Here is a round-up of all our news this week:

  • Saturday, 20 March – UN Anti-Racism Day – this Saturday is UN Anti-Racism Day,  There will be an online rally on the day and you can find further information on this here.  UNISON’s Roger McKenzie has also written a blog about the importance of Black people standing up for their rights, which you can read here .
  • Annual Leave – as many of you will remember, last year some staff were denied the carryover of 5 days’ leave under a blanket ban in certain areas.  We want to remind members that the current annual leave policy still applies which states clearly that staff can request carryover of 5 days’ leave in exceptional circumstances.  We are sure the University will be encouraging staff to use all their leave this year, to ensure staff are rested and for their own wellbeing; we would agree with that sentiment, however, if you do wish to request carryover of leave, your manager should be open to a conversation about this. It may be worth having this conversation sooner rather than later, to avoid disappointment.
  • UNISON Survey – UNISON sent out an email earlier this week to all members in HE with a link to a survey about how you are feeling about work.  We’d encourage you to complete this survey, as it lets us know what issues members are facing and then we can take these to the employer.
  • Tackling Racism in HE Webinar – yesterday’s webinar on tackling racism in HE was well-attended, but if you missed it, it was recorded and we will share the link with you as soon as we receive it.  There were some great speakers and a really interesting presentation from Thompsons solicitors about discrimination cases at work.
  • Trans Equality Policy –  you may be aware that the University was looking to change the 2017 Trans Equality Policy and replace it with an inferior policy that offered minimal / no protection for trans staff and students. After union and staff / student pressure, we’re pleased to say that the suggested changes have been put on hold and the original 2017 policy will continue to be used. This is a great win for unions and shows collective action can make a positive difference!
  • USS Pensions – if you are in the USS pension scheme, you may be interested to watch a recording of a UCU meeting to discuss the proposed changes to the scheme.  You can watch the video here.  If you have any questions about your pension, please do get in touch at

As always, if you would like advice and support about a workplace issue, please contact us at or contact your local rep or Branch Officer.

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