UCU, along with Unison and Unite, has written to the university vice chancellor to request that staff are given one hour’s paid leave to take part in activities around the youth climate strike on 24 September. Staff were allowed time to participate in the last major international youth climate strike two years ago.
Many staff are keen to support the young people, including University of Leeds students, who are drawing attention to the need for action to avert catastrophic climate change. Friday 24th September is the next big international event, and the young people organising it are calling for adults to join them on that day. There is a Leeds event planned by the youth groups from 3-6 pm on 24th September. The unions have asked that university staff are given 60 minutes paid time off from 4-5 pm to show their support in an appropriate way, either by going to the physical event or by using that time to participate in online activities running alongside the face-to-face ones. Staff could then spend longer in their own time if they wished.
The new university strategy aims to help create a more equitable and sustainable world, and to address global challenges including climate change. University researchers, for example the Priestley Centre, are doing impressive work on climate change and the University is a key partner in the Leeds Climate Commission and the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission. So we hope the vice chancellor will agree that enabling staff to support the youth event would be a good way to visibly demonstrate how seriously the university takes climate change.
Trade unions are also of course campaigning for action on climate change, and we want to encourage members to get involved as much as possible.
This page was last updated on 7 September 2021