CoronavirusStaff update: Strathclyde UCU & University Executive joint statement

Joint Statement between Strathclyde UCU Committee and the University’s Executive

During the current challenging COVID19 public health situation we recognise the additional requirements for all Strathclyde colleagues to work together constructively and positively for the benefit of staff, our students, our families and our University. We recognise the continuing commitment of all our colleagues and the efforts made by academic, professional services and support staff to move quickly to new modes of working in order to continue to support our staff and students during this unprecedented time.

Both parties recognise that the national pay, equalities and pensions disputes are ongoing and the University appreciates that UCU have decided not to ballot for further industrial action at this time.  Strathclyde has been consistently and publicly keen that all parties engage nationally to find agreed solutions to what we recognise are complex issues. The withholding of pay from staff who participated in the 14 days of action which took place during February and March will be postponed until after the summer. Staff are asked to complete the required pro-forma as previously indicated.

We also appreciate that staff will be doing their best to continue with their University duties, balancing their work with other competing priorities, some of which, including caring responsibilities for family members, must come first and the University has assured staff that they will be given the flexibility to achieve this. The University’s aim will be to continue with our operations in a way which is fair and appropriate to all parties, recognising the important role which parental and other family care needs are playing during this period. In these exceptional and unforeseen circumstances where staff may themselves be unwell or unable to fulfill normal duties due to caring responsibilities, we agree that the current Action Short of Strike Action as it pertains to withdrawal from a range of voluntary duties and refusal to cover for absent colleagues, would become increasingly difficult to observe. We agree that staff should use their discretion and support their colleagues and students as best they can at this time within these circumstances.

At local level, the University and UCU will work alongside the other Campus Trade Unions, via a series of joint working groups that will discuss issues that are integral to the Four Fights dispute and the Strathclyde Pledge, which is key to the new People Strategy. The Strathclyde Pledge commits to ensuring a safe and secure working environment, a stable contract and Fair and Equal Pay. Given the clear overlap between the Pledge and the focal points of the Four Fights dispute, we welcome working together via constructive discussion, joint problem solving and our normal consultation and negotiation arrangements on these areas of common interest.

Branch Committee of Strathclyde UCU
Sandra Heidinger, Chief People Officer (on behalf of the Principal and the University’s Executive Team)