Motion on Higher Education Sector Finance

The following motion was passed at the Wednesday 3rd February branch meeting.

This meeting notes:

  • the lack of leadership from the University of Nottingham in publicly lobbying the government for a sector wide deal.

This union branch believes:

  • Whilst other sectors have had success in openly challenging Government to step in and support them, the only defence of HE has come from unions, whilst UUK has remained mute. Financial losses incurred by universities due to the pandemic should not be borne by staff who have been working under immense pressure to continue to deliver high quality education to our students.
  • that without a sector wide deal financial losses will be unsustainable and the damage to the sector irreversible.

Therefore, this meeting resolves:

  • to urge the University of Nottingham to use its weight within UUK and the Russell Group to publicly lobby the UK Government to provide adequate financial support.

Motion on online teaching as default during pandemic

The following motion was passed at the Wednesday 14th October branch meeting.

Over the past few months, University of Nottingham staff have been consistently reassured by senior management that the question of “face to face” (f2f) teaching would be handled in a flexible and safe manner. However, facts on the ground have contradicted this. ​Many schools across the University report that they are still being forced by senior management to push staff into f2fteaching against their wishes​. The Motion passed by the Sept general meeting sought to address this by recognizing management’s assurance that no member of staff would be “compelled” to teach f2f.It has since become apparent this assurance has not been kept by management, who have refused to clarify what this phrasing actually means. This ambiguity has resulted in individual members of staff having to negotiate their way out of f2f with their line managers. Consequently, many staff continue to feel they are being compelled to deliver f2f teaching.

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Covid Impacts on UoN Student Community

The following motion was passed at the Wednesday 14th October branch meeting.

This branch notes the high number of UoN students currently required to isolate due to Covid infections or exposure. It also notes the unacceptable consequences this is having for our student community, as reported here and here, as well as the huge reputational damage this is doing to the HE sector.

In the immediate term, it is apparent that students have in many cases been poorly treated by a management that seems to have devoted its efforts to getting things back to normal, and has subsequently been wrong-footed by the reality that things are not. Students have variously been left without support, virtually imprisoned, on the receiving end of communications completely lacking in compassion or understanding, blamed for simply pursuing the “student experience” they were repeatedly promised and, alongside frontline staff, been left scrambling for relevant information.

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