Bristol UCU Newsflash, 17th February 2021

1) Update: ‘Unnecessary F2F, In-Person Teaching’ Dispute and Workload Reduction

Bristol UCU negotiators Branch President James Thompson and Branch Secretary Jamie Melrose had a meeting yesterday with University Officers at which positive proposals were made concerning both our current branch dispute over ‘unnecessary face-to-face in-person teaching’ [link] and ‘What To Drop? – The UoB Workload Crisis’ [link].

On the dispute, a Bristol UCU Executive Committee [link] has been called for Tuesday next week to consider a University Executive Board’s paper on blended learning.

On workload, we look forward to upcoming positive teaching and assessment-related announcements in the next all-staff live stream, in those areas lobbied for by Bristol UCU and in response to members’ key concerns [link].

Newsflash last week announced an Emergency Online General Meeting (EOGM) for branch members, with an accompanying Executive Committee motion. This may be subject to change, following the Exec on Tuesday, but Branch Officers have provisionally scheduled an EOGM Monday, 1st March, 13:00-14:00.

2) UCU Consultative Ballot on UCEA Final offer 2020/21

Please click on the link in your emailed UCU Consultative Ballot on UCEA final offer 2020/21 (sender ‘’). In the ballot, you have two options.

A vote to reject means that UCU will remain in dispute over the 2020-2021 offer. Next steps may include an escalating industrial action campaign, beginning with ASOS and eventually culminating in strike action.

A vote to accept means that UCU will no longer be in dispute over the 2020-2021 offer. This would mean implementation of a 0% pay adjustment, no commitment to concrete university-wide actions on equalities, workload, and casualisation, and no recognition of our extraordinary work during the pandemic.

The consultation closes at 12 noon on Tuesday next week.

Please also remember to fill in the online HE industrial action survey that you will have received also by email (‘from’ address is ‘’). This closes today and is your opportunity to let those who make decisions about UCU industrial action know your views.

3) UCU Briefings, NEC Elections

Bristol UCU reps attended a HE Branch Briefing on the UCEA offer this week, and Bristol UCU delegates attended the final day of the delayed UCU Congress yesterday. Reps will report back shortly.

Voting in UCU NEC elections is also currently live:

NEC members make crucial decisions.

For example, your elected Higher Education representatives on UCU’s NEC – the Higher Education Committee (HEC) – meet on Friday 26th February to consider the results of both our online consultations and to discuss UCU’s next steps. Steps include a potential ballot for industrial action.