Email to branch members 28 June 2021
A quick email to update you on some local things at University of Leeds.
The promotion process has been frozen for some time, and we have been pressing for it to be unfrozen. We are expecting this to happen very soon, and that there will be no further pauses. If you have been intending to apply for promotion, you might want to start getting your application ready, see https://hr.leeds.ac.uk/info/8/promotions/299/promotions_process.
Race at work survey
The university is participating in this national survey. I recommend you complete it using the university-specific link of https://start.yougov.com/refer/v2x8CJnrnY8yr7 (NB don’t use Internal Explorer). A summary of the data from Leeds staff will be provided to the university and from them to the campus unions. We have asked management many times previously for data about race and pay/promotions so that we can push for changes where there is inequality, but we’ve been told the university’s data isn’t adequate, partly because people choose not to identify their race. We understand that you might feel reluctant about providing information to management about racial identify or experiences of unequal treatment. However, this survey is anonymous so there will be no way you can be identified, and it will hopefully be useful to your union in fighting for equality. The closing date is this Wednesday, 30th June, and it takes about 15 minutes to fill it in.
A proposed university Decolonising Framework has been drafted and is now being shared around schools. Thanks to everyone involved for this great initiative, and we would encourage members to engage meaningfully with it, but it is crucial that this is properly resourced (including workload allocation). Policy is not enough on its own though and we need to continue our solidarity with everyone pushing on decolonialisation and anti-racism both within and beyond our university.
Fixed term contracts
UCU has been campaigning on anti-casualisation for a long time – it was one of the Four Fights we took strike action over – and at Leeds we put in an anti-casualisation claim two years ago. We’re in a process of talks with senior HR to improve the university’s policy and practices, and as part of that HR have identified hundreds of staff who should be on permanent contracts under the current policy. If you’ve been on a fixed-term contract which you think should be permanent, especially if you’ve been here more than three years or are on a subsequent contract, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a caseworker to discuss with you getting your contract made permanent. Also, if you see posts advertised as fixed term when they don’t fit with existing policy (see section 2) contact us via email@example.com and we will try to get them changed to permanent roles.
The campus unions have been assured that the Annual Leave policy has not changed, including this bit “one week’s leave (pro-rata) may be carried forward for up to 3 months after the end of the leave year by agreement with the Dean of Faculty/Head of School”. We agree that people need their holidays to recuperate, but not everyone is able to use all their leave, particularly related to Covid and the extra cohort of taught postgraduates. If your local management is telling you things about carry forward of leave that you think are outside the policy, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health and Safety
We are concerned to hear that there are an increasing numbers of Covid infections in the area around the university and are continuing to press management to be careful about further opening up of campus, particularly in the light of predictions of a third wave and how this might impact the university in the next few months. If you are worried about safety implications of work you are being asked to do, please get in touch via email@example.com.
See you soon!
Finally, Alan will shortly be emailing you with a link to our special USS pensions meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 29th June, 1-2 pm) and the agenda for our General Meeting on Monday 5th July (12 noon – 1 pm). See you there!
This page was last updated on 7 July 2021