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Campus Safety – Important Information

Published: 5th October, 2020

Email sent to all members of Leicester UCU, 5 October 2020

Following our declaration of a formal dispute with the University over its position on on-campus working, and related Health & Safety concerns, Leicester UCU has received concerning reports from members about their experiences working on campus last week, highlighting flaws in the University’s safety protocols.

LUCU believes that staff members should work from home wherever possible; if you do have to work on campus, make sure that UoL’s own safety procedures/guidelines are adhered to. Where they are not, report these incidents to your line manager and to LUCU as a matter of urgency, and consider whether it is appropriate to refuse continuing with the on-campus activity given the safety risk.

1. According to UoL safety guidelines on F2F contact with students: ‘all staff will receive a personal hygiene pack at the start of term containing hand sanitiser, gloves, a face covering and sanitising wipes. Visors will be provided to all teaching staff’.

 UoL policy has also clearly stated that cleaning responsibilities should be shared between staff and students to ensure the safety of all subsequent users.

  • LUCU has received a report from a staff member conducting induction-week meetings with 50 students over four sessions, where no PPE kit was available. In addition, it was reported that students did not contribute to cleaning.
  • Your department should have informed you where to collect appropriate PPE kits in advance of teaching, or other f2f activity, on campus.
  • If no PPE is available you should not go ahead with f2f sessions
  • Report all instances of students not contributing to cleaning of shared spaces to your line manager.

2. According to UoL return to campus-working procedures, all staff should complete the ‘Return to Work Checklist’ before returning to campus. This includes a declaration that the staff member has reviewed the risk assessment for the building in which they and their ‘activities on campus’ are based.

  • LUCU has received a report from a staff member due to teach this week in the Attenborough seminar spaces, for which (as of 5.10.20) there is no Building Risk Assessment One class will entail 7 people in a room with a pre-COVID capacity of 12. Their line manager has not been able to provide a room-specific risk assessment that explains how this is compatible with 1m+ social distancing.
  • It is LUCU’s understanding that if a staff member cannot honestly complete the ‘Return the Work Checklist’, by the terms of the University’s own policy, they should not return to on-campus working.
  • Please report difficulties in completing the ‘Return to Work Checklist’ to your line manager and to LUCU.

Leicester UCU’s Health and Safety officers have provided a compressed guide to many of the University’s risk assessment and other safety protocols, that may help navigate further issues.

Please continue to report concerns, and particularly breaches of UoL’s COVID-19 return to campus working and safety protocols, to your line manager and to LUCU.

Mike Mulheran and Sally Horrocks,

Leicester UCU Health and Safety representatives, on behalf of Leicester UCU Committee.