Bristol UCU Newsflash, 21st October 2020

1) Motion Update – Failure to Agree & Members’ Dispute Consultation

The Branch Executive Committee met yesterday (Tuesday, 20th October) and decided to register a Failure to Agree with the University over our core demands on default online teaching,  on the right of individuals to teach online and on sharing more comprehensive institutional infection data with students and staff [link]. Branch reps have written to University management informing them of this.

We also agreed to launch a consultation with branch members over whether to declare a formal dispute with the University.

While welcoming the University’s move to provide daily COVID-19 statistics [link], and to adopt a more expansive view of individual risk assessments, Branch Officers and the Branch Executive feel that it is now up to branch members to decide whether to call a dispute based on the University’s current intransigence over our core demands.

The consultative ballot will set out in more detail what calling a dispute means, as well as the context and terms of any dispute. In short, a trade dispute at Bristol between the University and its recognized unions initiates a set of formal negotiations to settle the dispute. Following these negotiations, Bristol UCU members may be asked to take a range of next steps, one of which may include balloting members over taking industrial action.

2) UCU Equality Conferences, 3rd-5th December 2020

UCU’s annual equality conference combines a joint equality conference for black, disabled, LGBT+, migrant and women members as well as dedicated sessions for the five constituencies, joint sessions, various workshops and guest speakers.

These conferences are an excellent way to become more active within the branch and the union.

The conference will see five separate three hour online conferences for each equality strand, and a plenary session for all equality strands, held over the 3rd and 4th and 5th of December 2020.

For more information:

If you are interested in attending, as a black, disabled, LGBT+, migrant or woman Bristol UCU member, please email Branch Secretary Jamie Melrose ( for further details on how to register for the conference.