CoronavirusStaff update 27 May

Dear colleagues,

I hope this email finds you well, and that you are looking forward to spending the bank holiday weekend with family and friends.

Throughout the pandemic, the University has always put the needs of colleagues first and we continue to do so as a matter of priority.

As you are aware, early in the outbreak, recognising that the health, wellbeing and safety of staff are critical to our shared success, we introduced a number of innovative measures designed to focus on the physical and mental health of us all during an unprecedented situation.

These measures included the introduction of our Rest and Recuperation Days during lockdown, Meeting-Free Fridays, and the accelerated implementation of our Agile Working Toolkit – all of which were informed by your views, requirements and experiences.

I am delighted to tell you that our innovative approach has been recognised at this year’s Working Families Best Practice Awards, where we have been named as joint national winners in the Best COVID-19 response category.

The awards celebrate organisations whose stand-out cultures and working practices are leading the way in flexible and employee-friendly workplaces and are a fantastic recognition of the work of colleagues across the University, and our people-orientated and collaborative values.

They are awarded across all sectors, and to have been recognised as a leader - not only in higher education but also in comparison with UK business at large - is testament to our focus on our University community. Strathclyde was named joint winner alongside Teach First for 'having gone above and beyond for parents and carers during COVID-19' and demonstrating that all organisations can build flexibility and family-friendly support into their job roles.

It is also encouraging to see that organisations in a range of sectors are now following our lead and introducing some of these measures.

I am immensely proud of the way in which Strathclyders have responded and adapted to the changes and challenges brought about by the pandemic and the way in which we are continuing to drive forward our Vision 2025 priorities to benefit our students and the world around us. Thank you once again for your ongoing support and professionalism.

As we look forward to the long weekend, many of you will be keeping a close eye on the latest COVID-19 guidance for Glasgow. You can see the most recent Scottish Government updates online, and further news on the city’s protection level is expected before the end of the week.

It is encouraging to know that, as of Tuesday, more than 5 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in Scotland. This is a terrific milestone and reflects the enormous efforts of healthcare workers across the country.

If you think you should have received a vaccination appointment but haven’t as yet, please be aware you can now visit the NHS Inform website to arrange an appointment, or call their hotline on 0800 030 8013.

Similarly, if you are aged between 18-29 years old, you can now register online for vaccination appointments. This facility will be available until 4 June and is a convenient way of registering in advance to get your vaccination appointment, and to enable the NHS to keep in touch with you.

While the First Minister has signalled that there is room for cautious optimism, it is important that we all continue to follow the FACTS guidance, and take advantage of free regular testing on campus or testing at home, even after receiving both doses of the vaccination.

Finally, I would like to give you a reminder that there is still time to vote for your preferred names for the two wings of our flagship Learning and Teaching Building in the heart of campus. You will remember from my note last week that student and staff representatives have identified a shortlist of inspirational women the University would like to honour in some way.

With no buildings on campus currently named after women, or indeed, to reflect the fantastic diversity of our community, this is the first step on our journey to remedy this. I am delighted with the levels of engagement so far; if you haven’t done so already, please do take a moment to cast your vote. You can read full details on our website.

I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend when it comes.

All the best,