Update from UCU Stirling Branch

Mar 31st, 2020 | By | Category: News

Dear Branch Members,

The Branch Executive hopes that this communication finds you all fine and well and that everyone is coping with the challenges that work and personal life are throwing at us in these strange and everchanging times.

As we briefly communicated to you last week, the Branch Executive offered to work in partnership with the University senior management team during the current crisis period. From the email we sent last week, we are now very pleased to inform you that (the sections in quotes are taken directly from an email reply from the Executive Director for HR, Martin McCrindle, to avoid confusion):

  1. In terms of strike pay deductions: “The University recognises the challenging times its employees are facing during this unprecedented set of circumstances.  We have given further consideration to your request and will stagger strike pay deductions from April through to July 2020.  This will mean 3 days deduction in April, May and June and 2 days deduction in July.”
  2. The University is “committed to paying all those on casual contracts for work that had been offered and scheduled but subsequently cancelled.”
  3. We all understand the situation is incredibly stressful for those on fixed-term contracts associated with specific funding awards. The University “are seeking further guidance from funding bodies with regard to the possibility of funding extensions in the circumstances.” The UCU Branch at Stirling will also work with UCU Scotland and UCU across the UK to lobby further financial support for the sector.
  4. In terms of staff working from home and balancing childcare, home-schooling and working, the University’s FAQs for the current time “recognise this challenge that our employees are facing and are sympathetic to it… We are keen that staff work flexibly around their child care responsibilities and focus on outputs.”
  5. The request to end the disciplinary process against the student who occupied part of the Cottrell Building last year, we received the following response “We understand that the student processes (including Appeals) are in progress, and I cannot comment further at this point.”

The UCU Stirling Branch Executive offered to have regular informal catch-ups with HR during this period. The Executive Director has agreed to this and we look forward to these.

We are aware that a lot of business continuity work relies on the interpretation of the guidance and FAQs, and that the “business as usual” message may be delivered poorly, or interpreted in a way that is unrealistic. We would encourage members to contact the Branch Executive at this email, so we can raise such issues with HR at our catch-up meetings.

Thank you for your continuing support of the Branch Executive during this time and we hope you and your families remain safe during this time.

UCU Stirling Branch Executive

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