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Letter from VP, James Thompson to Hugh Brady

28 February 2018

Dear Hugh,

Thanks for giving Kate, Ruth and myself the opportunity to speak in Senate. It was an unexpected turn to the afternoon, but one that I know was appreciated by staff and students.

In Senate, you said that the only precondition for negotiations between UUK and UCU was a viable scheme. We agree. Would you be willing to make that stance public? We welcome the willingness of UUK to talk, and its belated agreement to involve ACAS. The leadership of Imperial College have just announced that they are prepared to bear more risk in order to arrive at an appropriate solution. UCU has put forward a serious proposal that addresses our concerns, shares additional contributions appropriately, and is sensibly, rather than self-defeatingly, prudent. Would you be willing to call for negotiations to take that proposal as their basis? We very much hope you will be.

In visiting hard-working academic and professional services staff on picket lines all over the university, I spoke to dedicated and prize-winning teachers, superb professional service staff, and outstanding university leaders. Some of them were taking strike action for the very first time. It is impossible to overstate the depth of staff feeling on this issue, as Bristol UCU’s large and ever-growing membership makes plain.

I was very interested in the discussion of the Temple Quarter development in Senate on Monday. If we are to deliver this expansion, and the broader strategy of which it is a part, we need a united community of staff and students. This requires a willingness from university leadership to speak up for the wonderful staff who make Bristol University the great institution it is.

Best wishes,

James Thompson on behalf of Bristol UCU