2018/19 term dates – Easter 2019

Dear Guy, Claire, Robin and Paula,

We have received feedback from yesterday’s Senate, and held meetings today of the UCU Executive and Reps and of the Joint Trade Union officers.

We understand from Senators that you remain unwilling to relook at and revise term dates for 2018/19, but are willing to look at mitigation.

It remains our firm view that the teaching blocks for 2018/19 are so detrimental for a significant proportion of staff and students, they should be revised.

From feedback received, we are not confident that the risks cited outweigh the risk of proceeding.

We ask that, as a matter of urgency, Bristol UCU reps are provided with a breakdown of the risks cited, and that we – Bristol UCU branch reps and UMT representatives – meet to discuss these risks and to discuss possible alternatives.

We would highlight alternative, partial mitigations of the timetable for your consideration:

  • TB2 starts with week 13 on Monday 28 January 2019 with 11 weeks of teaching to Friday 12 April. Monday 15 April 2019 – Thursday 18 April 2019 would be revision/reading days.
  • The summer revision week 13-17 May 2019 becomes week 24 of TB2 so becomes a full teaching week.
  • All staff can take leave between Monday 15 April 2019 – Thursday 18 April 2019.
  • Term-time only staff (including cleaning and RHS staff) are allowed to take unpaid leave between Monday 8th April 2019 and Thursday 18 April 2019 and they can make up the lost time when mutually convenient so that they suffer no loss of earnings.
  • Additional, subsided, holiday clubs are run by the University during 8th – 18th April.
  • Grants/interest-free loans/childcare voucher schemes are investigated for staff incurring additional costs during this period.

We also believe that women and low-paid staff will be more greatly affected by the term dates than others and we request that an equality impact assessment is carried out urgently.

Moreover, could we also enquire whether school holidays have been checked for the proposed 2019/20 term dates? Bristol’s proposed dates are here: 

Please note: the feeling of the Branch is so adamant that we are prepared to enter a dispute, if suitable mitigation is not forthcoming.

With best wishes

Tracey Hooper and James Thompson