

 

This group has now met twice and will from now meet online daily.

 

UCU CCCU are currently not represented on the Strategic Leadership Group which also  meets daily. UCU CCCU will be seeking to change this situation.

 

At the Operational Group meetings UCU has emphasised:

 

the importance of Union and staff involvement (Unison, Unite were not represented and academic staff were not well represented in this group)

 

the importance of clear guidelines and guidance to staff and students and clear forward planning matched by clear assurances to staff and students specifically on issues of keeping individual staff, at risk individual staff and their families safe

 

the importance of staff feeling confident in case of self-isolation and staying away from work to protect themselves or their families and confident that staff will be paid and supported by the University

 

the importance of assurances for staff on the myriad of contracts active and including zero hour contracts that they will be paid for work they would have done and given assurances allowing them to make decisions such as self-isolation  for the good of all at the University without risk to their roles in the future.

 

Assurances on these points have been made verbally and we are expecting further staff communications to confirm these points.

 

Additionally:

 

We have been reviewing the UCU communications infrastructure – more on this soon – but for the moment please continue to contact myself bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk for workplace and policy issues and christopher.biela@canterbury.ac.uk UCU CCCU Health and Safety Rep for all issues relating to Health and Safety and directly relating to CV19.

 

We are in discussion about the immense workload and strain staff are now under and the need to consider these issues across the short medium and long term

 

We are in discussion about the need to reflect on key UCU CCCU negotiations and University processes currently occurring (e.g. WLP DLP Review Processes) in the current context

 

We are in discussion about assessment and exam arrangements.

 

Please let me know if you thoughts on the position taken so far and on additional issues and concerns  to be taken up.

 

All Best Wishes at this difficult time,

 

Bryan Hawkins

 

Chair UCU CCCU