The campus unions – Unite, Unison, and UCU – are disappointed with the response of QM senior management to the Covid-19 pandemic. The unions, elected representatives of all QM Staff, have been excluded from decision-making.

It was only after pressure that we were invited to (informal) discussion of the handling of the pandemic, and promised that our views would be forwarded to the relevant groups. This is bad management practice, and possibly contrary to both Health and Safety and Employment law.

Yesterday we wrote to the VP chairing the Coronavirus Response Group. We do not envy her position. Coordinating a university-wide response to a crisis of this magnitude is no easy task, much harder for someone very new to QM, irrespective of experience or expertise.

The all-union letter we sent makes three key demands, which follow from QMUCU’s Emergency General Meeting on Friday 13 March. After that meeting, these demands were sent to the Principal and Chair of Council (the response being: no change in the management’s position). The demands are:

  • Circulation of all documents relevant to the Cororavirus Response Group, and subsidiary groups. These should have been sent to union Health and Safety representatives as a matter of course.
  • Circulation of all documents relevant to the infectious diseases (an Infectious Disease Working Group was set up by the Incident Management Plan) .
  • Inclusion of union Health and Safety Representatives in key decision making groups.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

This post will be updated once we have a response.

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