Bristol UCU Newsflash, 17th March 2021

1) Return To Blended Learning After Easter

With the University Executive Board (UEB) announcement that the University of Bristol is planning to return to blended learning at the start of Summer Term for all programmes, our planned branch e-consultation to garner members’ views will now be updated, to factor in this planned return to blended delivery.

The e-consultation will be launched next week.

Branch reps had already noted their disappointment with the lack of consultation in advance of the UEB decision before meeting University Officers yesterday. UCU branch negotiators are keen to hear from all members on our next steps, and whether the positive steps that the University has already made are reassurance enough in our current dispute.

University reassurances include, for example, the planning point that individual programmes can make a case, with School support, to remain online. Bristol UCU can be involved in this decision-making.

Also: the inspection of timetabled campus teaching rooms prior to the start of Summer Term. potential safety measures such as teaching outside and an individual risk assessment process that more explicitly recognizes anxiety as grounds for individual staff to teach online.

A joint branch Exec and Reps meeting has been scheduled next week to establish Schools’ and Faculties’ return to blended learning plans.


2) Upcoming Extra-ordinary General Meeting

An Extra-ordinary Online General Meeting (EOGM) has been called to defend academic freedom, and to call on the University to stand by its obligations under existing Statutes.

The meeting will also ‘call on the University to address any testable allegations according to its own procedures, following principles of justice and due process, and not bow to lobbying campaigns to pre-empt them’.

A formal notification with time, date and motions will be circulated once these have been confirmed.

The EOGM has been called under Rule 18 of University of Bristol UCU Local Association Rules ‘following receipt by the Secretary of a requisition signed by at least the number of members equivalent to a quorum’.