Here’s our weekly round-up of news.  As always, please contact us at unison@leeds.ac.uk if you need support or advice.

  • Maternity/Parental/Adoption Leave – we have some great news to share with you all!  Previously, staff who took leave under these polices were only allowed to accrue 28 days leave per year, which has meant they have received less leave than staff who are working.  With the help of one of our members who was prepared to put in a grievance, the University have agreed to update the policies to allow staff to accrue 40.5 days leave per year, in line with what they would accrue should they be at work (including closure days and bank holidays).  These changes will be backdated to 1 October, 2019, as it was raised last leave year, so if you were on leave under one of these policies during that time, you will receive a letter from the University. The Branch has been aware of this issue for a number of years and has been waiting for a member to submit a grievance, with our support, to push for change.  This is a brilliant example of how trade unions can make a real difference to members and staff.  Thank you to everyone in the Branch who supported this and to the member who agreed to raise the grievance.
  • Pay Consultation – you can find UNISON’s statement regarding the HE pay consultation here.  The results are now being passed to the Industrial Action Committee and we will await their decision on whether there will be a ballot for strike action.  We will keep you updated.  We had the highest turnout in the Region for HE, over 55% at University of Leeds and over 60% at Leeds Arts University, so thank you to everyone who voted and made their voice heard.
  • 2021 Diaries – we are ordering 2021 UNISON diaries at the moment and these should be with us on campus in the new year.  If you are working on campus and know your local rep, you can ask them to get a diary for you.  If you would like a diary posting to you, please email us at unison@leeds.ac.uk with your name and contact address.
  • FBS/SoM Meeting – if you work within FBS or School of Medicine, we would like to invite you to attend a meeting with us to discuss the ongoing VLS in your areas.  This is an extremely urgent matter for staff within the scope of the process (and possibly for future consultations across the university), therefore we urge as many of you as possible to make every effort to attend. If you cannot attend, please send in questions to unison@leeds.ac.uk or send them with a colleague who can ask them in your stead and report back.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, 15 December, 12:30-1:30 and you can find the link to the meeting here: https://eu.bbcollab.com/guest/b1449f844731402fa526a0689d97be4d

  • There For You Charity – UNISON’s There For You charity is available to anyone who is struggling financially.  There is also funding of up to £500 available as part of their Covid-19 grant, further details of which can be found on their website.  Please do access this support if you are in financial difficulties and get in touch with the Branch if you need any support in accessing this help.
  • Menopause – you may be aware that the University has released guidance for the menopause.  We are looking for feedback from our members about this guidance and will be sending round a survey soon and we also hope to run a focus group with interested parties in February 2021.  We need your input so that we can approach the University with informed feedback to encourage them to update the guidance and also consider adopting a Menopause policy, in line with other workplaces.
  • Trussell Trust Donation – following our Christmas Raffle draw, the Branch Committee has voted to make a financial donation to Trussell Trust.  We will be donating £500, split across the two Trussell Trust foodbanks in Leeds – South & East and North & West.  Thanks again to all of you who have donated food and money to the Trussell Trust this year.

If you have any questions, or would like some advice and support about an issue affecting you in the workplace, please get in touch with us at unison@leeds.ac.uk or by contacting one of our Branch reps and Officers directly – see our Meet the Rep page for contact details.