CoronavirusStaff update 8 April

Dear colleagues,

I hope this week’s message finds you well and that you had an enjoyable time over the long Easter weekend. It is important that we take opportunities to benefit from rest and recreation as is appropriate within the current restrictions. I know that many of you are also taking further time to spend with your families over this period and to coincide a break with school holidays.

This time of year starts the move towards: the conclusion of our teaching; the assessment period; progression and graduation of our students; and, encouragingly the sight of summer not too far away and the continuing cautious journey out of lockdown.

A few weeks ago, I told you that we had agreement in principle from the Scottish Government to begin to provide COVID-19 tests to the small number of essential University staff who are working on campus. I am delighted to tell you that we are now ready to open the Test Centre doors to colleagues from Monday 12 April 2021. Booking a test is a simple process which you can do online on the COVID-19 hub on our website.

The lateral flow tests are for colleagues with no COVID-19 symptoms and they are free and simple to access in the Barony Hall. Tests are for staff members who are working on campus – please don’t travel to the Barony for a test if you are working from home.

Regular lateral flow tests will help keep our students and colleagues safe as part of the wider nationwide testing programme. Testing, alongside the roll-out of the vaccination programme and adherence to the new 'Stay Local' rules, will help us minimise transmission of the virus.

Once again, I would like to thank the members of staff who have operated our COVID-19 Test Centre which has been open for a number of months. The team of volunteers has shown tremendous professionalism in the set up and running of the Centre and demonstrated their commitment to the health and wellbeing of the Strathclyde community. This ambitious project is an excellent example of our Strathclyde values in action.

Our Rest & Recuperation Fridays have played a key role in supporting the wellbeing of colleagues over the last few months while we have been in lockdown.

As restrictions are eased and we look forward to virtually all of Scotland’s children and young people returning to school after the Easter break, I would like to remind you that our final Rest Day will fall on Friday 16 April.

From the following week, Friday 23 April, we will return to Meeting-Free Fridays in response to the positive feedback this approach has received from across the Strathclyde community. In our recent Staff Survey, we received suggestions regarding our various measures to support our colleagues and gathered several new ideas as to how we can enhance these further; we will share a summary of the Survey outputs with you soon.

Please remember that there will also be more opportunities for many of us to work more flexibly and that our agile working toolkit is available to guide you through our new ways of working.

Thank you, as ever, for your continued efforts on behalf of our students, staff and the wider community and please make the most of this week’s Rest and Recuperation day.

Best wishes,

Jim