Bristol UCU Newsflash, 29th June 2022

1) Exceptional Recognition Payment

UCU, along with the other campus unions Unite and Unite, while welcoming the Exceptional Recognition Payment (campus unions have been calling for an all-staff bonus for several years), note with dismay the terms of Payment.

See our Bristol UCU statement:

In short, campus unions:

  • call on all staff, regardless of contract type, to be paid the £1000 on a fractional FTE basis
  • ask the July cut-off is revisited as a matter of urgency so as not to exclude staff with distinguished service over the course of this year (and before) leaving the institution before July
  • highlight the lack of trade union involvement in the design of the scheme has contributed to the manifest unfair nature of this UCEA-prompted Payment, despite numerous opportunities in May to share the details with campus unions.
  • note the current refusal of the University—or rather the Board of Trustees as the body acting in the University’s name—to revisit this decision.

2) Higher Education Committee, Friday Next Week

Please note: UCU’s Higher Education Committee meet next week to decide on the timing and duration of any next round of balloting and planned industrial action in our USS and Four Fights disputes.

3) ‘Barely the Minimum’: Underpayment of Hourly-Paid Research Staff

Bristol UCU is concerned about the advertised pay rates of short-term, hourly-paid research roles. These roles are targeted at postgraduate students and are often recruited through the Temporary Staff Service (TSS).

We believe that there should be parity with equivalent hourly-paid Teaching Support Roles (TSR). In the hourly-paid research roles currently advertised, the pay rate is either well below or at the lowest Demonstrator TSR pay rate (Grade F/£13.28ph).

For more, see:

Although these roles are short-term (60-80-110 hours or two months in some cases) and are framed as development/work experience roles for postgrad students, the work that is being asked is comparable to skilled hourly-paid teaching work, and is being grossly undervalued. ‘Opportunity’ or not, these roles are ripe for exploitation in a university that could easily afford proper remuneration.

A framework (set of job title/descriptors with pay rates), equivalent to the TSR model, is urgently required.

4) Please Sign: PGRs Against Low Pay – Open Letter to UKRI

Click on the link below:

5) Free Membership for Members on Parental Leave

From 1 July 2022 members going on parental leave will pay no subs throughout the period, from the first month of leave to their return to work.

Those currently on parental leave will have their subscriptions reduced to zero from 1 July going forwards by the membership team.