UCUQUB Demands a Move to Virtual Services for All Staff

14 October 2020

Queen’s University has been publicly stating that all but essential practical teaching is being delivered online. This is not the case. As recently as this week, we are supporting members who are attempting to get agreement from their managers to deliver teaching online. Following the announcement from the Stormont Executive this morning, UCUQUB are demanding that this guidance is now followed to the letter.

We have seen an exponential rise in Covid cases in the campus community. We do not know the full extent of this because university management will not make the numbers public. We are calling for an end to the secrecy and the irresponsibility of the pursuit of ‘strategic aims’ over the protection of the health and safety of our staff and students.

We are demanding a complete move to online learning, except in pedagogically required practical sessions, and a complete move to working from home for all, including support services, where possible. For the avoidance of doubt, the provision of the misguided and now out-of-date ‘Campus Commitment’ does not negate this ability. We want clarity regarding the assistance that will be given to those staff who are going to be impacted most heavily by this move to virtual services in terms of workload, and confirmation that maximum flexibility will be shown to working parents and colleagues with other caring responsibilities.

It is time for Queen’s University to recognise that the health, safety and wellbeing of the campus and wider community is paramount, and behave accordingly.