The risk of F2F Teaching and Casualisation

At a branch executive committee meeting yesterday, on behalf of Bournemouth University UCU the committee passed the following motions.  We will submit these motions to the upcoming Congress and Special Conference.

Motion 1 speaks to the continued precarity of HE sector workers, and the abuse of casualised contracts, and the consequent damage to our sector.

Motion 2 speaks to deeply held concerns about the risk of face-to-face teaching unless absolutely necessary.  So-called “campus premium” is not a justification for putting at risk the health of staff students and our wider communities.

Motion 1

Attacks on casualised staff by employers during Covid

UCU notes –

1.       Precariously employed staff make up 37% of teaching staff in UKHE,

2.       The spate of redundancies of staff employed on FTC/casual staff across the sector.

UCU believes the impact of these redundancies will be unprecedented leading to –

1.       a generation of early career academics unemployed during a recession,

2.       an increase in the already unbearable workload amongst all staff,

3.       threats to range and quality of courses offered, consequently job security.

UCU resolves to launch a national campaign to –

1.       end casualised contracts so that at the very least, by 2021 universities should replace hourly paid and temporary contracts with permanent fractional contracts as the norm,

2.       fight for fair institutional pay ratios by capping unfairly inflated management salaries at the top,

3.       address the disproportionate impact of precarious employment amongst BME staff through fighting for better employment conditions including closing the race pay-g
gap.

(title 8 words, motion text 147 words)

Motion 2

No return to unsafe workplaces; no face-to-face teaching unless educationally necessary.

Bournemouth University UCU notes:

1) GS’s call for all universities to teach online in Term 1 at least.

2) UCU’s five tests.

3) Official figures record 43,000 deaths from Coronavirus. Excess deaths are at least 60,000.

4) Government calls for a return to workplaces.

5) Independent SAGE, SAGE and WHO believe social distancing, test, track and isolate and the use of PPE are central to control pandemics.

Bournemouth University UCU believes:

1) The GS’s call on universities and colleges is correct.

2) UCU’s five tests have not been met.

3) The Government’s call to return to offices is motivated by business concerns not public safety.

4) The likelihood of a second wave is increasingly likely.

Bournemouth University UCU resolves:

1) To call on members to refuse to teach face-to-face and to work remotely until UCU’s tests have been met. Exceptions for face-to-face teaching are where absolutely necessary, i.e. for lessons which strictly require students to be present, such as lab and studio work

2) To call on UCU to organise a series of sector-based “No return to unsafe workplace” online meetings.

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