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UCU welcomes employer support for student vaccination, calls for wider health & safety and workload commitments

28 July 2021

Responding to calls from Universities UK (UUK) for students to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible, UCU general secretary Jo Grady, said:

'It is pleasing to see universities commit to supporting the vaccination of students. UCU has called for education providers to work with local health services to ensure students who wish to be vaccinated can be. Pop-up clinics are a good way of ensuring high take up of the vaccine, and we hope more universities work together to provide maximum accessibility for students. 

'We would now welcome further commitments around health and safety, with education providers working closely with recognised trade unions to conduct new and robust risk assessments as well as developing clear plans for minimising transmission on campus, which should include mask wearing on site for those not exempt, improving building ventilation and ensuring easy access to free PCR tests for students and staff. 

'We also want to see employers commit to providing staff with the resources necessary for delivering effective in person, remote or blended learning, and to meet with trade union representatives to agree further measures to avoid excessive workload and staff burnout. It is also vital that this year we see much better mental health support for students. 

'If education providers are able to deliver on these simple yet essential demands, then the chaos experienced last year can be avoided, allowing students to access the education they deserve.'

Last updated: 28 July 2021