Edinburgh University could have more staff strikes next semester
UCU Edinburgh feels they have been made to work in “unsafe” conditions
Edinburgh University staff are prepared to take industrial action next semester due to ongoing concerns about feeling “unsafe” on campus.
UCU Edinburgh has officially launched a formal complaint with Edinburgh University over the institution’s “refusal” to stop compelling staff onto campus.
The union said in a statement: “Today our branch logged an official notice of dispute with the University of Edinburgh over its refusal to stop compelling staff back onto campus against their will and own best judgement as to their own safety.
“We still hope we can reach a resolution but lack of progress in negotiations since submitting a Failure to Agree in September has led us to take this step, in line with democratically-determined branch and national policy.”
UCU Edinburgh is prepared to take industrial action should the university not listen to their demands.
Sophie, a third year politics student, said about the potential for upcoming strikes: “I have incredibly mixed feelings about more strikes. It’s frustrating because I’ve only had four weeks of consistent in-person teaching since the start of 2020.
“I think a lot of lecturers feel like they’re not being listened to whilst trying their absolute best. Also, I really feel for PHD student tutors who have next to no job security but are going above and beyond to help their students.”
A university spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of our staff is always of paramount importance, and has been taken into careful consideration throughout the pandemic.
“We have continually worked with staff and union representatives, ensuring Scottish Government advice is followed.
“From the start of the academic year, we have worked to make sure that the return to teaching is as safe as it can possibly be and have adhered strictly to all public health and government guidelines.
“Risk assessments and procedures are in place to provide staff the opportunity to report to managers where they feel that safety measures could be improved.
“A number of staff processes have been adapted in light of this feedback.”