Published: 29th October, 2020
It’s been hard work keeping up with all of the University exectutive board’s emails of the past 7 months. For those who couldn’t quite manage it, here’s our handy summary.
April 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. Plus, here’s an emergency workload model that we’ve designed to show staff that the 100% increase to your workload is in fact only a 20% shift in different types of work.
May 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. Plus, we’re firing all these staff on temporary contracts & telling everyone else to redesign their curricula so it can be taught in three different ways. Try not to worry, but if you are anxious there’s Validium, our outsourced ‘Employee Assistance Provider’.
June 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. Plus, all students on all programmes will have on-campus teaching in September. No, we don’t know yet how many rooms and buildings we can safely open; no, we don’t know yet how many staff can physically work on-campus.
July 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. Plus, despite the local lockdown in Leicester we are making no changes to our plans for re-opening campus and bringing students back in September. We have every faith that the government will have solved all of the problems by then. And here’s a survey that only 16% of staff filled out, which shows you’re all thriving under these conditions. Well done you!
August 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. We’ve told everyone not to hold online meetings on Fridays this month, so you’re all fine, right? And yes, that’s right, we have no idea how many staff have been properly risk assessed as being able to work on campus, but we’re carrying on with timetabling and plans to re-open campus. There is a plan somewhere, we promise. Is Leicester still in local lockdown? What’s that about universities in the United States? Ssshhhh. It’s just not cricket to talk about these things. Oh, and plus, not even a pay uplift that pretends to keep pace with inflation this year. Have a look at this online toolkit for your wellbeing instead.
September 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. But we’re also really annoyed because we shared with UCU a draft of our plan to move to fully online learning when the national COVID alert level got worse – but then they told staff when we didn’t follow our own plan. It’s annoying because this old plan is completely superseded by the new-improved one that allows us to ignore scientific evidence and stick to our guns on re-opening campus this month. Boris Johnson says it’s fine, what’s the problem? Is Leicester still in local lockdown? It’s difficult to tell because we’re not on Twitter – except to monitor and complain to the union when they criticise us.
Later September 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. Here is the plan that shows we are still following our plan. No, there are no details about what, other than a full national lockdown, would cause us to reduce levels of on-campus working. No, the university’s Health and Safety committee hasn’t approved it, even this rudimentary schema, let alone seen any of the data that supposedly underpins it. What was that you said about university outbreaks elsewhere? Leicester’s local lockdown? Those words are no longer in our vocabulary. Is the trade union in dispute with us about this? We prefer not to mention it. How rude.
October 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. We’ve started publishing daily numbers of COVID cases amongst staff and students. See how low the numbers are? What were you all worried about? Silly geese. No, of course those numbers don’t include asymptomatic cases picked up through our screening programme. No, we haven’t considered the under-reporting of cases even though Students Union representatives have told us this is happening. No, we aren’t concerned that the numbers of students telling their teaching staff they have COVID is much higher than the numbers being reported and recorded through our exceptionally simple multi-step process. And no, we’re not reading the news. Why do you ask?
Later October 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. Please be advised that hundreds of staff across 12 departments will now undergo a strenuous restructuring programme that we hope will result in many redundancies. Whoops! That may result in many redundancies is what we meant to say. Yeah, yeah, yeah, can you stop banging on about workload and the pandemic? Those are so May 2020. Trust us, this is the Perfect Moment to dump this **** on you. Whoops! This is the Perfect Moment to shape you into excellence.
Later, later October 2020 The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is our top priority. One of our closest neighbour cities, Nottingham, has become COVID central. Many of you live there and you’re not supposed to leave your house if you can help it. But don’t worry, Boris Johnson says it’s fine to keep on travelling to work, even if you don’t need to, so that’s what we’re going with too. If you’re worried about this, you gentle little snowflake, do a risk assessment with your manager, even though this is designed to assess individual clinical vulnerability rather than everything else under the sun that applies in this situation, so we’re sure that will be a valuable use of your time. Oh and don’t forget to watch the President and Vice-Chancellor telling you all about his strategic vision of brilliant excellence that will probably, maybe – we don’t know, you tell us! – result in you losing your job to achieve financial savings that we definitely don’t need to make.
To be continued…