We hope you and yours are all doing well. Here’s a round-up of some information from the last couple of weeks which may be of interest:

  • Furlough – this is a reminder, for University of Leeds staff, that if you have been furloughed, you will still receive 100% of your current salary/pension contributions and there are no changes to your terms and conditions. You will be contacted to return to your usual permanent role when the university deems it necessary, but there should be a notifying period to allow you to make any caring arrangements etc. We understand that being furloughed can cause extra anxiety and stress at an already worrying time, but please be assured that if you are furloughed, this is not the beginning of a redundancy process nor will you return after furlough to a different job or less pay.
  • LUU Furlough – staff at LUU were being furloughed at 90%. From 1 July this will change to 80% due to the changes in the government’s funding for furlough. We have written to LUU with a number of questions about this change and are awaiting a reply. If this affects you and you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch.
  • Return to Campus – the planning for a return to campus for University of Leeds staff, is still ongoing and Unison are involved in discussions to ensure that those staff who will be asked to return can do so safely. As you should be aware from emails from the University, this will be a phased return but the majority of staff will still be expected to work from home. If a continuation of working from home will increase existing mental health issues or you are suffering with any form of domestic violence or abuse (physical, emotional, verbal or financial), please contact your manager, HR and/or Unison for advice.
  • First Bus Pass – the University of Leeds is a member of the First Bus Commuter Club which means staff can receive a discount on First Bus monthly passes. All you need is a smartphone and either a University email address or a code from Staff Benefits (please email your payroll number to staffbenefits@leeds.ac.uk)
  • Metrocard – There is currently some uncertainty around the continued use of the Metrocard, about which the University and UNISON are endeavouring to get answers from the Metro company. Metro indicated that they would “mark” the last use of the card by any individual. We had assumed that this would be around the 23 March. Since then some members will have been using the card to get to the supermarket, GPs etc. It is currently unclear whether Metro intend to bring this “mark” forward to reflect each use of the card – because of this we must caution members that it may prove better value in the long run, to pay for occasional journeys during this lockdown period from their own cash / bank card and avoid using their Metrocard – when we have more information will pass it on.
  • Pride Month – June is Pride month and as we are not on campus to arrange any activities, we will be using our social media to promote online events and information. If anyone has anything they would like to share with the Branch, please contact our LGBT+ SOG Organiser or unison@leeds.ac.uk
  • Black Lives Matter – the Branch is appalled by the events currently unfolding in America, mindful of the protests around the world and currently engaged with prioritising the safety of BAME colleagues in the light of the recent report emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic. We will be sending out a longer statement regarding Black Lives Matter at the start of next week. But for the avoidance of doubt, anti-racist solidarity is at the core of trade union movement.

As always, if you have any problems or concerns at work that you would like to talk through with us, please either contact one of our Branch Reps or email unison@leeds.ac.uk

In solidarity

Branch Committee

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