1) Merry Christmas and Much To Do: Message from the Branch President
Firstly, Merry Christmas and here’s to a Happy New Year. As a branch rep for so many overworked, poorly treated and underpaid University of Bristol UCU members, one is acutely aware of the vital importance of leave, any leave. I hope that this festive period will see you take some much-needed rest and relaxation.
There are a few immediate Bristol UCU branch issues that I would like to draw your attention to.
Number 1: please note that UCU will notify employers in early January of a marking and assessment boycott to start at the end of January. We will also have a mandate to take indefinite strike action from February.
Number 2: please complete a shortly-to-be-circulated branch e-consultation on the next steps in our pension and pay disputes, steps to be taken following the conclusion of current ‘intense’ pay and conditions talks.
As UCU and employers enter this intense period of negotiation, further strike action including a marking and assessment boycott is still on the cards, if those negotiations end with no satisfactory resolution for UCU members.
Our branch e-consultation will inform branch delegates to a UCU Branch Delegates’ Meeting on Tuesday, 10th January.
Some important pre-Xmas short updates:
- Processing of Local Hardship Fund claims will be suspended until the New Year as of the end of this week. Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive an out-of-office message from Friday. Claim processing will start up again Monday, 9th January 2023.
- Marking and Assessment Boycott training will be offered to branches in the New Year. For MAB FAQs, see https://www.ucu.org.uk/MAboycottFAQs
If you have a spare 50 minutes over the next few weeks, and want to know more about USS’s (and UUK’s) disastrous stewardship of your USS pension, see the below interview with soon-to-be former branch Pension Officer, Neil Davies:
A far too brief word finally on the many other points of negotiation that the branch – its members and reps – are currently undertaking.
Pathway 2 default starting grades, redrawing University of Bristol grading, student numbers control, reducing the risk posed by COVID-19, fair pay and hours for hourly-paid staff, Faculty performance guides for academic staff, student evaluation, pay rates for hourly-paid research staff…as a branch, your part-time reps are negotiating on your behalf on a host of workplace issues.
Thanks to all their (often voluntary) labours this year and in the months and years to come.