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Meeting on Health and Safety and Return to Campus

There will be a meeting for on Friday 11 September to discuss the Health & Safety concerns raised by members. We will send out a newsletter on Tuesday with the exact time (probably around lunchtime) and a Zoom link.

We do not have all the answers as Estates and various managers are still working on preparing the campus for the return of staff and students.  We were informed by the Director of Estates in a meeting this week that the ventilation systems of all the buildings have been adjusted according to guidelines provided by

An individual risk assessment form is being developed by Occupational Health and Health and Safety and will be made available once the details are finalized. UCU has not been consulted on this document.

Two main issues are becoming apparent; in order to protect our members’ health, safety and wellbeing we will need members to report problems around compliance with risk mitigation measures on campus, and members will need to keep track of the amount of time they are spending on teaching, teaching related activities and supervision.

If you would like more information about UCU’s national position on opening universities, there is a webinar discussion with Jo Grady, and scientists from Independent Sage here

Call for Members to Become Covid Health and Safety Reps

Dear Members,
Last week we had a meeting on the changes to teaching this coming academic year. A key issue of concern was whether returning to campus would be safe. UCU has attended regular meetings with the H&S Directorate, Estates and HR since lockdown and we are satisfied that the University is prioritizing Health and Safety and is taking an evidence-led approach in the development of it’s safety measures. However, the work is high level, related to risk assessments, policy documents and so on. The safety for individuals is very much dependent on what happens in each of our working areas.
For this reason, we are putting a call out for Covid Health and Safety Reps in each department. The Covid H&S representative can help with advice to staff (all, not just UCU members), liaise with local managers, and report problems to the UCU committee and the Health and Safety Directorate if necessary. They will have access to support and training from the UCU.  Trade Union Health and Safety representatives have special status in the law (rights to investigate, consult and personal protections). In addition, we know that University’s Health and Safety Directorate would welcome additional support from union reps. In essence, we have to work together to keep each other safe.
How to get appointed
  • Discuss being a H&S rep with members of staff in your area, it is OK to have more than one.
  • Contact UCU to let us know. We will pass on your details to HR and the Health & Safety Directorate.
  • Departmental Reps can be H&S reps
What will the role entail?
  • Familiarizing yourself with the relevant policies and risk assessments in your area (can be limited to coronavirus health and safety issues).
  • This includes University documentation, government guidelines, and UCU documentation (e.g. see UCU advice to HE branches attached).
  • Familiarize yourself with your rights as a Trade Union H&S representative.
  • Provide advice to staff in your department, answer staff queries, and report problems to the line manager, Health and Safety Directorate and UCU committee.
  • Liaise with managers in the Faculty who are responsible for Health and Safety. In FHS and FoSE, there are a number of staff who have specialized Health and Safety responsibilities.
UCU committee will provide help and support.
If you have any questions please contact our Branch Secretary, Kevin Paulson,   or our Branch Administrator, Vicky Cattini,


Extraordinary University Joint Consultation Committee

Dear Members,

Last week we received the date for the Extraordinary University Joint Consultation Committee meeting in response to the Branch motion. We understand that the University Leadership Team have worked hard to schedule this meeting as a priority.  It is being held on Tuesday, 3 March, with all 3 unions and UCU’s regional official, Julie Kelley, in attendance.

I apologize for the delay in letting you all know, but we were working hard putting together a report in preparation for this meeting. We will get back to you later on this week regarding the outcome of the meeting.


Mary-Ellen Large

President UCU Hull Branch

Hull management BOTTOM of league tables

A recent study surveyed academic staff across the UK in relation to their satisfaction with senior management. They then ranked the 78 universities from which a sufficient replies were received, and Hull was joint bottom. Not a single respondent from Hull indicated even mild satisfaction in how our university was being managed.

The paper can be found here:

These results are consistent with the last National Academic Survey where Hull also came bottom, see here: