Further update from branch committee

Dear colleagues

Thank you for the many communications from members this week and for sharing your concerns and experiences of the Covid-19 procedures at KU. We are noting and collating all of them and they are feeding into our discussions with management. We are extremely concerned in relation to reports of positive Covid 19 diagnoses not having been dealt with urgently nor any visible protocol followed.

Having, at last, seen the university’s outbreak management plan (1/10/20) we find it fails in many areas and is not fit for purpose. There are still too many vague statements and it lacks real detail of the protocols to be followed in the event of alerts of one or more positive diagnoses.

Additionally, reports from colleagues suggest that even this inadequate plan is not being followed with any rigour. In one case there was still no contact from KU Alert one week after notification of a positive diagnosis on campus. We say this is not acceptable and puts our members, other staff and students at risk.

On Friday your branch representatives wrote to management urgently requesting responses to precise questions about how the Alert system works and what actions are triggered by an alert including,

  • Is our alert system working?
  • Is anyone tracking the movements of infected individuals across the university?
  • Is anyone attempting to trace and risk assess individuals in close contact with infected individuals?

We have not yet received a precise reply and the staff communication issued on Monday 4th October does not inspire confidence that an effective system is in place.  Further, the current Coronavirus information available under the green banner on Staffspace directs the user to a powerpoint presentation labelled “latest” and dated 5/10/2020.  This presentation includes embedded links to :

  • A Health and Safety Plan dated 9th July 2020, v1.4
  • A Health and Safety Assessment for which the link does not work
  • A COVID-19 Declaration dated 14th July

We say this is evidence that the university is failing to take adequate measures to protect staff and students and provide a safe, working environment as legally required by Health and Safety at Work Act.

Best wishes,
KU UCU Branch Committee

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