Information from UCU Scotland

May 12th, 2020 | By | Category: News
Tackling workloads branch briefing, Friday 19 February, 2.30pm – 4pm.
We’re hosting an online branch briefing session to consider workplace strategies to address excessive workloads which were already endemic in our sector prior to the pandemic. UCU Glasgow branch reps will outline how they have successfully recruited workload safety reps and implemented a series of workload safety inspections which is helping to address the issue. All branches are encouraged to send reps to participate in the session by emailing: scotland@ucu.org.uk

UCU Scotland Congress 2021
Registration is open for UCU Scotland’s 2021 Congress, which will take place online on 26 March. Branches are encouraged to send three delegates, in addition to their Honorary Secretary OR Executive Committee member.

Registration closes on 19 February. Executive Committee members/ Honorary Secretaries and those with branch agreement to register can do so via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/136212672771

UCU Training
Please click here to register for our Challenging Sexual Harassment course for Scottish reps, running weekly over a 3 week period, starting on Monday, 1 March.

TUC GDPR Webinar
This week’s TUC webinar is on GDPR essentials for union reps. The webinar takes place on Thursday 18 February 2pm-3pm, and you can register here. You can find recordings of all of the TUC’s previous webinars on their Crowdcast page here.

Scottish Budget negotiations – Fund the Future!
The draft Scottish budget was published on 28 January and will now be scrutinised and debated in parliament. UCU has called for fair funding for our sector. Please do ensure your local MSPs are aware of the importance of supporting our sector by using our Fund the Future letter to engage with them to outline the challenges the sector is facing around cuts, workloads, casualisation. You can go to the Fund the Future website and email your MSPs asking for increased funding for higher education in the budget negotiations.

Scottish Government “work from home” and “Temporary Lockdown Guidance”
There is now a legal requirement to work at home where that is possible. Branches are encouraged to use this new provision with employers who are still trying to coerce staff onto campus. The “temporary lockdown guidance” for universities was published by the Scottish Government earlier this month . Branches are urged to use the guidance to protect staff and students in their institutions, and as always to be in touch with any queries or issues you are experiencing – scotland@ucu.org.uk
UCU guidance on critical worker status is on our website.

Scottish Government – reporting Health and Safety concerns
A reminder to reps and activists of the Scottish Government inbox where trade unions can report any health and safety or other Covid-19 concerns: scottishtradeunioncovidenquiries@gov.scot

Important updated UCU guidance
Updated UCU advice (including information on individuals’ Section 44 rights under the Employment Rights Act) to support reps and members who are being asked to return to campus, advice on risk assessments ,and on mental health and welfare issues is now on UCU’s website.

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Previous information
 
Scottish Government “work from home” and “Temporary Lockdown Guidance”There is now a legal requirement to work at home where that is possible. Branches are encouraged to use this new provision with employers who are still trying to coerce staff onto campus. The “temporary lockdown guidance” for universities was published by the Scottish Government earlier this month . Branches are urged to use the guidance to protect staff and students in their institutions, and as always to be in touch with any queries or issues you are experiencing – scotland@ucu.org.uk
UCU guidance on critical worker status is on our website.
 
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Scottish Budget negotiations – Fund the Future!The draft Scottish budget was published on 28 January and will now be scrutinised and debated in parliament. UCU has called for fair funding for our sector. Please do ensure your local MSPs are aware of the importance of supporting our sector by using our Fund the Future letter to engage with them to outline the challenges the sector is facing around cuts, workloads, casualisation. You can go to the Fund the Future website and email your MSPs asking for increased funding for higher education in the budget negotiations.
 
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Tackling workloads branch briefing, Friday 19 February,  2.30pm – 4pm.
We’re hosting an online branch briefing session to consider workplace strategies to address excessive workloads which were already endemic in our sector prior to the pandemic.   UCU Glasgow branch reps will outline how they have successfully recruited workload safety reps and implemented a series of workload safety inspections which is helping to address the issue.   All branches are encouraged to send reps to participate in the session by emailing:  scotland@ucu.org.uk

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UCU Training
Please click here to register for our  Challenging Sexual Harassment course for Scottish reps, running weekly over a 3 week period, starting on Monday, 1 March.

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Updated Covid-19 guidance for branches
This updated advice supplements UCU guidance for branches and members in higher, further, adult and prison education produced since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Previous guidance on Covid-19 related risk assessments and control measures remains valid and can be found on the UCU website. The more transmissible Covid-19 variant requires a revision of all previous risk assessments and a tightening of control measures.

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Previous Information

Resources and support for tackling gender based violence
A reminder to reps and branches that there are resources and guidance available to support members, negotiate best practice policies, and to ensure a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment, bullying and gender based violence at work:

  • Gender Based Violence support cards and information to signpost staff/students disclosing abuse to appropriate sources of help and support – at this link: www.endGBV.uk.
  • UCU’s equality advice and guidance is available at our website along with the specific information on tackling sexual harassment: sexual harassment and guidance on dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • The Equally Safe in Higher Education toolkit is a useful resource to negotiate an institution-wide policy.
  • Branches can seek further support and advice on such issues from scotland@ucu.org.uk

Scottish Government – reporting Health and Safety concerns

A reminder to reps and activists of the Scottish Government inbox where trade unions can report any health and safety or other Covid-19 concerns: scottishtradeunioncovidenquiries@gov.scot

Reporting Covid-19 cases and closures 
Branches are asked to continue reporting Covid-19 cases and closures at their institutions using the following link:

https://yoursay.ucu.org.uk/s3/Covid-19-reporting-confirmed-cases-and-closures

https://ucu.org.uk/covid-dashboard

Branch guidance: on-site working
A reminder that UCU branch guidance on returns to on-site working is available and includes:

Template letters which members with different circumstances and/or protected characteristics can use to challenge inadequate risk assessments and unsafe instructions to return to in-person work. The link now includes Scotland specific templates.
Guidance on actions which members and/or branches can take to ensure their safety at work, up to and including: whistleblowing under Section 47B of the Employment Rights Act; use of individual rights under Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act; and escalation to ballots for industrial action.

Navigating change – bargaining guidance for reps
Many branches are facing challenging negotiating situations with their employer, and so a reminder that the Scotland office team is on hand to support negotiations. Where the employer is seeking a collective agreement with the union that changes terms and conditions, please do check in with the Scotland office, and follow the advice provided by the union – particularly on ensuring all members are informed and on board with any agreements made.

Advice on specific issues on health and safety, hazards, and protecting jobs is also available on the website:

The latest UCU branch guidance on negotiating for safe working
Re-opening of campuses – updated UCU guidance
UCU’s five tests and returns to campus
Workplace returns and negotiating guidance
Hazards and controls in HE
Protecting jobs in HE in Scotland from the impact of Covid-19
Fund the future – bargaining note for branches

For further advice and support, please contact UCU’s Scotland office: scotland@ucu.org.uk

Fund the Future – please play your part
UCU members and activists – please play your part by contacting your local politicians to urge them to support higher education. You can generate a letter to your MP on the Fund the Future campaign website, which also includes details of how to contact your MSPs.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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