Information from UCU Scotland – May 2020

May 12th, 2020 | By | Category: News

The union welcomed the news of £75m new funding for universities in Scotland yesterday, but we need to keep up the pressure on the UK and Scottish governments on the importance of higher education in fighting against the virus and supporting the economic and social recovery. 

Thanks to all those reps and members who have already written to their MP or MSP using our model letters – if you’ve not done so yet, please do!

Model letter to MSPs.

Model letter to MP

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UCU and UNISON Scotland are concerned about the poor treatment of outsourced workers at some of Scotland’s universities. The Scottish Government’s joint statement with the STUC on Fair Work portrayed a commitment to protecting the position of contracted workers, as well as core staff. Please sign our petition asking Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for FE, HE and Science to ensure outsourced workers are protected in the same manner as directly employed university staff, and share the petition on your social media channels.

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Please do keep referring to the regularly updated UCU branch guidance which is available on our website .  This includes guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (see here) as  updated in light of the Treasury’s guidance for the education sector( available here) .  In addition, the SFC produced guidance here on accessibility to the scheme for universities in Scotland.

UCU guidance on COVID-19 and annual leave is available here

You can find information on managing anxiety in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak on the UCU Scotland blog. Further information on ‘taking care of yourself’ is available on the UCU website.  The Scottish Government has also  launched a coronavirus mental health toolkit: https://clearyourhead.scot/

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UCU’s Training department is currently working to facilitate online reps training courses as an alternative to our normal classroom based courses. Course materials are also being adapted to take into account the pandemic and its impact on the workplace and representing members. Courses expected to be available soon include Equality Reps, Reps 1 and Reps 2. Look out for further details in future updates from UCU Scotland. 

The TUC has also arranged online reps courses for members in Scotland. Further details available here. Members wishing to undertake TUC courses are asked to let the UCU Scotland Office know – scotland@ucu.org.uk

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The STUC has launched a petition to raise key workers’ pay by at least £2 an hour.

For details and to sign this petition see HERE

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The union was sad to learn of the passing of UCU Glasgow branch committee member, Neil Davidson.  Formerly a branch officer in UCU Strathclyde, Neil was a committed trade unionist and worked tirelessly to further the cause of working people.   UCU has paid tribute to Neil on the UCU Scotland blog

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