CoronavirusStaff update 19 August 2021

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to tell you that this week, we welcomed our new Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) students, our first new students of the academic year! After the challenges of the past 18 months, it’s wonderful to see our newest students on campus, preparing for a blend of in-person and online learning. I would like to offer my thanks and appreciation to our colleagues in the Faculty of Education and Professional Services who have been working hard to facilitate a safe and enjoyable start to the semester.

We are continuing to liaise closely with the Scottish Government to plan the safe return of the wider student community in September in line with our Student Pledge. As a reminder, you can read our campus guidance on physical distancing and face coverings on our website, and you can order rapid lateral flow tests for regular testing online and from pharmacies.

This month, the national collective pay negotiation process concluded, with a final offer from UCEA - the organisation representing employers – of a pay award of 1.5%, and higher uplifts of up to 3.6% for those below point 22 on the national pay scale. This pay increase will take effect from 1 August. In the interests of ensuring Strathclyde colleagues receive the increase as quickly as possible, it will be paid to all affected staff in the August payroll.

As Strathclyde is an Accredited Voluntary Living Wage Employer, colleagues on the lower levels of our locally adjusted pay scale have already been receiving increased pay at, or near, the revised UCEA salary level since December 2020. This means these colleagues will not see increases at the percentages indicated above this month; however, where appropriate, further adjustments will take place later in the calendar year following the announcement of the new Voluntary Living Wage rate which is expected in November. We will keep you updated with the latest developments.

When I wrote to you last week, I emphasised Strathclyde’s role in sustainable research, education and innovation. This week, I am pleased to confirm that the University will have ‘Observer’ status during the critical UN Climate Negotiations, COP26, in November.

This important development means that a number of Strathclyde staff will have access to the formal proceedings in Glasgow. Alongside other global organisations with Observer status, staff will engage with the negotiating parties and influence their discussions.

Members of Strathclyde’s COP26 Delivery Board are now working with COP26 organisers to identify our representatives, based on where we can have the biggest impact.

Finally, many of you will be looking forward to the Paralympics next week following the success of the Olympics in Tokyo. It will be another fantastic occasion for international sport, and I know you will join me in wishing all the competitors well. In particular, I will be sending my best wishes to swimmer Toni Shaw, who has been supported in her training journey by Strathclyde Prosthetist and Orthotist Sarah Day. You can read about Toni’s fantastic achievements, and Sarah’s innovative work to support her, on our website.

I hope you enjoy the coming weekend.

Best wishes,

Jim