An update regarding the current state of play in relation to our ongoing engagement with HR and management.
Branch Update October 2020
We will be holding another extraordinary meeting of the branch soon to discuss next steps – we will notify members of the time and date soon.
Thank you to those members who recently completed our survey on experiences of working from home and health and safety issues.
The full report is available here – please do take a read:
The report really demonstrates the wide range of issues which staff are managing while working from home, some of which are having clear impacts on their well-being. It also indicates the widespread dissatisfaction there is with the University’s response to health and safety issues and the way it has communicated with staff, and further indicates significant concerns around the proposed model for campus reopening which proposes to allow for 30% face-to-face teaching.
Thank you again for giving your views on these difficult issues with us. We will share this report with management (all individual responses are unidentifiable) and continue to raise these issues in our ongoing discussions regarding health and safety and campus reopening.
Here’s a couple of articles members might be interested in:
On wellbeing working from home and why online working can be more tiring and stressful, see ‘The reason Zoom calls drain your energy‘ from BBC Worklife.
On casualisation and Covid-19 being used to target staff on casual and short-term contracts see ‘Covid-19 shows up UK universities’ shameful employment practices‘ by Stefan Collini for the Guardian.
At the recent KU UCU Branch meeting a #CoronaContract motion was passed to call on Kingston University support and protect the jobs of all staff on casual contracts and PhD students.
And the branch committee continues to urge all members to conduct a workstation assessment in view of health and safety considerations under working from home conditions.
On Tuesday 24th March UCU representatives, along with our partner unions, met formally with KU senior management at a Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committee (JNCC) meeting to discuss actions and reactions to the current national Covid-19 emergency.
In the interim between scheduling and the meeting taking place, the situation had moved rapidly nationally and some of the concerns had already been addressed either by KU themselves or by government instruction.
Some of the key areas of concern for our members were:
This guidance is of course informing our discussions with management regarding the transition to home working.
Please just get in touch if we can offer help or advice.