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October 1st, 2020:

UCU CCCU Newsletter 29.09.2020

 

Dear Member,

 

UCU CCCU wish you well with new academic year and hope that you managed some kind of break and rest this summer.

 

Overall the situation nationally and even locally is changing by the hour.

 

Amidst the chaos of government guidance and planning and the problems of HE and our University and community UCU your Union and Branch remain active and working for staff and our communities.

 

I will keep comments here brief but please come to Branch Meetings to contribute and engage and please make contact with us to share your views and experiences so that we can represent you more effectively.

 

It is particularly important in these difficult times that UCU CCCU know where and what the problems are so that we can support individuals and groups and identify significant issues and areas for union work and intervention.

 

Contacting us doesn’t lead to un-agreed actions, it can be a simple one-off conversation, your confidentiality is assured and any specific support or actions will be negotiated and agreed with you – issues can be taken forward in relation to individuals and/or as more general concerns.

 

The Temporary Agreement and Workload Planning

 

Some recent communications have not been clear, some WLP has been problematic, some actions have threatened the integrity and principles of the Temporary Agreement.

The TA is not a one-off financial deal signed off and done.

The TA initiated – not a simple financial permission – but a process involving mutual UCU and UCU CCCU and SMT commitment to principles, actions ongoing review and monitoring of a complex set of factors.

Working with SMT UCU CCCU have produced a set of guidelines for implementation that focus on

providing guidance and support for line managers and staff and individualised support for members.

This document is attached.

It aims to map process and review WLP’s simply with links to relevant information.

It does not, of course, solve all the related problems but gives guidance and a framework that can accommodate a degree of customisation and flexibility but which importantly defines the WLP conversation as a place to solve problems and as open to review and if needed mediation with UCU CCCU Branch support.

UCU CCCU and SMT have agreed to monitor and adapt and change the guidance in the light of experience and feedback.

 

Additionally UCU CCCU have:

negotiated previously proposed changes to definitions of post-graduate teaching as ‘not’ teaching be parked for 20/21.

established that the (FTE) 550 teaching hours are a maximum figure not a target figure

established clarity that teaching is not excluded from short time working calculations and WLP conversations

created provision for review of WLP’s

established a problem-solving mediation route where WLP’s are not agreed

provided a framework for review and consideration of WLP’s that have happened

and

now provide a structure to support those many WLP’s that haven’t happened or haven’t been completed meaningfully.

 

Health and Safety and Semester One

 

The UCU position/trajectory is moving from emphasising online to teaching fully online and UCU CCCU will follow the National Line.

 

Currently UCU CCCU will support any member who feels anxious and/ or at risk from the return to teaching and we will not accept

any coercion of staff or the imposition of compulsory face to face on site teaching that is against members wishes.

 

We are currently arguing for caution in the first weeks of semester one and for decisions regarding face to face on site  and online to be made by staff and line managers/HOS’s in the light of experiences of modules staff and students and changing circumstances.

 

We are seeking to negotiate a position so that face to face on site teaching will be considered in the short term and temporarily non-essential.

 

Members of staff who find room allocations being exceeded will be supported to protect themselves and students by simply and immediately cancelling the session and by deferring organisation and administration to an online context.

 

 

Please keep us informed of your experiences and working environment.

 

UCU CCCU are here for members and will discuss the possibilities of individual support and/or Branch actions with you more fully on request.

 

See you at the Branch meetings !

 

Best Wishes

 

Bryan Hawkins

Chair UCU CCCU

 

Branch Meeting Dates and Times.

 

All Branch Meetings will be on Wednesdays 1-2pm on the following dates:

 

October 2020
7
21

November 2020
4
18

December 2020
2
16