UCU@BSU Newsletter - March 2021
Health and Safety
More students are arriving on campus, but the number of cases of COVID19 per 100,000 in Bath (and at BSU) is much, much lower than the national figures. According to HR, so far for March 2021 there has been no increase in cases for university staff and students.
For those who book their regular COVID19 tests in advance, you may notice you are unable to do so from April onwards. This is only temporary and not a concern - the agreement with the Department of Health and Social Care re: testing runs out at the end of March and we believe this will be renewed imminently. But, until this happens you may not be able to book tests. If demand for testing increases with the return of some students over the next months, the testing centre has capacity to expand its opening hours etc. to meet this demand.
Last autumn 400 UCU members and over 20 staff took part in 'Strike School' – an online training course run by the trade unionist and author Jane McAlevey and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
If you are interested in taking part, you can find full details of the course here. Please email email@example.com if you wish to attend, as we will submit one form for all delegates. The deadline for registration is 5pm on Monday 3 May. Participants in 'Strike School' have gone on to do amazing things, growing membership in their branches and organising record-breaking ballots for industrial action. Here is some of the feedback received from members who took the course last autumn:
'Best training I've ever attended'
'Really good fun'
'In a moment of total disempowerment, strike school's brought some real hope and concrete possibility'
'Absolutely incredible course. I look forward to putting this training into practice and I'll keep an eye out if they offer further training.'
UCU Professional Services National Staff Meeting
Steph Calley attended this event last week, meeting with other academic-related, professional services staff across the UK. There were lots of discussions re: returning to campuses across the country, and how this would be managed. There is definitely appetite for flexibility where possible/needed but that this depends on both role and personal circumstances.
UCU sexual violence task group
The UCU sexual violence task group is surveying all UCU members on the issue of sexual violence in our sectors. You can access the survey here. You have two weeks left to complete the survey which will close at 5pm on Friday 26 March.
Mental health and Covid-19 meeting: 24 March 2021 (sorry for short notice!)
TUC North West are hosting this meeting live online at 4:30pm - all union members welcome. Guest speakers include UCU president elect Janet Farrar. For more details and to register, click here.
Over 400 people attended the events in Equality Week, which is a fabulous turnout. At UCU we really value equality and diversity (all year-round, not just this week!) and our EDI rep is June Bianchi. We have some really amazing student campaigners and changemakers, and to see so much staff support was fantastic.
Call for caseworkers!
We are in desperate need of more caseworkers. Please volunteer if you feel you can. There is training provided by UCU. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel you could help your colleagues when they need it most.
That's all for this month. As always, please contact http://bit.ly/ucubsuenquiries to communicate with the committee.