Bristol UCU Newsflash, 14th February 2024: Pay and Grade Structure Proposals, Open Day Half-Term Clash, UCU Coalition for Just Mobility, AP Movement, Ceasefire Now, GS Hustings, Elizabeth Somerville

1) Pay and Grade Structure Proposals 2024

Members will be consulted shortly about the Pay and Grade Structure Proposals [link], with a view to approve (or not) these changes by March. UNISON are consulting their members on whether to bank these incremental improvements to pay progression; the University of Bristol Unite Branch Executive have recommended approval to their members.

Bristol UCU School and Professional Service Reps are also being consulted on a proposed revision to the proposals, a revision that would see colleagues appointed to the bottom of grade spine points, this to avoid pay disparity between colleagues with near identical lengths of service.

2) October School Half-Term ‘Clash’: Proposed Autumn Open Day

Branch reps have asked for the proposed Autumn Open Day to be moved so as to avoid a date clash with October school half-term.

3) UCU Coalition for Just Mobility: Changes to University of Bristol Support for Skilled Workers Visa Holders

UoB Africa-focused and UCU members have asked the University to take several measures ‘to build a culture of just mobility and to pursue those actions as a central element of its reparative futures agenda’.

These measures include payment upfront for new starters’ travel and flight costs, covering the fees attached to priority visa services, and employer payment of the NHS surcharge ‘on behalf of migrant academics, regardless of length of contract’.

This follows the welcome news that the University’s Visa Expenses Interest Free Loan has increased to £10k and repayments can now be spread over a period of 36 months.

4) Changes to Associate Prof Movement

UCU reps welcome the changes to the Associate Professor Movement Procedure on the basis that it streamlines the process, cuts down on paperwork, and normalizes movement.

We hope and expect that the balance has shifted from AP colleagues having to make a positive case as to why they should move up the pay scale after two years, to now a positive case having to be made as to why they should not.

5) Job Cuts in HE: Solidarity with UCU

With job cuts threatened at the universities of Aberdeen and Northumbria, as well as Staffordshire University, Oxford Brookes, and other Higher Education Institutions, Bristol UCU sends its solidarity to members across the UK, in Higher and Further Education.

UCU is determined to resist the current wave of job cuts and attacks on working conditions taking place in post-16 education throughout the UK and these campaigns are asking for your support’.

6) UCU Ceasefire in Gaza Now

For more information:

7) General Secretary & VP(FE) Hustings, Saturday 17th February, UCU Cymru

For UCU Cymru hosted online husting joining details:

8) Equality Officer Elizabeth Somerville Stepping Down

Elizabeth has recently stepped down as branch Equality Officer and as a Professional Service Rep. Many thanks for all her hard work in the role and all the best in her new role outside the University. She will be sorely missed.