Bristol UCU Newsflash, 11th November 2020

1) Dispute & Special Senate Tomorrow

James Thompson, Branch President, has written on behalf of the Branch to register a formal dispute with the University over its failure to move unnecessary in-person teaching online and to allow staff to teach online where appropriate.

As announced yesterday, Bristol UCU members voted to declare the dispute in our branch consultative ballot.

Tomorrow (Thursday, 12th November) a Special Senate will vote on the resolution ‘this University resolves online teaching should be the institutional default for Teaching Block 1’.

Bristol UCU members are encouraged to lobby Members of Senate –Heads of School and Deans, for example. How is your Member of Senate voting?

2) AGM, Wednesday, 18th November, 13:00-14:00, Microsoft Teams

Bristol UCU members are invited to the branch Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, 18th November, 1pm-2pm via Microsoft Teams.

To join next week, click on the link below:

For a copy of the agenda (including candidates for election to Branch Officer roles and the branch Executive Committee), please click on this link [link].

3) USS Submission

Branch Reps broadly welcome the University’s response to USS’s Technical Provisions Consultation [link]. It incorporates UCU’s long-standing criticism of USS’s ‘recklessly prudent’ approach to scheme valuation.

To quote a key member of our branch pension group, who played a key part in the drafting the response, ‘it should be possible for the Trustee to agree a valuation that’s affordable to both members and employers, and is within what the Trustee and TPR [the Pension Regulator] find acceptable’.

4) Professional Services Term

PS Members: we still hope to hold a dedicated Professional Service term later in the academic year.

5) Workload Sessions

As part of our 2020/21 planning, Branch Officers are keen to hold workload sessions to discuss practical steps for members to take to reduce workload. Details to be shared shortly.

With the joint University-Union Workload Agreement [link] and Workload Allocation Principles [link] now the basis for University workload planning, it is imperative that we – as members and a branch – use the Agreement and Principles to make a difference for staff facing unmanageable and unsustainable workloads.