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Notices

The Universities Guidance  on Leave and Working Arrangements for Staff during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

UCU Guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Joint statement of the University of Bath and the University of Bath branch of the University & College Union

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The University of Bath and the local branch of the University and College Union (UCU) believe it is in the best interests of staff and students to resolve the current industrial disputes over pay, important work conditions and equalities issues, the USS pension scheme, and to do so urgently

One of the outcomes of the recent strike action has been the production of a joint statement between the University of Bath and the University of Bath UCU branch on the two disputes.

The statement was run past the General Secretary Jo Grady who signed it off this weekend with “congratulations” for a statement that moves the employer “so far in the right direction”. Indeed I must acknowledge that its production is indeed a sign of the positive manner in which senior management at the university have engaged with local branch officers during the strike action, and testament to a positive working relationship generally.

Our hope, as your local UCU branch committee, is that this statement, by demonstrating the capacity for both local action on important work conditions and equalities issues, and cooperation between unions and senior management in doing so, acts as an example for other universities, placing pressure upon UCEA and UUK to shift from their current antagonistic stance to embrace UCU negotiators’ offer of a compromise solution, thereby creating the conditions necessary to resolve the current ongoing disputes in a decent, fair manner.

You can find that statement itself HERE.

From the branch perspective, there are several positive gains here that I want to highlight:

Locally:

  • a commitment to continuing work on anti-casualisation with the aim of formalising a collective agreement in 2020 addressing issues of casual and insecure employment.
  • a commitment to work with the campus trade unions with a view to formalising a collective agreement in 2020, including an action plan and targets, to address the gender pay gap, with emerging analysis on the ethnicity pay gap and disability pay gap part of this work.
  • an acknowledgment that “further work” is needed on workloads and mental health, with a commitment that the trade unions and management will “work together on solutions” to these important issues.

Nationally:

  • confirmation that with regards to the pay claim, the university has been supportive of moves to reach a negotiated agreement, specifically:
  • voting “yes” to UCEA making an increased pay offer
  • and “yes” to UUK making an increased offer regarding members’ contribution rates

Faced with an extremist stance by the employers’ national bodies, with a refusal to move on pay and pension contributions at all, it is extremely heartening that university senior management have adopted this positive position – demonstrating that far from being an impossible ‘ask’ by UCU, this is a matter of leadership by employers.

I want to be clear that these ongoing disputes can only be resolved at the national level where, while our negotiators have secured positive movement on three of the four fights and agreements surrounding the latest JEP report, employers’ negotiators have not gone far enough. To continue to provide our negotiators with the industrial muscle they need, it is therefore necessary to maintain the pressure that only a mandate for strike action can provide. That is why, despite the delay in response to Covid-19, there will be a re-balloting of UCU members across the sector this summer.

However, for our members here at the University of Bath who have sacrificed time and pay in our struggle to force a decent offer out of employers’ national bodies, I am happy that we can point to these local gains as an initial outcome. The statement does not cover everything we would ideally hope for, but where we have been able to reach agreement we hope that these gains can in turn increase the pressure on more recalcitrant institutions than our own to step up and support a return to the constructive negotiations needed to secure positive, collective agreements, which benefit both sides.

 

Please could you fill in the picket line form

Please could you fill in the picket line form at https://forms.gle/FpZuzUAYPPHGdL1E7

giving the picket gate, days and times you will be joining the picket line.
This will help the UCU committee coordinate picket lines.

The picket gates are at:

Virgil Building Manvers street 8-11 am
Main Entrance 7:30-9:30 am
North Road 7:30-9:30 am
South Building 7:30-11:30 am