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Leicester UCU has ‘paused’ health and safety dispute

Published: 4th December, 2020

Thanks to all members for feeding back your views on the status of our dispute over health and safety concerns and for voting on how to proceed with this dispute. The email sent to all members with that survey outlined the position we had reached through the dispute resolution process can be accessed here. A very clear majority of members voted to ‘pause’ the current dispute. We have communicated this outcome to Executive Board earlier today:

“Leicester UCU finds that the employer has not met our demands as outlined in the dispute. In light of some negotiated improvements to, and the much-needed clarity about, the university’s decision-making processes and parameters around COVID that has been developed through the dispute resolution process, Leicester UCU members have voted to pause the current dispute. This means Leicester UCU neither formally accepts or rejects the ‘offer’ arrived at through the dispute resolution process. Closure or escalation of this dispute will depend on the employer’s actions in the new year in the context of COVID.”

Email to Executive Board, 4 December 2020

To provide further context to this decision, you can read this document that Leicester UCU Health and Safety Officers sent to the Chief Operating Officer and Registrar during the dispute resolution process (6 November), containing their responses to a series of relevant questions. We had wanted to share this with members before voting on the dispute closed on 27 November, but we did not receive the Executive Board’s response until 30 November. This does clarify some of the questions members have had about how the Executive Board are making decisions about movement between different tiers of operation, as defined by the Department for Education.

We will continue to assess the employer’s health and safety operations, so please make us aware of any concerns or issues you experience around on-campus working and the revised risk assessment process as we move into semester two.