UCU is calling for all contracts due to finish during the crisis period to be extended at least until recruitment starts again in the sector. Otherwise the university will be making people unemployed when it is almost impossible for them get a new job. We think all universities across the sector need to step up and do this.
UCU reps raised this issue with senior HR managers on 1 April. They told us the university is involved in discussions at a national level with UKRI about securing research funding and with the government about whether universities can apply to the government’s Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme (“furloughing”).
It is clear the university considers getting this funding will be a major factor in how it can respond on staffing issues. HR told UCU reps that if they hope to get a response to us in a few days. There are also of course many research staff not funded by the UK research councils, and many teaching and other staff on fixed term contracts due to end later in the year when the government furlough period may have ended.
We believe the university has a moral responsibility to support its casualised staff, many of whom have been working enormously hard to move everything online.
We will keep you informed.