Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 23rd May 2018

1) May Pay

This month’s payslip is the first from which pay withdrawn for strike action will be taken (for non-HPT staff). Please check your payslip carefully.

Note that deductions will be phased over a three-month period in May, June and July, and will be withheld in equal amounts; for example if you have taken six days’ strike action you will have two days’ pay withheld each month.

Also: non-HPT UCU members on Grade I and below will now be able to claim from the University of Bristol Local Hardship Fund. These staff will now have the requisite payslip to make their first claim.

For more details on the Local Hardship Fund, and how to apply:

2) Change in 2018/19 Term Dates

A big thank you and well done to UCU reps and members who successfully lobbied University management to change the term dates next year, and thus avoid the clash between the end of TB2 and local school holidays.

This was an issue that many of us felt strongly about – members will remember that we received over 400 responses to our branch survey, the majority of which had no idea of the forthcoming clash – and it is great to see this policy reversal.

Bristol UCU welcomes this change of heart and looks forward to the staff voice now being taken into account before decisions of this magnitude are taken rather than post hoc.

See the University Almanac for confirmation:

3) “Troublemaker” – GDPR Training Module

Thank you and well done, too, to the UCU reps and members who questioned and challenged question 2 in the recently circulated General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) training module:

Members will have probably seen by now the email from the CIO, ‘Temporary removal of GDPR training modules in MyReview’. It notes:

….the content was very clumsily worded and comes across as quite offensive – it gives the impression that being a member of a union is a negative thing and that it impacts on their suitability for employment. It is quite regrettable and it makes me blush to think of it.

We thank the CIO for these words and welcome the commitment to review the text.

4) March For Mental Health, This Friday

Assembling at 18:00 this Friday at the Wills Memorial Building, the March for Mental Health Services remembers ‘the lives of those who have suffered so much and improve the service for those who are still vulnerable’. It ‘is a peaceful demonstration with the aim of improving the University of Bristol’s Mental Health and Wellbeing services in the wake of the tragedy of the recent student deaths’.

Our own Scott Greenwell, Warden at Manor Hall, will be speaking.

N.b the UCU block will be assembling at 17:45 at the UCU Office, 1d Priory Road. Help with our banner would be much appreciated.

For more details:

5) Don’t Forget: #wearetheUniversity, 11th June & TEF Talk, 19th June

On Monday 11th June, Bristol UCU hosts #wearetheUniversity, a half-day conference, 09:30-13:00, followed by lunch, in the Arts Faculty Complex, 13/15 Woodland Road.

Please note: HR have told us they are supportive of staff attending, if they have the support of their line manager. Please also note: subjects covered include ‘challenging casualisation’, ‘staff mental health’, ‘equality at UoB’ and ‘University governance’.

To register, please fill in this online form:

Bristol UCU hosts TEF TALK on Tuesday 19th June, 11:00-15:00.

For more information and to register:

6) Open Letter – Confidence in UCU, Confidence in our General Secretary

In advance of UCU Congress in Manchester, and in light of motions of no confidence and censure in General Secretary (see p. 10f), Sally Hunt, branch officers (including our UCU Congress delegates) have signed an Open Letter noting how at ‘all levels of UCU – the General Secretary, national and regional staff, elected representatives, activists and, most importantly, members – have worked together and collectively delivered one of the most successful strike actions in recent trade union history – in the process revitalising workplaces up and down the UK’.

If you would like to sign, please go to:

The Branch Executive voted yesterday to support the ‘Open Letter’. They also expressed their confidence in our General Secretary, Sally Hunt, and the collective efforts of UCU national reps during the USS strikes.