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Bristol UCU Newsflash, 3rd March 2021

1) Emergency Online General Meeting, Monday, 1st March 2021

Thanks to Bristol UCU members who attended Monday’s Teams meeting.

A brief workload update started the meeting. Members are now hopefully aware of the University’s workload reduction announcement:

no new TESTAs this academic year, unless requested by the School or Department; no further NSS Task Forces this academic year (this affects History, English, History of Art, Psychology, Economics and Politics); unit level evaluation should be light touch; and periodic programme reviews will only take place for the remainder of this academic year on a risk-based basis to meet regulatory requirements

Members also discussed:

  • whether to seek concrete guarantees before any potential return to blended learning after Easter;
  • whether to update the terms of the ‘at least’ TB1 dispute [link];
  • whether to consider other courses of action post the Failure to Agree

Bristol UCU members will now be consulted via a branch e-consultation to determine the branch position.

2) Long COVID

The branch is looking to hear from members who are experiencing long COVID and its debilitating symptoms [link].

Branch reps have been advocating for a University-wide approach to staff members suffering the continuing effects of COVID, for example, as it relates to working arrangements, workplace adjustments and ill-health-related leave.

If you would like to share your experience, please email ucu-office@bristol.ac.uk

3) Anti-Casualisation and Bristol Anti-Precarity Network (BAPN)

Casualised (and non-casualised) Bristol UCU members are invited – and this is a standing invitation – to join our Bristol Anti-Precarity Network and Bristol UCU’s campaign to hold the University to its stated anti-casualisation intent:

We would also like to hear from members regarding any ‘dodgy job’ ads. UCU reps recently highlighted a job ad, for example, where the rate of pay fell way below the going rate, and saw a pay uplift as a result.

Pressing anti-casualisation issues include:

  • A review of the Temporary Staff Service (TSS)
  • The implementation of a Graduate Teaching Scheme for postgraduates who teach
  • the granting of Honorary Status to PW2 researchers after the end of their project and contract as institutional default
  • Securing and extending employment for PW3 teaching staff after this academic year. Last year, the need and demand for teaching staff held up, yet PW3 staff had a miserable summer of unnecessary uncertainly, time that they could have spent planning ‘the 2020/21 student experience’. Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again in 2021

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