Bath Trade Unions Council: 16 September 2021

Present Sisters Phillips (Unite, Treasurer), Williams (UCU), Brothers Carley (UCU, Secretary), Bampfylde (Unite), Clarke (UCU)

Apologies Sister Kasprowski (Unite), Brothers Fraser (UCU), Russell (Unite)

Minutes Accepted as a true record.

Branch reports

UCU University of Bath

The branch is issuing advice to members on dealing with Covid-related issues during teaching. The Chair asked if there was any advice from the university to students on how to behave in the community when they return to Bath, given that numbers of Covid cases were increasing. The branch is now balloting on strike action over pensions again.

Unite Community

A demonstration was announced to take place outside Jacob Rees-Mogg’s constituency office, in opposition to the cut in Universal Credit.

UCU Bath College

The college is not requiring the wearing of face coverings or social distancing. Face to face teaching continued throughout the last eighteen months for some students. Lateral flow tests are being carried out twice a week and overseas students have been quarantined.

There may be a dispute over pay in the near future. A new principal and chair of governors have been appointed, and a new deputy principal has arrived. The management style continues to be a problem with a culture of fear remaining. There is a national push for pay ballot in Further Education.

UCU Bath Spa University

Brother Clarke is the Health and Safety officer for the branch and has been involved in attempts to maintain safe working conditions. Face coverings are recommended but not required and hospitalization is rising. There are worries about enforcement of measures. Some staff and students have been back on campus since March, for practical courses. There is an ongoing dispute over workload including the issues of software used to log work and time allowed for preparation of lessons. The branch has succeeded in increasing its facilities time from 0.5FTE to 1FTE.

Coming year

Agreed that we need to find a quiet place to meet.

After some discussion, it was agreed that the Secretary should make inquiries about an outdoor venue for a possible May Day event next year.

In view of the trades council’s previous successful events, on the Miners’ Strike and resisting the far right, it was agreed that we should aim to hold an event on unions after the pandemic.