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Fri 10 Dec 2021

The Friday email: 10 December 2021

10 December 2021

UCU response to government's 'Plan B'

The union has called for universities to move the final week of teaching online and for both colleges and universities to carry out new risk assessments,as concerns around the Omicron variant rise. Jo Grady said ''In both colleges and universities we need new rapid risk assessments and measures in place which must include allowing staff who can work from home to do so. We also want to see the mandated wearing of masks for any staff and students on site, including in areas where lessons and lectures are still taking place.' You can read our 'Five Principles' for post-16 recovery here.

Reballoting open: vote YES now

reballot of members at university branches that just missed the required 50% turnout opened this week and union reps and volunteers are once again busy getting the vote out. Please remember to vote and get your completed ballot in the post before Christmas. If you are at one of the reballoting branches and can't find your paper, don't worry, you'll be able to request a replacement from this Monday. Ballot closes on Friday 14 January 2022.

Action short of strike (ASOS)

UCU members at university branches taking industrial action over USS and our Four Fights disputes are ending their first week of action short of strike (ASOS) working to contracted hours. If your branch is included in the action, please continue to work only to the hours stipulated in your contract, and within those hours of work please prioritise duties you consider central to your role. Full guidance and template letters here.

Postgraduate researchers supporting the action

We've produced guidance for postgraduate researchers on how to support and take part in the ongoing industrial action here.

Goldsmiths UCU strike against job cuts

UCU members at Goldsmiths University of London are continuing their fantastic campaign of strike action to prevent 52 workers being made redundant in management's fire-and-rehire 'restructure'. GUCU members voted to take 15 days of strike action ( in response to the threat of mass redundancies that would threaten the survival of English, History and Creative Writing courses. Please show your solidarity and support the branch with this important campaign.

Read all the latest local dispute updates here.

No to victimisation at Northumbria University

This week UCU wrote to the vice-chancellor of Northumbria University expressing concern that UCU rep and disability campaigner Emma-Jane Phillips is being victimised by management for raising the issue of her treatment as a disabled member of staff. Emma-Jane, who is a wheelchair user and requires the aid of an assistance dog, has regularly raised legitimate concerns about working as a disabled person at Northumbria. Read the letter from UCU general secretary Jo Grady here.

Last updated: 10 December 2021